(Buffalo N.Y) — Weigel Health Services and Crisis Services at SUNY Buffalo State held a sexual assault awareness workshop April 13 to highlight the difference between healthy and unhealthy relationships.
The event was part of efforts to draw attention to the issue during April, which is sexual assault awareness month.
Zainalo Nazari and Kristan Hollman, both peer educators at the Weigel Health Center, appeared on the Buffalo Review TV April 6 to discuss the workshop.
“It’s important to know that sexual assault can happen to anybody,” said Nazari. “It doesn’t matter about the age or race. It’s important to spread awareness especially for those who don’t want to talk about it.”
Nazari is an undergraduate student at Buffalo State and, as a peer educator, her responsibilities include educating students on tobacco use and sexual health.
Nazari said people affected by sexual assault often refuse to talk about it due to fear or shame.
“We’ve had a couple of workshops here on campus,“ said Hollman. “We’ve done a lot of promotions for workshops that provide education; knowing a perpetrator and who is a victim. We do a lot of work with Take Back the Night.”
Take Back the Night is an international event and non-profit with the goal of ending sexual assault, sexual abuse, domestic violence and dating violence in all its forms.
Buffalo State and numerous colleges across the country participated in the annual event April 10, which is intended to empower survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault through creative works.
Hollman said she is hopeful sexual assault workshops and events like Take Back the Night will help encourage victims to speak up and feel safe.
* Zachary Huk contributed to this report.