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FSU students create support system for sexual assault victims

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month
Posted at 6:21 PM, Apr 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-09 18:21:37-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — "You are not alone." That's the message Florida State University is sharing with victims of sexual assault.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Students at the university are now creating a support system for the victims among them.

"Most people won't say anything and they hold it in," said Chris Cabezas, graduate student in the School Psychology program.

For them, it's about becoming more aware and knowing the signs.

"She had been depressed for a while and she had been going through a lot of anxiety and just going through post-traumatic stress," said Cabezas.

A sexual assault can happen anywhere, including a college campus.

"Not a lot of people are eager to talk about it, but it affects so many different people," said Joelle Lawrence, the assistant director of Women's Student Union. "It's our opportunity to bring awareness to this issue and empower those who have been affected by this issue to come forward and share their stories and build community."

According to, 23 percent of women and 5 percent of men experience rape or sexual assault during their college experience, but that's why many student organizations are stepping up to let students and everyone know they are not alone.

"tTe idea is that you're stronger than you know and that when the storm clears, there's always going to be a clear sky and there's always going to be a person to support you through something like that," said Cabezas. "Never be afraid to talk about this sort of thing."

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center says one in five women and one in 67 men will be raped at some point in their lives.

Here's a list of student organizations offering help on FSU's campus:

  • RENEW (Realizing Everyone's Need for Emotional Wellness)