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Academy of Art to Participate in SFWAR’s 13th Annual Walk Against Rape

In solidarity with April as National Sexual Assault Awareness month, the Academy of Art University is participating in the 13th annual Walk Against Rape march on April 7. Organized by the San Francisco Women Against Rape (SFWAR), the goal is to “empower survivors, their friends, families and supports, to break that silence by marching together on the streets against rape,” according to the SFWAR website.

Christina Petricca, the Academy’s Title IX coordinator, said this year’s walk is the first time the school is joining SFWAR. She hopes the Academy’s participation continues to bring awareness across campus and highlights the resources SFWAR provides to sexual assault survivors, including counseling, support groups and crisis services.

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“We’re always looking for more ways to bring awareness and just been trying to put more information out there,” said Petricca. “We decided [marching with SFWAR] would be a great way to involve our campus community and participate in a San Francisco community event, so we decided to put a team together.”

Though it’s the first time the Academy is marching with SFWAR, the university’s Title IX office regularly advocates for sexual assault survivors and prevention through events, workshops and encouraging student involvement.

In part with the It’s On Us campaign, a movement to note the importance of conversation with everyone to end sexual violence, the Academy created a video with Art U athletes to promote a “culture of respect.”

“It’s on all of us to create this culture of respect, to focus on consent and just to make sure all our students that attend the university feel safe and respected,” Petricca explained. “I think it’s a good message to prevent any types of sexual violence on campus.”

Future events include an Escalation Workshop (on April 16, Morgan Auditorium at 491 Post) to educate and discuss dating violence, signs to look for and what to do if students know someone involved in a violent dating relationship. Denim Day, on April 25, is in solidarity with an Italian movement that formed after a case in which the Italian Supreme Court overturned a rape conviction due to the victim’s clothes.

“It’s something we take seriously at the university,” said Petricca. “We want to bring awareness to sexual assault because it is a serious issue that we want to make sure sexual assault survivors feel supported at our university.”

Students interested in participating with the Academy at the Walk Against Rape can register online at SFWAR.org or register the day of. The march begins at The Women’s Building at 3543 18th Street in San Francisco, with breakfast and poster making starting at 10 a.m., followed by the walk at noon.

Outside of the Walk Against Rape, Petricca encourages any and every student to participate in raising awareness on campus. Any student working on a project that wants to incorporate a sexual prevention message is welcome to reach out and work with Petricca and her team.

For more information about the Academy’s Title IX policies and outreach, visit the website at www.academyart.edu/disclosures/title_IX.