DURHAM, N.H. – Members of the University of New Hampshire community joined in front of Thompson Hall on Thursday afternoon as part of the Sexual Harassment and Rape Prevention Program’s (SHARPP) fourth annual anti-violence walk and rally to recognize April as Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
The mission of SHARPP is to eliminate sexual and intimate partner violence. SHARPP's mission is accomplished by providing free and confidential advocacy and direct services to all survivors and their allies by offering culturally competent awareness and prevention programs to the community.
During sexual assault awareness month, activists raise awareness about sexual violence and educate communities and individuals on how to prevent it.
Several hundred members of the UNH community joined for the cause, including athletic department administration and various teams.
“It was a phenomenal turnout by not only the student-athletes and athletic staff but the entire UNH community,” said Cathy Coakley, coordinator of student-athlete development. “It is critical to have such a visible and strong showing of both male and female student-athletes and support staff. Additionally, it is important that SHARPP is involved in the education of not only the student-athletes but also the UNH community as a whole.”
“The anti-violence walk is a great opportunity to get out and show our support for the SHARPP program, as well as speaking out against sexual and domestic violence in our community,” said Brian Barbato, assistant football coach.
"I think it’s awesome to have so many people out to support such a great cause,” said junior Kaylee Kilpatrick of the women’s basketball team. “It is definitely something that needs to happen and end violence against women.”
“The walk is important because it sends a message to everyone else,” said sophomore football player DeVaughn Chollette. “A lot of people do not recognize the problem that is going on and it is a big problem. Doing this event is important to a lot of people on campus and it is a big message to spread around."
To find out more information about sexual assault awareness month, please visit the National Sexual Violence Resource Center at www.nsvrc.org. To find out more about SHARPP please visit www.unh.edu/sharpp/.