Hope Harbor Inc., WKU Social Work hosts ‘1,000 Teal Ribbons and #MeToo’ for Sexual Assault Prevention Month


Allie Hendricks

A student helps make teal ribbons in support of sexual assault awareness at Tina Smajlagic’s discussion on the #MeToo movement in Downing Student Union on Apr. 14, 2022.

Alexandria Anderson, News reporter

An event titled “1,000 Teal Ribbons and #MeToo” was hosted on Thursday in the DSU nite class, giving students an interactive discussion platform to speak about the #MeToo movement and access resources for survivors of sexual violence.

It was facilitated by Hope Harbor Inc., WKU Social Work and Tina Smajlagic, a therapist at Hope Harbor and part-time WKU social work instructor. The event was focused around the ideas of #MeToo founder Tarana Burke and how students can further support and raise awareness for survivors of sexual assault.

Tina Smajlagic and other members of Hope Harbor hold a discussion on the #MeToo movement in Downing Student Union on Apr. 14, 2022. (Allie Hendricks)

Smajlagic introduced the event by showing a TED talk from Burke on #MeToo and the sexual violence prevention movement.

“Sexual assault is happening across the United States, and it’s happening on this campus,” Smajlagic said. “Understanding sexual violence puts into perspective what’s happening locally, to peers and to us. #MeToo was a great reminder of survivors and empowering their voices.”

After the video, students learned about resources available for those affected by sexual assault. Hope Harbor, Inc. is a sexual trauma recovery center that offers a variety of free services, including therapy, techniques to work through trauma, medical advocacy and a 24-hour crisis line. 

Members of Hope Harbor spoke about the services and explained the benefits of utilizing these resources, as well as introducing the April 28 “Take Back the Night” event to support the movement against sexual violence.

A student puts a teal ribbon on their backpack after making it at a discussion on the #MeToo movement in Downing Student Union on Apr. 14, 2022. (Allie Hendricks)

An interactive discussion was also held where students participated in crafting teal ribbons to support Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

“It [#MeToo] has made other people more aware of what they’re doing and of where your friends are and what they’re doing,” Ceara Baker, a junior social work major, said about how the #MeToo movement has impacted dating in college. “I think it’s made us more aware of our surroundings.”

Information about other events during Sexual Assault Prevention Month is available here. 

News reporter Alexandria Anderson can be reached at [email protected].