April is sexual assault awareness month and UW-Eau Claire is raising public awareness to dismantle rape culture and prevent sexual violence.
There are resources available in Eau Claire to those who have been affected by sexual violence or assault.
UW-Eau Claire offers counseling services in Vicki Lord Larson in room 212. Student health services are another resource on campus in the Crest Wellness Center in room 150.
Local resources outside of the university offer the option to have a sexual assault nurse exam in the Sacred Heart ER. Mayo Clinic also has a sexual assault nurse examiner available on Whipple Street.
UW-Eau Claire police and Eau Claire city police are available at any time.
The Center for Awareness of Sexual Assault (GLASS) is located on campus in Hibbard Humanities Hall, room 311C. This center was established as a resource for students to talk about issues surrounding their sexual assault, or someone else’s.
According to CASA, they have a victim-centered approach, which ensures the focus is strictly on what’s needed at the time. They also provide a safe space to openly discuss any issue. All of these services are free and confidential.
Hannah Luedtke, a survivor advocate at CASA, is a non-mandated reporter. Meaning, that she is not required by law to report a suspected case, she said.
“CASA is helpful for anyone needing a safe space to process what they went through,” Luedtke said.
There are also support groups available on campus and through CASA.
She said any next steps can be taken with CASA counselors, whether that be contacting the police, or filing a report, they can be there.
According to Safewise, getting to know the campus safety offices and numbers, paying attention to crime in the area and using a buddy system are some measures a college student can take to be safe. Taking these precautions can help you feel and stay safe, according to Safewise.
Alexis Doctor, a third-year English student, had advice for first-year students.
“Don’t drink around people you don’t trust, or at least always have a buddy with you,” she said.
Doctor said she wishes there was a designated women’s center on campus so there is a safe space for women outside of CASA and hopes sometime soon UW-Eau Claire implements one in the student center.
Knowing who you are going to be with and where you are going before you head out for the night can help keep you safe, she said.
“You can meet new people and have new experiences, but make sure you trust the people you are going to be vulnerable around,” Doctor said.
Upcoming events include webinars on Fridays, which are hosted by CASA, LGTBQ sexual violence prevention webinars and roundtable discussions.
Student groups on campus are hosting healing through art events, drawing and writing activities and discussions. The month will be close to a reproductive health fair that offers different resources from around the community to students.
Luedtke said they provide support through a healing process, not through direct therapy.
If you need support services, CASA is open to students and the public.
Northwest Connections Mental Health Crisis Line: 1-888-552-6642
Crisis Text Line: Text HOPE to 741741
National Suicide Prevention Line: 1-800-273-8255
National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
TREVOR (LGBTQIA) Lifeline: 1-866-488-7386
Trans Lifeline: 1-877-565-8860
STAND Against Domestic Violence Crisis Hotline: 1-888-215-5555
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline in Spanish: 1-800-799-4889
Maxwell can be reached at [email protected].