UW-Green Bay Offers Multiple Events Regarding Sexual Assault Prevention, Including Bringing Author and Motivational Speaker Kaitlyn Kenealy to campus

By Mallory Allen, Mara Allen, Lindsey Gloede, & Abbi Pflum


Serious topics are being addressed at UW-Green Bay, and students have thoughts. April marks sexual assault awareness month to keep people talking about an issue that affects “1 out of every 6 American women”. (RAINN, 2020). Many take part in this month and provide events that educate people on these serious topics.

Events Being Offered

UW-Green Bay joined in on the conversation by offering an exhibit titled “What Were You Wearing?” that included physical items and stories from victims of sexual assault. This exhibit ran for two weeks and was available for anyone to walk through any time that the University Union was open. Since the exhibit was out in the open, the university blocked out the areas of the exhibit that would be shown to students that did not choose to enter the exhibit. They also added trigger warning signs that explained the exhibit and warned people about some of the graphic content that was there.

What is visible of the exhibit for people that walk past without entering it

Content warning that was at the beginning of the exhibit warning students about the exhibit’s content

Although the university took these steps, some students were not in favor of how the university handled bringing this exhibit to students, staff, and the public. “The ‘What Were You Wearing’ exhibit holds significant importance in dispelling the prevalent misconception that individuals are sexually assaulted based on their attire. Given the severe trauma caused by sexual assault, it is crucial to handle such sensitive topics with utmost care. Placing the exhibit in a high-traffic area frequented by students on their way to class or to get food may not provide the necessary privacy for individuals to process the content in a manner that aligns with their readiness. Relocating the exhibit to a more private setting, where individuals can make an informed choice about their readiness to view the exhibit, would be a more appropriate approach in promoting a trauma-informed environment.” Mentioned junior Tanisha VandenLangenberg. Other students thought that the university handled this sensitive topic well. “I think the university handled bringing an exhibit with such a serious topic to campus very well, and I commend them for addressing an issue that is important to discuss and work to prevent.” mentioned junior Bryce Thompson.

The other event that UWGB held on campus was a talk by author Kaitlyn Kenealy. There were many students that were in attendance for the event to learn more about these hard-to-discuss topics. During the event, there were many activities that provided hands-on experience to help victims of sexual assault. Sophomore Tracie Gray was a student that attended the event. “The event felt put together and easy to take away from. I took away helpful input from a psychotherapist’s perspective on an unfortunately too common issue. This was something you could apply to several popular current topics.”

Attendees working through scenarios to help victims of sexual assault

Posters that were used for marketing the sexual assault awareness talk at UW-Green Bay’s campus on April 11

This type of event is not new for Kaitlyn Kenealy. She travels around to spread the message that sexual assault is a problem that needs to be addressed. “The book [that I wrote] has been a really good catalyst for attending these events. I’m a psychotherapist, as my first job, and then being an author has helped me be able to travel and do workshops around mental health and this topic.”

With these differing opinions from students on campus, it is clear that this is a hot-button issue on campus. If you are struggling with any of these topics, the sexual assault hotline is 1-800-656-4673 and is open 24 hours a day, ready to help. “Sexual assault is important to talk about because the action is what’s going to make a difference. Educating ourselves, and others, on sexual assault is one of the best things we can do for our loved ones, our neighbors, and our future. Silence is officially over.” Gray adds.


Victims of sexual violence: Statistics. RAINN. (2020). Retrieved April 6, 2023, from https://www.rainn.org/statistics/victims-sexual-violence

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