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Bandana Project to bring attention to sexual assault in April | Community News | Lafayette Online
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Bandana Project to bring attention to sexual assault in April

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Four Purdue organizations are involved in two April programs designed to create awareness about sexual violence against farmworker women in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Purdue’s Latino Cultural Center and MESA: Multicultural Efforts to end Sexual Assault are national co-sponsors of the Bandana Project and will help put on programs April 3 and April 8. At each event a short presentation will be made about the rights for victims of sexual harassment in the workplace followed by opportunities to decorate bandanas, said Kimber Nicoletti, director of MESA: Multicultural Efforts to end Sexual Assault. The bandanas will be on display throughout April.

90 percent of farmworker women say that sexual harassment is a major problem and they are forced to use their clothes, including bandanas, to cover their bodies in an attempt to ward off unwanted sexual attention. (Photo by kimbernicoletti via flickr)

90 percent of farmworker women say that sexual harassment is a major problem and they are forced to use their clothes, including bandanas, to cover their bodies in an attempt to ward off unwanted sexual attention. (Photo by kimbernicoletti via flickr)

The April 3 event, held at 5 p.m. at the Plaza Comunitaria at the Purdue Extension Learning Network in Frankfort, is co-sponsored by Purdue Extension. The April 8 event, held at 7 p.m. at the Latino Cultural Center, is co-sponsored by the Delta Phi Mu sorority.

The Bandana Project was founded by Esperanza: The Immigrant Women’s Legal Initiative, a program of the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala. The goal of Esperanza, which means “hope” in Spanish, includes informing the public about the widespread problem of workplace gender discrimination, educating immigrant women about their rights, and litigating gender discrimination cases against companies breaking the law. The Southern Poverty Law Center’s efforts also address gender discrimination of low-wage immigrant women in other labor forces as well, including hotel and service industries and meat-packing plants.

The center reports that 90 percent of farmworker women say that sexual harassment is a major problem and they are forced to use their clothes, including bandanas, to cover their bodies in an attempt to ward off unwanted sexual attention.

Multicultural Efforts to end Sexual Assault, formerly known as the Purdue Communities Against Rape and Violence, has provided sexual violence prevention education for Indiana farmworkers since 2003 and is part of Esperanza’s national working group.

The Latino Cultural Center was established in 2003 as Purdue’s first center for Hispanic and Latino culture. The center is a gathering place where people of similar cultures and backgrounds can come together to share events in the university community. The center is open to all interested in learning more about the Latino culture.

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