By the JUST Leaders 2023 Research Cohort
From the 17-21 April the Centre for Sexualities AIDS and Gender, through the JUST Leaders programme, and the Transformation Office through its student cohort #SpeakOutUP commemorated Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) with a series of exciting and well-attended events and engagements under a week titled ‘Sexual Assault Awareness Week (SAAW): Addressing digital forms of sexual assault and harassment’ at the University of Pretoria’.
Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) is a time for international advocacy stakeholders to share tools for addressing sexual assault and harms in society. The University of Pretoria through its student volunteers used the teal blue ribbon commonly linked to SAAM as a symbol for solidarity, support and safety for survivors of sexual assault. The teal ribbon appeared on the cool merchandise, and the wall pledge that students and staff appended their handprints on. The wall pledge served as a commitment to creating awareness around sexual assault as well as a dedication to curbing the prevalence of digital forms of sexual assault and harassment on social media.
Students who participated in the wall pledge event shared how, “Signing the pledge is acknowledging the issues that plague our society and taking a stance against them, by being open to conversation, and refraining from perpetuating the problem that is sexual assault.”
The rest of the programme for the week included a workshop educating attendees on the harassment continuum, as well as information sessions and stalls for awareness on the theme for the week. Throughout the week and during all the events, students were reminded about the reporting procedures for sexual assault, including the availability of trainings for students and staff as preventative measures limiting incidents of sexual assault and harassment.
You can learn more about support and reporting processes at the University of Pretoria here:
For more future events, information and engagements follow @speakout_up and @JustleadersUP on social media.
 The 2023 Research Cohort comprises of: Onkgopotse Mokgale, Galaletsang Masemola, Mapuleng Hlalele, Sindile Timane, Tamrin Slager, Mmathapelo Bosoga, Tshepi Raboroko, Junior Aphane, Jay Grobler, Lelethu Mdepa, Mogau Sedibeng, Siyamthanda Njikela, Alda Deve and Mpumi Nkuna