April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This year, the focus of the campaign is sexual assault on college campuses. Recently there has been quite a lot of talk in the media about colleges and sexual assault, especially since Rolling Stone published an article about a woman who was raped at the University of Virginia. While it has come to light that the facts in the article about the incident might not have been completely true, this does not invalidate the fact that sexual assault runs rampant on college campuses.
It is estimated that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men will experience sexual assault some time during their life. Unfortunately, most colleges do not have good track records when it comes to dealing with sexual assault. Often, abusers go unpunished or are punished minimally. This can create a hostile environment for survivors of sexual assault. There is the possibility that they have to see or interact with their abusers on a daily basis.
With the changes made to Title IX, colleges are now required by law to report any case of sexual assault. While this is a step in the right direction, to hold college campuses accountable, there are also drawbacks. This now lessens the amount of people to whom survivors can talk to without being forced to report the incident, as all employees of the college, including resident assistants and professors, are now mandated reporters. While you may ask why would someone not want to report being assaulted and bring the abuser to justice, there are many reasons why a survivor might want it to be kept private. It is their choice whether or not they want to report the abuse.
If you or someone you know is experiencing or has experienced sexual assault, whether it is on a college campus or not, there are some great local resources. The Sexual Assault Response and Awareness group, SARA, is a local group here in the Roanoke Valley that can provide information and support to survivors and their friends and family. You can call their office at (540) 345-7273 or their 24-hour hotline at (540) 981-9352. Planned Parenthood also offers support for survivors. You can call their local office at (540) 562-3457 or visit them at 2207 Peters Creek Road NW, Roanoke, VA 24017.
Written by Krista Knauer
Spring is here! Time to get out your shovel and gloves and begin working in your garden. Take advantage of fresh and locally sourced vegetables at your local farmers’ market! This month apples, greens, spinach, herbs, onions, and strawberries are in season. You can also enjoy asparagus later in the month!
A fun appetizer to serve to your guests at your first barbeque of the year is asparagus wrapped in bacon or cheese. Follow that up with a refreshing spinach salad. Try making your own applesauce as a side item! And make sweet strawberry popsicles to finish out your meal!
We love this Balsamic-Glazed Chickpeas and Mustard Greens recipe from blog.fatfreevegan.com– give it a try and let us know what you think! Make sure to visit their site for more great recipes!
10 ounces mustard greens
1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
4-6 tablespoons vegetable broth, divided
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pinch red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon agave nectar or sugar
1 cup cooked chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- Remove any large stems from the greens and discard. Tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces.
- In a deep pot or wok, sauté the onion in a tablespoon or two of vegetable broth until mostly faded to pink, about 4 minutes. Add the chopped garlic and red pepper and another tablespoon of broth and cook, stirring, for another minute. Add the mustard greens, 2 tablespoons of broth, and cook, stirring, until greens are wilted but still bright green, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in the salt, if using. Remove greens and onions from pan with a slotted spoon and place in a serving dish, leaving any liquid in pan.
- Add the balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, and agave or sugar to the liquid in the pan (if there is no liquid, add 2 tablespoons of broth). Add the chickpeas and cook, stirring, over medium heat until the liquid is reduced by about half. Spoon the chickpeas over the greens and drizzle the sauce over all.
- Serve warm, with additional balsamic vinegar at the table.
Written by Krista Knauer
Pick up an April issue of Bella for more great articles about spring gardening!