YMCA to showcase gallery of sexual assault stories

A gallery showcasing stories of sexual harassment and sexual assault will be on display at the University YMCA on Wright and Chalmers Streets on Friday, as part of the event “I Wasn’t Asking for It: Addressing Stories of Sexual Assault.”

The gallery will feature art created by local students. Attendees may also engage in interactive therapy activities during the event.

Elizabeth Kepner and Griselda Escobedo, members of Amnesty International’s chapter at the University, said in an email they hope to bring awareness of the issue of sexual harassment on this campus, whether it is online or in person.

“We hope people walk away with a greater understanding of harassment on our campus, and with tools and methods to help them heal and combat this issue,” they said.

Although Amnesty has worked with the Women’s Resources Center during Sexual Assault Awareness Month for several years, an exhibition event like this has never been done before, they said.

They said the expressive arts therapy session will be led by the Counseling Center from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. and designated speakers will present from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

“The art therapy portion will provide empowerment to survivors and give people tools with which to express themselves and grow,” they said. “The gallery will bring awareness to the prevalence of sexual harassment in our campus community and online.”

They said their organization hopes to give people who have been affected by sexual harassment and survivors a safe space to voice their experiences.

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