WAAVE holds sexual assault prevention meeting

Jordan Larsen, Staff Writer

A sexual assault prevention meeting was put on by WAAVE and Survivor’s Not Victims to help spread sexual assault awareness outside of the campus library on March 29.  

The event included a session for attendees to share their own sexual assault experiences, a message from the Haven House about their resources and a speech written by a friend of Lauren White, president of Women and Allies Validating Equity (WAAVE). The meeting ended with a protest that shared chants about the importance of consent.  

“I decided to put on this event after I had a friend of mine who’s a survivor come to me about her experience and her frustration,” White said. “I wanted to bring awareness on campus.” 

Wayne State College is rebuilding their sexual assault prevention program. This event was created to help share experiences and to help give input to some of the people involved with this rebuild.  

White’s vision began when her friend felt like her best step was to take a step back from college for her own mental health due to a sexual assault experience. WAAVE and Survivors Not Victims fully supported this vision and brought the issue into the forefront of this meeting. 

“She asked me if there was any way to get her experience out there so that they know it’s not just something that happens just so often,” White said. “It’s something that happens on campus, to your friends, to your sisters, to your mothers and it’s so common.” 

White shared a piece written by Amanda at the event to help bring closure to her experiences and to honor that promise. The poem helped illustrate the effects that sexual assault can have in an emotional way and helped give the point at the meeting that there is support and a safe place for people who share a similar past.  

WAAVE has one large event every month where they partner with other organizations such as Green Team and Survivors Not Victims. 

“WAAVE is an intersectional club which means we talk about race, gender, class, any social problem that is affecting people locally, in our state, in our country, around the world,” White said. “Those issues impact each other, and we talk about how we can help from a state college level.”  

Survivors Not Victims meet biweekly Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. and they focus on creating an empowering community for survivors of sexual assault. They want those who have these experiences to know that they are not alone and that the victims should not blame themselves for what has happened.  

The Haven House also made an appearance at the meeting. They shared information about who they were and the resources they have for people who experience domestic issues such as sexual assault.  

“It happens to people that you really don’t see, and this resource is not just for the college but also for the community,” Katie Gannon, the Outreach Coordinator for the Haven House, said. “We want to serve as many people as we can and help as many people as we can just to get them through what they are going through.” 

The Haven House is a resource for people who are survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, harassment and stalking. They have offices in Wayne and South Sioux city.  

The Haven House resources include an emergency shelter and their 24-hour crisis line. They are open Monday through Friday from 8 p.m. to 5 p.m. Their crisis number is 1 (800) 440-4633.