By Joan C. McKinney, director, Office of University Communications
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Michelle Kuiper, sexual assault survivor, advocate and consultant, will be the keynote speaker to kick off Campbellsville University’s observance of Sexual Abuse Awareness and Prevention Month during chapel Wednesday, April 4 at 10 a.m. at Ransdell Chapel, 401 N. Hoskins Ave., Campbellsville, Ky.
Kuiper is part of the Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs (KASAP) Speaker’s Bureau and Kentucky Attorney General Survivor Council co-chair. She speaks at schools and in the community to bring awareness and to create a change in rape culture.
Campbellsville University’s Carver School of Social Work is placing pinwheels on Stapp Lawn April 3 for child abuse. On April 4, everyone is asked to wear teal, the official color of Sexual Assault and Awareness Month, and Dr. Michael V. Carter, Campbellsville University president, has signed a proclamation for April to be Sexual Assault Awareness Month; the proclamation will be read in chapel.
Also, on April 11, pledge cards can be signed outside the Winters Dining Hall to recognize non-consensual sex is sexual assault, to identify situations in which sexual assault may occur and to create an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported.
Students can also write statistics on the sidewalk, Chalk the Walk, and there will be a Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Law Enforcement Luncheon.
A 5K Run/Walk is scheduled April 16, and, on April 26, Campbellsville University faculty, staff, coaches and students are to participate in Why Wear Denim to protest all sexual violence and to remind that no clothing item can cause or is an excuse for sexual assault. You can wear denim and donate $1 to support Adanta Sexual Assault Resource Center.
Kuiper helped in the passing and implementation of Senate Resolution 20 and helped Kentucky’s previous Kentucky State Auditor, Adam Edelen, with the audit of SAFE Kits to give everyone a human view to a survivor’s account to rape.
Kuiper not only gave her time to travel to counties around Kentucky, but she gave new insight and meaning to the word “survivor.” She also helped advocate for Senate Bill 63, to test all SAFE kits in Kentucky.
Kuiper decided to take her ideas to Kentucky’s state legislature for change and reform for victims of sexual assault by working to create laws for victim’s rights, to help the backlog in Kentucky and to better identify offenders with DNA at arrest.
She was assaulted on a college campus. After her attack, she went back to college to reclaim her education to be more equipped to help others. Her help has been used on numerous occasions by consulting with legislators, law enforcement, the Kentucky State Police Lab, KASAP and Ilse Knecht with Joyful Heart Foundation in New York.
In April Kuiper will be one of the survivors in a documentary, called “I Am Evidence,” by Mariska Hargitay on SAFE kits around America.
The Kentucky Association of Sexual Assault Programs (KASAP) is the coalition of Kentucky’s 13 Sexual Assault Programs. The representatives of each of the 13 Sexual Assault Programs make up KASAP’s Board of Directors. Since it was established in 1990, KASAP has served as a central point of contact on sexual violence issues in Kentucky.
In January 2017, the Survivors Council was created to advise and assist the Office of the Attorney General on matters related to victims of crime, including but not limited to awareness initiatives; training efforts; and publications, policy and legislative initiatives. Its purpose is to ensure that these efforts are victim-centered, effective and responsive to the needs of diverse victims.
Chapel is free and open to the public.
Chapel is designed to provide opportunities for corporate worship and exposure through a variety of informative speakers and presentations. All chapels are open to the public free of charge and are televised live on WLCU (Comcast Cable channel 10 and digital channel 23.0) and are streamed live on the internet at wlcutv.com.