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Thursday, May 23, 2024

UC Davis CARE center, UC Davis AB540 Undocumented Student Center commemorate Sexual Assault Awareness Month with ‘Paint + Positivity’ events

These are the first of many events that the organization will be putting together throughout the month of April to advocate for sexual assault awareness and prevention


By BENJAMIN CARRILLO — campus@theaggie.org


On April 4 and April 8, the UC Davis CARE Center and the UC Davis AB540 Undocumented Student Center aimed to raise advocacy for Sexual Assault Awareness Month through their “Paint + Positivity” events.

One of the co-leads on this event, Kelsie Sladen, a training and education specialist for the CARE, spoke on the importance of this being the first event to start the month.

 “It’s always been that this event is meant to use art as a sort of healing mentality,” Sladen said. “It’s always been a very feel-good event, which is harder to create in a month as heavy as this one. Painting is nice to break the tension and focus on a nice community.”

Sladen then explained why CARE took a specific interest in Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

“We are a free and confidential resource for students that have been impacted by any type of sexual violence,” Sladen said. “The other part of what we do is prevention and education. It’s really important to bring about awareness and talk about what [students] can do to better support survivors. With awareness months like April, we really lead the way in starting events and have an event calendar on our website with not only our events but any events hosted on campus to support survivors.”

In addition to this event, the UC Davis CARE center specifically is hosting a myriad of other events throughout the month of April, all with the intention of raising awareness for sexual assault survivors.

Another Co-Lead of the event, Lea Harlev, a training and education specialist with CARE, described the initial reason for why painting was chosen as the first event of the month.

“The initial reason for this event was to create paintings for survivors to then see at our biggest event, “Take Back the Night,” which is happening April 9,” Harlev said. “We would use the paintings to decorate the space for [this event]. But over time, we’ve just wanted people to come and paint something they want to take home that is representative of self-love.”

Harlev continued on to speak on the significance of painting as a healing mechanism and the importance of having a sense of community between survivors of sexual abuse. 

“We try to offer alternative things to experience healing while also [creating] a community and [practicing] some self-care,” Harlev said. “There’s obviously counseling services and therapy offered through the school, but tons of students may not be ready for therapy or the lines are too long. We try to offer another method of healing that creates a safespace for students. 

Students looking to find more information on the events being held throughout Sexual Assault Awareness Month by CARE can visit their Instagram or website

Written by: Benjamin Carrillo — campus@theaggie.org 


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