‘Redzone’ event kicks off prevention week

Temple Student Government will host discussions and events about sexual violence all week.

Assistant Director of the Wellness Resource Center Liz Zadnik facilitates a discussion on the “red zone,” the time period when incoming college students are the most vulnerable to sexual assault, in the Student Center on Sept. 9, 2019. | COLLEEN CLAGGETT / THE TEMPLE NEWS

The “redzone” is traditionally thought of as the first six weeks of the academic year during which freshman college students are most likely to be victims of sexual violence, said Liz Zadnik, the assistant director of Temple’s Wellness Resource Center.

But that definition is misleading, Zadnik said, because redzones occur throughout the year and are influenced by the power dynamics between the victims of sexual violence and those who inflict harm.

“[The redzone] floats,” Zadnik said. “If it was as simple as September and October, we would have solved it by now.”

Dispelling myths about the redzone and sexual assault was the focus of Temple Student Government’s opening event of its third annual Sexual Assault Prevention Week on Monday.

“The redzone is a highly popularized term to instill fear, particularly in new students at universities,” said Shira Freiman, president of It’s On Us TU, Temple’s branch of the national sexual assault prevention program, who helped organize the discussion. 

“It puts the emphasis and the blame on the importance of being a safe student or a productive freshman or transfer student as opposed to placing accountability on those perpetrators,” Freiman added.

Along with facilitating a discussion among the packed room of attendees in the Student Center, Zadnik talked to students about the various studies about sexual violence on college campuses.

Some students offered their opinions on how college campuses can improve the culture around discussing sexual assault.

Allison Capasso, a senior strategic communications major and Temple Student Government’s publicist, said students need to monitor the way their peers talk about sex and consent and call out bad behavior.

“If we don’t call it out, it will continue to be normalized,” Capasso said.

On Tuesday, TSG will host a “Dynamics of Consent” workshop in the Wellness Resource Center from 5-6 p.m. 

“Write Off Sexual Violence,” an event in which people can write letters of encouragement addressed to survivors of sexual assault, will take place on Wednesday at the intersection of 13th and Montgomery streets from 12-4 p.m.

TSG will host a Title IX workshop at the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, Advocacy and Leadership on Broad Street near Diamond on Thursday from 5-7 p.m. 

Sexual Assault Prevention Week will conclude with a speaker panel at the IDEAL office at 4 p.m. on Friday.

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