Southeast Missouri State University student publication

In its third year Redhawks Rising renews commitment to ending sexual assault in Southeast community

Wednesday, September 5, 2018
Redhawks Rising, an organization dedicated to ending sexual assault, held their first meeting Aug. 27.
Photo by Lea Rusk

Seeking to help end sexual assault, Redhawks Rising launched its third year as a student organization at Southeast on Aug. 27, holding an educational meeting where outreach events were outlined to support the cause.

Executive board members welcomed new and familiar faces, sharing the purpose of Redhawks rising, which is dedicated to creating a culture where sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported.

“We’re committed to putting an end to sexual assault,” Redhawks Rising president Rachel Fox said. “At least, on this campus and in the community so we’re going to keep fighting.”

The Redhawks Rising foundation was created to give a voice to survivors to share their story which leads to prevention, awareness and support groups. The executive board realized the system was flawed and survivors were not given a voice.

“If no one else was going to do that for them then that’s what we’re here for,” Williamson said.

Redhawks Rising helped to enact policy changes such as clarifying the definition of incapacitation and changes to sanctions after someone has been found in violation to student conduct.

Redhawks Rising will host multiple outreach events throughout the school year in contribution to ending sexual violence. Events will offer preventative awareness, tactics and support to those affected by sexual assault.

Outreach events will range from therapy groups to hosting tables at the tailgate on homecoming weekend.

Expressive Art Groups is an open therapy group for survivors who have experienced sexual violence where they will utilize various forms of art to express and process their emotions. “Sex in the UC!” will be held Sept. 26 to educate students about healthy sexual and relationship traits.

“We’ve pulled in bigger crowds with Sex in the UC!,” Redhawks Rising vice president Kyleigh Williamson said. “People are always interested and ask a lot of questions.”

Stache bash will be held Nov. 1 as an event which celebrates men in the effort to prevent sexual violence.

The Clothesline Project separates purple and white shirts for supporters and survivors allowing participants to paint and hang t-shirts on a clothesline to demonstrate support to those affected.

The organization will host a table during the homecoming tailgate Oct. 13. The Southeast football team will mark the occasion by wearing purple ribbons — the official color for domestic violence awareness — on their helmets.

“Each year we are taking an aim at a different side of awareness and trying to see what other aspect of awareness we can talk about,” Fox said. “We are willing and able to push boundaries.”

Members of Redhawks Rising encourage those who know someone who has been affected by sexual assault to be a friend when needed.

“I think the best thing that you can do to be a supporter of someone who has experienced sexual violence it to listen and believe them,” Fox said.

Redhawks Rising will meet next at 5:30 p.m. Sept. 10 on the fourth floor of the University Center. The room location is yet to be determined.