Love the Way You Lie promotes sexual assault awareness

Mitchell Grogg

A collection of performances in the Downing University Center Auditorium Thursday sought to raise awareness of sexual assault.

Lauren Cunningham, a WKU instructor who sang at the event, said she thinks sexual assault affects everyone.

“I believe sexual assault is not just something that affects women or just men,” Cunningham said.

The event, called Love the Way You Lie, featured facts and statistics about sexual assault interspersed within a variety of performances.

“This is more of an artistic approach to sexual assault awareness,” Aurelia Spaulding of WKU’s ALIVE Center, one of the event’s organizers, said. “We had a night full of song, dance, monologue and just a little bit of everything.”

One of the major messages the event tried to pass along was the importance of reporting sexual assault cases. Statistics presented at the show said that more than half of such cases do not get reported.

Victims of such crimes often fear embarrassment or shame about coming forward, keeping them from doing so, Cunningham said.

Supporting those who have been assaulted was also a critical part of the message.

“I think if people knew that they had people supporting them, that they would speak out,” Cunningham said.

It was a part of the message that resonated with some of the students in attendance.

Campbellsville Junior Ashyya Robinson said she has a friend who has been assaulted, so she came to support the friend.

“It was really powerful because a lot of people don’t speak up whenever they get assaulted, and I think it’s needed for people to speak up,” Robinson said.

The event ended with a performance of the song “Stand by Me.”

The show also included a gathering of people on the stage—removing tape they had placed over their mouths.

“The tape over the mouth is the fear, is the shame, is the disappointment, the guilt, that comes with speaking out against sexual assault,” Cunningham said.