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Workshop series aims to raise awareness for sexual assault and prevention

The Washington State University Vancouver Student Diversity Center has partnered with YWCA Clark County and Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette to present a series of workshops called Where We Build aimed at preventing sexual assault. Participants can complete five two-hour sessions focused on healthy communication skills, bystander intervention, identifying signs of abuse and advocating for access to sexual health services.

The workshops will be held every Monday from Jan. 30 to Feb. 27 from 4:10 p.m. to 6:10 p.m. The first workshop is located in the Dengerink Administration Building, room 129. These workshops are free and open to all WSU Vancouver students. Food will also be provided at the event. Participants who attend all five workshops will be eligible to obtain volunteer and internship opportunities with Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette and YWCA Clark County.

The first workshop will focus on healthy relationship skills. It will discuss how to recognize and make healthy decisions in relationships, while discussing positive conflict resolution methods and respect.

The second workshop will revolve around the impacts of power and control in relationships. It will focus on red-flag behaviors, establishing boundaries and recognizing the sources of conflict and sexual assault.

The third workshop will discuss sexual and reproductive health, and will focus on sexually transmitted infections, including how they spread and how they can be treated. Methods of birth control and access to birth control will also be discussed as well as dispelling sexual myths and misconceptions.

The fourth workshop will deal with overcoming barriers and accessing care. This workshop will focus on the impact gender and sexuality has on accessing health care. It will also address how to be a self-advocate and make sure one’s individual needs are met. Resources to overcome the barriers to getting the care one may need will also be provided.

The last workshop addresses the topic of bystander intervention. The workshops will outline ways to be an advocate for victims of sexual and domestic abuse, as well as ways help victims. Attendees will also learn how to help friends who begin to display controlling or abusive behavior.

The Where We Build workshops intend to “give participants the knowledge and skills they need to help create the world they want to see.” More information about the workshop series can be found on the WSU Vancouver events page at https://events.vancouver.wsu.edu.

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