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The student news site of Sacramento State University

The State Hornet

The student news site of Sacramento State University

The State Hornet

Student news without fear or favor

Sac State’s Day of Action provides support, resources for sexual assault survivors

Organizations such as WEAVE and Planned Parenthood spoke with students about awareness
The+Office+of+Equal+Opportunities+hosts+the+second+annual+Sexual+Assault+Awareness+Day+of+Action+fair+in+the+Library+Quad+Tuesday%2C+April+2%2C+2024.+The+fair+featured+various+booths+educating+students+about+Sexual+Assault+Awareness+Month+and+of+ways+to+prevent+sexual+assault.+
Isis Alvarez
The Office of Equal Opportunities hosts the second annual Sexual Assault Awareness Day of Action fair in the Library Quad Tuesday, April 2, 2024. The fair featured various booths educating students about Sexual Assault Awareness Month and of ways to prevent sexual assault.

In the fall of 2022 during her first semester at Sacramento State, Rebeca Cervantes had the terrifying realization that she did not feel safe on campus.

Cervantes heard from a fellow resident of Riverview Hall that a student had been sexually assaulted in their dorm room, just two floors below Cervantes’ room.

“Hearing that that happened and not hearing it from the people who are supposed to protect us is extremely alarming and makes me feel like I wasn’t as safe as I thought I was,” second-year political science major Cervantes said.

RELATED: TIMELINE: Sexual assault at Sac State

Members of Sac State’s community are actively working to prevent such incidents from happening to others. Cervantes, president of Sac State’s Diverse Women in Political Science club, joined several on and off campus organizations on Tuesday at Sac State’s second annual Sexual Assault Awareness Month Day of Action.

The Day of Action fair, hosted by the Office of Equal Opportunities in the Library Quad, occurs on the first Tuesday of every April during Sexual Assault Awareness Month. It is a nationwide movement started by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center where participants wear teal – the color of sexual assault prevention – to raise awareness and demonstrate support for survivors.

RELATED: Day of Action educates students on Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Jourdan Jackson, a fourth-year journalism major, is an intern at the OEO’s Division of Inclusive Excellence who helped organize this year’s Day of Action fair. As a survivor herself, Jackson feels compelled to raise awareness of both the ubiquity of assault on college campuses and the ostracization survivors often feel.

“When it happened to me, I felt like it was my fault,” Jackson said. “But no matter what the situation is, it never is anyone’s fault, no matter what.”

The Day of Action fair was lighthearted and welcoming, providing students a space to support survivors or increase their awareness of sexual assault issues. The display of educational resources regarding sexual assault offered common ground for allies and survivors alike.

Students write a word on a board describing what love means to them at a booth hosted by The Swarm Tuesday, April 2, 2024. The booths hosted various games and activities that students could participate in that centered around relationships, boundaries and consent. (Isis Alvarez)

“I think, as someone who was a victim, coming here and knowing that there is this community and this feeling of importance around this topic just makes me feel protected,” Cervantes said. “It makes me feel like I chose the right college.”

Among the organizations present was the local nonprofit, My Sister’s House. The nonprofit provides survivors of domestic violence with resources such as housing, counseling and legal services. Since July 2023, MSH has helped over 7,000 individuals receive aid in the Sacramento area.

Angie Goh, a cultural advocate with MSH, hopes to end the stigma of reporting domestic violence and sexual assault so survivors can feel safe to disclose their experiences.

“It does not have to be a very intimidating environment,” Goh said. “It could be something like this fair, where people are able to enjoy their activities as well as learning more.”

The Disability Access Center and the OEO hosted the presentation, “Pleasure Is For Every Body,” where couples and family therapist Kaleigh Trace spoke about bridging the gap between disability and sexual education and wellness.

Trace advocated against stereotypes about the disabled population and sex, so people with disabilities can enjoy safe sex lives and sexual experiences.

“We as disabled individuals deserve experiences that are both pleasurable and consensual, just like anyone else,” Trace said.

Despite concerns among Sac State students that the university is not proactive in helping survivors, the Day of Action fair demonstrated that the campus community is dedicated to changing the culture around sexual assault.

“Sac State can be a campus that supports survivors,” Jackson said. “It hasn’t always been one, but it can be with events like these.”

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About the Contributors
Christa Ison
Christa Ison, News Staffer
(she/her) Christa Ison is a senior transfer student from American River College, majoring in journalism. Returning to The State Hornet, her goal is to advocate and become a voice for the disabled community.
Jocelyn Hill
Jocelyn Hill, A&E Staffer
(she/her) Jocelyn Hill is a third-year transfer student from Orange County majoring in political science and journalism. This is her first semester at The State Hornet, where she is excited to be joining the Arts and Entertainment team. She is passionate about politics and social justice. In her free time, she enjoys running, drawing or binge-watching a new tv show.
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