Students to stand for survivors of sexual assault


Shield Archive

James Beeby, dean of the College of Liberal Arts, walks in red high-heels with other male students as part of Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, April 11, 2017. This year, the annual event will be replaced with a silent demonstration in front of the David L. Rice Library.

Shelby Clark, Digital Editor

Students for Gender Violence Awareness is hosting their first silent demonstration Wednesday outside the David L. Rice Library. 

Participants will hold signs outside on the stairs starting at 1 p.m. and stand in silence for survivors of sexual assault. 

“The reason we wanted to keep it as a silent demonstration is to kind of show the way that survivors are typically treated in the world,” said Katelyn Vinci, president of SFGVA. “That we’re told to be silent about this topic.” 

150 students can stand on the stairs outside the library and be spread out socially distanced, said Vinci. She said if more students attend, they will most likely spread out on The Quad. 

“We’re trying to show the USI community that sexual assault does happen on our campus and that society forces survivors to stay silent about this issue,” said Vinci.   

SFGVA and Sexual Assault and Gender Violence Prevention Group normally organizes Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, but with the uncertainty of COVID-19 regulations, they decided not to host the event this year. 

Walk a Mile in Her Shoes is an annual event held in April where male participants walk a mile around The Quad in high-heeled shoes. 

Vinci said they wanted to come up with something to replace that event. The silent demonstration was inspired by Baylor University’s silent demonstration in 2016, she said. 

“We still felt it was still relevant in 2021,” Vinci said. 

Macie Martin, vice president of SFGVA, said it is important to bring the student body together to show support for survivors. 

“Sexual assault is not a very comfortable topic to talk about,” Martin said. “It’s probably uncomfortable for a lot of people, and April gives us a chance to really put out there how to support survivors.” 

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Martin said the month gets information out about the number of women being sexual assaulted and recognizing the chance to help these women. 

One in five women are sexually assaulted during their college experience, according to 

SFGVA is hosting a virtual panel with Jennifer Hammat, dean of students, Catherine Champagne, assistant program director of student wellness, a representative from Public Safety and a representative from the Albion Fellows Bacon Center 6 p.m. Monday. 

SFGVA is partnering with the University of Evansville Center for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to host a virtual speaking event with Venkayla Haynes on April 27.  

Fraternity and Sorority Life is partnering with SFGVA for Denim Day April 28. 

Active Minds, a student mental health awareness organization, has helped SFGVA plan events for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. 

“People think that we’re a small university and that this thing doesn’t really happen at USI, but we know that it does,” Vinci said. “We’re trying to bring awareness to it and hopefully be able to educate some people in the process.”