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Wellness Connection hosted 5K, dog walk for sexual assault awareness Saturday

Freddy+participated+in+the+Dog+Walk+as+well+by+crawling+on+all+fours+and+mimicking+the+dogs.
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Freddy participated in the Dog Walk as well by crawling on all fours and mimicking the dogs.

People were given a chance to get exercise and promote sexual assault awareness Saturday.

The Wellness Connection hosted a 5K and dog walk to raise awareness of sexual assault. The walk was hosted in April because it is sexual assault awareness month.

A crowd of more than 100 people gathered at the Rec Center in the cold weather. Booths were set up around the entrance of the Rec Center, with advocates from the SAAFE Center and local businesses. The SAAFE Center is a local organization that helps those who have been victims of sexual assault.

Patricia, an intern at the SAAFE center, said every community is affected by sexual assault and Bowling Green is fortunate to have an organization like the SAAFE center.

She felt the sexual assault awareness walk had a positive impact on the community.

“It brings members of the community together and through that we’re able to educate the community about sexual assault awareness month and what sexual assault is,” Patricia said.

One of the businesses was ProMedica, which gave away free water bottles to participants. This is the second year ProMedica has come to the event.

“We’re part of the community so we thought we’d come out,” said Physical Therapist Assistant Mark Kleeberger.

Kleeberger said he thinks sexual assault awareness is important at the University.

“On a college campus it should be one of the number one topics people talk about,” he said.

There was also a raffle for items donated by local businesses. The proceeds went to the SAAFE Center, said event coordinator Brittany Roth.

Signs were posted throughout the walk that gave facts and statistics about sexual assault. Participants were also given bags containing pamphlets and information about sexual assault, Roth said.

“I feel like sexual assaults are underreported. I think it’s just good to bring awareness to Bowling Green … so they know the resources the campus offers,” she said.

Senior Kelsey Meyer brought her dog to participate in the walk and thinks sexual assault has a big effect on a college campus. Meyer said she feels it affects the University because she sees it in campus emails and police blotters.

“[The walk is] a really good way to raise awareness,” Meyer said.

University alumna Danielle Davis thinks the influence of alcohol on campus makes young people make bad decisions and that it’s good that the University is building awareness of sexual assault.

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