By Thomas Moran | Staff Writer
April has come to be recognized as National Sexual Assault Awareness Month and Baylor’s Title IX Office has embraced the opportunity to spread knowledge, training and support for victims across campus throughout the month.
Title IX office training and prevention specialist Elizabeth Wellinghoff has been working with various student organizations to offer training to their members all month and welcomes any interested groups to reach out to the office.
“I offer training about our Title IX policy,” Wellinghoff said. “On the prevention side of it, which is looking at these issues as a whole and raising awareness around these topics, as well as offering more education and training in these areas.”
Wellinghoff said this month has already been successful, thanks to student outreach and education on the issue.
“There have been a few different student groups and organizations that we have been partnering with who want to elevate the conversation within their organizations,” Wellinghoff said.
The Title IX office is looking for more opportunities to promote other organizations working alongside the Title IX office in sexual assault awareness efforts, Wellinghoff said. For example, The American Medical Women’s Association hosted a #MeToo Panel event Monday in the Baylor Science Building.
“They had different survivor stories that were read at the event,” Wellinghoff said. “Then we just opened up the conversation to the audience bringing up these issues … That was really encouraging to see how the students are stepping up. Our hope is just come behind them and have their voices be heard.”
This year’s Sexual Assault Awareness Month theme is “Embrace Your Voice,” and the Title IX office is embracing that by working with organizations to provide students with the opportunity to speak out, Wellinghoff said.
Though Sexual Assault Awareness Month is well underway, Wellinghoff said she encourages students and student organizations to reach out to the Title IX office if they are interested in training or educational opportunities.
The “What Were You Wearing” exhibit will be on Baylor’s campus in the Vara Martin Daniel Plaza from April 16-26. The Title IX office is hosting a Dr. Pepper hour at 3:00 p.m. on April 24 in Barfield Drawing Room in the Bill Daniels Student Center and Title IX representatives will be available for questions, training and more.
On a larger scale, The Title IX office has also been working with the Family Abuse Center and the Waco Advocacy Center on several projects this month.
“If we have one person experience sexual assault, that is one too many,” Wellinghoff said. “It falls right in line with our mission here at Baylor. We want to cultivate a caring community.”