Volunteers at Red Flag CampaignA field of red flags and bunches of red balloons fluttered in the breeze outside the Tivoli Student Center on the Auraria Campus today as part of the ongoing campaign to raise awareness and stop interpersonal violence.

The Red Flag Campaign is a public awareness campaign designed to address dating violence and promote the prevention of dating violence on college campuses.

Today’s activities continue the theme all during April of Sexual Assault Awareness Month — a national effort. On the Auraria Campus the events are a joint effort by CU Denver Office of Student Life; Women’s Resource Center; and The Phoenix Center at Auraria.

Various activities are planned throughout the month, which kicked off last week with the Clothesline Project. This showcases shirts decorated and hanging on display in the Tivoli Atrium. The Clothesline Project started in 1990 on Cape Cod, Mass., to address the issue of violence against women. It’s a way for people affected by violence to express their emotions by decorating a shirt as testimony to the problem of violence against women.

Shirts can be decorated in CU Denver Office of Student Life, The Phoenix Center or GLBT Student Services offices.

Today’s Red Flag Rally preceded a talk in the Turnhalle by author and feminist activist Gail Dines. Approximately 150 people gathered to hear Dines in the Turnhalle.

Dines in the TurnhalleShe’s a professor of sociology and women’s studies at Wheelock College in Boston. Her writing and lectures focus on the hypersexualization of the culture and the ways that porn images filter down into mainstream pop culture. Dine’s work on media and pornography has appeared in academic journals, magazines such as Time and Newsweek, and newspapers across the country. Recipient of the Myers Center Award for the Study of Human Rights, Dines is a founding member of Stop Porn Culture – an educational and activist group made up of academics, anti-violence experts, community organizers and concerned citizens.

Her comments today touched on the frequency of sexual assault but also the willingness of people to step up to address the problem. She talked about how we are always comparing ourselves to ‘Hollywood’ when we know that it’s not real. Dines spoke about “feminism as a movement of liberation not empowerment.”

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