April was Sexual Assault Awareness Month

shannon-blog-tagJenna Novak, an associate counselor and outreach and prevention coordinator at the UW-Stout Counseling Center, is just one of many counselors here to help students struggling with mental health and other personal issues. She helps students of all backgrounds, including those who have concerns, or experiences with sexual assault.

Jenna shared some tips on how to be more aware of unsafe situations. “Know what consent is – per Wisconsin Statute, someone who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs cannot legally give consent for sex – familiarize yourself with the “I Step Up” campaign on campus, always use the buddy system, watch your drink and know what’s in your cup.”

If you ever feel the need to talk with a counselor, contact the Counseling Center by phone at 715-232-2468, or visit them in 410 Bowman Hall. The center is available for students Monday- Friday 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Of additional resources, contact the Bridge to Hope at 715-235-9074. Bridge to Hope offers free and confidential services including 24 hour crisis phone and text line, private consultations with supportive advocates, emergency shelter, accompaniment to sexual assault nurse examinations, weekly support groups, and more.

If you are in an emergency, or don’t feel comfortable or safe in certain situations, contact the Campus Police at 715-232-2222 or, in the case of an emergency, dial 911.

“It is never the victim’s fault,” Jenna added. “Don’t underestimate the power of support and validation. Recovery and healing is a process, an up and down journey of pain, hope and healing. Remember there are resources and support available, you are not alone.”

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