More than 3,300 flags cover the Watson Lawn on the University of Kansas campus this week — one for each survivor of sexual violence at KU.
The flags, which are accompanied by posters and chalk messages, highlight more statistics about the prevalence of sexual violence at KU, are part of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Education Center’s campaign to raise awareness about the issue.
“These are to represent the victims of sexual violence during their time at KU,” said Jaclyn Carpenter, education program coordinator for the SAPEC. “The flags represented here are based on the data specific to KU.”
The website about the project provides this breakdown of the 3,354 total flags:
Nationally, one in four cisgender women will experience sexual violence while in college. At KU, this percentage would equate to an estimated 2,598 of 9,991 (26%) full-time enrolled female students.
Nationally, one in fourteen cisgender men will experience sexual violence while in college. At KU, this percentage would equate to an estimated 598 of 8,543 (7%) full-time enrolled male students.
Nationally, one in two TGQN (transgender, genderqueer, nonbinary or otherwise gender nonconforming) individuals will experience sexual violence while in college. At KU, this percentage would equate to an estimated 158 of 316 (50%) full-time enrolled TGQN students.
KU’s Sexual Assault Prevention & Education Center has created the flag display every year since 2016.
The goal, according to Carpenter, is to help bring awareness to how pervasive sexual violence is on college campuses across the country, including at KU.
The SAPEC has resources on its website at sapec.ku.edu/resources for anyone who would benefit from its services.
If our local journalism matters to you, please help us keep doing this work.
Don’t miss a beat … Click here to sign up for our email newsletters
Cuyler Dunn (he/him), a contributor to The Lawrence Times, is a student at the University of Kansas School of Journalism. He is a graduate of Lawrence High School where he was the editor-in-chief of the school’s newspaper, The Budget, and was named the 2022 Kansas High School Journalist of the Year. Read more of his work for the Times here.