Campus News

April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month

william t young library behind some white and pink flowers
Mark Cornelison | UK Photo

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 1, 2024) — April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month (SAAPM). During this month, people across the United States raise awareness about sexual violence, preventative measures and how to support survivors. The University of Kentucky is dedicated to creating a safer campus community and supporting survivors of sexual violence both on and off campus. The goal of SAAPM is to create opportunities for conversation, connect our community to area resources and to promote a safer and more supportive campus culture.

Two UK organizations work together to carry this mission out. The Violence Intervention and Prevention (VIP) Center, housed in the Office for Student Success, supports and advocates for individuals impacted by interpersonal violence while engaging the University of Kentucky and surrounding community in interpersonal violence education and prevention. The UK Police Department’s Special Victims Unit (UKPD SVU) provides compassionate support services to survivors of interpersonal violence while removing barriers to reporting. They are committed to holding offenders accountable within the criminal justice system by maintaining quality police services with timely, thorough and trauma-informed investigative techniques.

The VIP Center and UKPD SVU are working together this year to offer several events and involvement activities throughout the month of April, with the generous support of their campus partners. They are creating a week of action Monday, April 15-Friday, April 19, with multiple opportunities for students to get involved and learn more about sexual violence, area resources and how to support survivors. The theme of SAAPM 2024 is “Building Connected Communities.” Many of the upcoming events highlight the wonderful community partners at UK and the greater Lexington area.

Sexual Violence Awareness + Prevention Resource Fair | 1-3 p.m. Monday, April 15

VIP and UKPD SVU have organized a resource fair made up of campus and community service organizations dedicated to supporting survivors of sexual violence. Students, faculty, and staff are invited to attend the fair to learn more about local support services, find out about volunteer and internship opportunities, and take part in consent education. There will be free cookies, 4paws dogs, swag and lots of information. The resource fair is scheduled to take place at Barker Plaza outside of the Gatton Student Center, with a backup rain location of GSC’s Social Staircase.

Terrarium Building and Self Care Workshop | 3-4:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 17

In partnership with LGBTQ* Resources, VIP and SVU are hosting a workshop where students can build a terrarium while learning about important self care strategies. The workshop is free to students and all materials will be provided. The workshops will occur inside of LGBTQ*’s Dinkle-Mas Suite at Gatton Student Center. Due to limited space and supplies please plan to attend early to reserve your spot.

Wake Up Lex 2024 | 9-11 a.m. Friday, April 19

Wake Up Lex is a collaboration and partnership across the Lexington community to raise awareness of interpersonal violence. VIP and UKPD SVU will be in the Gatton Student Center Starbucks atrium with free coffee and pastries on Friday, April 19th from 9:00-11:00 am. Stop by, grab a free coffee and pastry, take the pledge to play your part in ending interpersonal violence, and snap a photo. Post the photo with the hashtag #WakeUpLex to spread awareness.

International Denim Day | Wednesday, April 24

Show your solidarity and stand with survivors by wearing denim and posting a photo of yourself on social media with the hashtag #denimday and tag the VIP Center and UKPD.

Natalie Tate, the Special Victims advocate with UKPD, and Lenzi Dodgen, acting director and survivor advocate with the VIP Center are also providing sexual violence awareness and education in various classroom settings throughout the month. If you would like them to speak to your class in the future, reach out at and

The VIP Center and UKPD SVU are happy to answer any questions you may have. You can contact Lenzi Dodgen at the VIP by calling 859-257-357 or emailing at You can contact UKPD SVU’s Advocate Natalie Tate by calling 859-218-2370 or emailing Follow us @UKPD and on Instagram for announcements, events, training and more.  

We encourage everyone to participate in these upcoming events and help increase awareness across our campus.

As the state’s flagship, land-grant institution, the University of Kentucky exists to advance the Commonwealth. We do that by preparing the next generation of leaders — placing students at the heart of everything we do — and transforming the lives of Kentuckians through education, research and creative work, service and health care. We pride ourselves on being a catalyst for breakthroughs and a force for healing, a place where ingenuity unfolds. It's all made possible by our people — visionaries, disruptors and pioneers — who make up 200 academic programs, a $476.5 million research and development enterprise and a world-class medical center, all on one campus.   

In 2022, UK was ranked by Forbes as one of the “Best Employers for New Grads” and named a “Diversity Champion” by INSIGHT into Diversity, a testament to our commitment to advance Kentucky and create a community of belonging for everyone. While our mission looks different in many ways than it did in 1865, the vision of service to our Commonwealth and the world remains the same. We are the University for Kentucky.