Sexual Assault

Becca Schimmel

Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear is announcing a video contest aimed at raising awareness of sexual assault on college campuses. He was at Western Kentucky University Wednesday to promote the effort.  

College and university students can submit a 30-second video encouraging the reporting of sexual assault. One winner will be determined by a panel of sexual assault survivors and advocates, while another winner will be based on which video gets the most online views. Both winners will receive a $500 prize.

 

Beshear said the goal is to make campuses safer.

 

“Because of a lack of transparency in reporting, I don’t think that college students understand or know the prevalence of sexual assault on campuses,” Beshear said.

Flickr/Creative Commons

Changes to the Kentucky National Guard’s code of justice have enabled military police to better deal with sexual assault occurring within their ranks.

The reforms were pushed through last year’s General Assembly by Rep. Tanya Pullin, a Democrat who co-chairs the Joint Committee on the Military, Veterans Affairs and Public Protection.

National Guard deputy state judge advocate Col. John Knox Mill told the panel this week that the number of victims’ advocates in his organization has increased to 60, and victims are reporting offenses in greater numbers as a result.

“This increase in cases is not because there have been more sexual assaults, but rather that it reflects a greater awareness and trust by victims in the program and the new criminal code," Mill said.

The WKU Counseling and Testing Center hosted several events in March for Sexual Assault Awareness month.

Although some events were canceled or cut short due to inclement weather, supporters still came out for events like Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, The Vagina Monologues, and Take Back the Night. On March 18, dozens of collegiate and faculty men donned high heels as they took a mile-long stroll around the WKU campus to bring awareness to sexual assault. On March 27, hundreds of supporters from WKU and the Bowling Green community gathered at the Warren County Justice Center to sing and chant and march around downtown to promote safety on the streets of Bowling Green for women, and everyone, especially at night.

Photojournalist Abbey Oldham documented some of the events, and you see those images in the photo slideshow above.