Las Vegas, N.M – The Highlands University campus and Las Vegas community have the chance to come together April 16 to fold origami cranes symbolizing hope for sexual assault survivors while also encouraging survivors to get the help they need.
The free event marks Sexual Assault Awareness Month and is in the Student Union Building Atrium at 800 National Ave. from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. HU-CARES – the Center for Advocacy, Resources, Education and Support – is sponsoring the event.
“Each fold, every wing, and completed origami crane is to recognize the impact sexual violence has on and off campus and in the lives of so many,” said Corilia Ortega, HU–CARES education and outreach coordinator. “Help us build wings of hope and love for survivors and their families.”
HU-CARES will provide paper and other supplies for making the origami cranes.
“All our HU-CARES events go beyond simply raising awareness. We are striving to create a campus culture where sexual assault survivors know they will be believed and supported. Statistics show that more than 90 percent of sexual assault survivors on college campuses don’t report. At the same time, false reports are extremely rare,” Ortega said.
Ortega said HU-CARES is committed to providing seamless resources and services.
“We encourage students who have survived sexual assault to get the help they need, ranging from counseling to filing criminal charges. We also help with academic and housing accommodations for survivors. For the perpetrator, the university imposes disciplinary actions,” Ortega said.
According to National Institute of Justice statistics, 20 – 25 percent of college students will be sexually assaulted while they are students. Alcohol is often a factor in these sexual assaults. Most assaults are cases of acquaintance rape where the victim knows the perpetrator.
“A person who is substantially impaired through alcohol or drugs cannot give consent. Legally, nonconsensual sex is rape. Enthusiastic and verbal consent is the new standard for engaging in consensual sex,” Ortega said.
Other activities for Sexual Assault Month include outreach workshops Ortega is presenting in the university’s residence halls on the topic Sexversations – Consent 101.
“Increasing a culture of understanding and consent is a preventative measure to help decrease sexual assaults. These are conversations that need to happen,” Ortega said.
The HU-CARES office is in Suite 306 on the third floor of the Student Union Building. Contact Ortega at 5050-454-3529 or firstname.lastname@example.org