UCSB’s Rape Prevention Education Program will host the second annual 5K Fun Run and Walk this weekend in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month to raise funds for the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center.
The public event begins at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at the Faculty Club Lawn, winds around the UC Police Dept., Counseling Services, Student Health and Isla Vista Foot Patrol station and ends at the Student Resource Building’s back lawn. The route aims to draw attention to facilities that provide helpful and potentially life-saving services for sexual assault victims.
According to Idalia Gomez, training coordinator for the Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center, this year’s race theme is Jeans 4 Justice in honor of a 1999 rape case in Italy. The presiding judge in the case ruled that women wearing jeans cannot be raped as it would require the victim to actively assist the perpetrator in removing the pants. The court reversed the ruling in 2008.
According to the crisis center’s website, 1.3 women in the U.S. are raped every minute and 84 percent of rapes are never reported.
Community Education Coordinator Erika Martin del Campo said the walk helps shed light on sexual assault victims who can go unrepresented in the court system.
“[It is] a perfect event or opportunity for a family to get together on a Saturday morning,” Martin del Campo said. “It’s very meaningful for our community, especially since proceeds go to benefit the Santa Barbara Crisis Center.”
The center offers four-hour self-defense classes for females 13 years or older that focus on improving assertiveness and physical defense skills. The crisis center is hosting additional events this month including the Jeans 4 Justice display at Santa Barbara Public Library and Denim Day on April 25, when participants are encouraged to wear jeans and denim clothing in tribute to the 1999 Italian case.
First-year economics and accounting major Joseph Gallego said the local event seeks to raise support for sexual assault victims both nationally and abroad.
“The race is not only important for our health but also promotes awareness about sexual assaults happening in UCSB, Santa Barbara and all over the world,” Gallego said.
Race registration costs $10 for teams of four to six people and $15 for individual participants. On-campus parking at lots 22 and 23 costs $3 and post-race refreshments will be available at the Student Resource Building lawn until 12 p.m.