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Empowering Change: Lincoln University of Missouri Launches Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention (RSVP) Center

Abbey Tauchen | April 29th, 2024

On April 23, 2024, Lincoln University of Missouri celebrated the inauguration of its Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention (RSVP) Center with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The event, made possible through the collaborative efforts of community members, marked a significant step in the university's commitment to combatting intimate partner violence on campus. RSVP Center intern Chenia Walker officially opened the RSVP Center with the ribbon-cutting. 


RSVP Center intern Chenia Walker and Lincoln University President Dr. John B. Moseley. 

The RSVP Center, dedicated to addressing issues of domestic/dating violence, sexual assault and stalking, aims to foster a campus environment where education, prevention and response are prioritized. Through various programs and initiatives, the center endeavors to raise awareness and support survivors. 

Attendees had the opportunity to engage with the Clothesline Project exhibit, showcasing shirts designed by survivors or their family members, representing experiences of sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking. Inside the exhibit, counseling interns were available to provide support, and a private space was designated for those in need.

Using innovative auditory cues, the exhibit effectively highlighted the frequency of violence. Every 60 seconds, a police radio dispatch symbolized the alarming rate at which individuals fall victim to domestic/dating violence in the U.S. A rape whistle sounded every 73 seconds, representing the frequency of rape occurrences in the U.S. An ambulance sound echoed every nine minutes, showcasing how often a child becomes victim to sexual abuse in the U.S.

Clothesline Project The Clothesline Project is a visual display of violence statistics that are often ignored. Each shirt is made by a survivor of violence or by someone who has lost a loved one to violence.

Alongside these displays, attendees read the following statistics:

  • Men enrolled in college are 78% more likely to experience sexual assault than men of the same age who are not enrolled.
  • 50% of campus sexual assaults occur between August and November
  • 43% of all campus crimes involve sexual violence.
  • For every Black woman who reports rape, at least 15 do not report it.
  • Over 50% of women will experience sexual violence involving physical contact during their lifetime.
  • 1 in 3 men has experienced sexual violence involving physical contact during his lifetime.
  • Nearly 1 in 5 Black women are survivors of rape and 41% experience sexual coercion and other forms of unwanted sexual contact.
  • LGBTQ+ people are nearly 4 times more likely than non-LGBTQ+ to experience violent victimization including rape, sexual assault and aggravated or simple assault.

The event featured informative sessions facilitated by partner organizations such as the Missouri Family Health Council (MFHC) and the Rise Up Foundation. MFHC provided free emergency contraceptives and emphasized the importance of reproductive justice within the rape crisis movement. The Rise Up Foundation, soon to partner with the RSVP Center, offered valuable insights into sexual assault prevention. 

Ari StarksLincoln University senior Ari Starks performed slam poetry at the RSVP Center ribbon-cutting ceremony. 

The ceremony was enriched by student contributions, including a slam poetry performance by Ari Starks. The LU NAACP Student Chapter and the LU Pride Student Group contributed to the discourse by highlighting the intersectionality of sexual assault, race and the LGBTQ+ community.

Representatives from Title IX and LUPD addressed attendees, discussing additional reporting options and available resources for survivors and students.

The event was made possible through the generous support of organizations such as OVW, UJIMA and the Missouri Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. Their contributions, alongside the dedication of community members, underscored a collective commitment to fostering a safer and more inclusive campus environment.

View more photos from the RSVP Center Grand Opening and Clothesline Project Shared Album.

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