Action for Awareness Logo

We are Action for Awareness

Our Story

Founded in October 2018, Action for Awareness is a student group formed as a solidarity action due to a sexual violence case affecting a faculty of University of Kiel. The negative incident opened a positive opportunity for engaged students to join together and organize formal actions to better inform the university community.

After developing a “Sexual Violence Awareness Workshop” for students at the Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel in 2019 as part of their orientation week, we started working on a large scaled awareness campaign, um eine breite Öffentlichkeit über sexualisierte Gewalt im universitären Umfeld zu informieren und Diskussionen anzuregen. Die Umsetzung dieser Kampagne verzögerte sich aufgrund der COVID-19-Pandemie bis Juni 2023.

Action for Awareness executive members consist of three students from the “School of Sustainabilty”, an interdisciplinary faculty of master programs at Kiel University.

Hanna is currently finishing her masters in Environmental Management at Kiel University after attaining her bachelors in Art History and Economy in Chicago. She focuses her time learning about pedagogy and works with students to affect generational attitude shift.

Jenny is doing her masters in “Sustainability, Society and the Environment” at Kiel University. She is sick of the toxic patriarchal system we are living in and wants to contribute to a more equal and educated society free of mistreatment and assault.

Joëlle arrived in Germany in September 2018 for her M.Sc. “Sustainability, Society and the Environment'” She grew up in Canada and completed her bachelor in business administration in Montreal. Her personal experiences and those of many loved ones gave her the strength to fight for this incredibly serious and widespread problem that is sexual violence.

Sarah joined the group through her masters program in communication design at the Muthesius University of Fine Arts Kiel. She works with Action for Awareness to help transforming the big ideas into concepts and designs and believes in the power of visual communication to raise awareness and initiate a long overdue change in society.

We would like to especially thank the original founding members: Laura, Simha, Hannes, Lisa, Daniel, Jenny, and Hanna. Their unbreakable spirit laid a strong foundation for so many more actions to come!

Since November 2022, the work of Action for Awareness has been taken over by the AStA of Kiel University.

You may wonder…

Why didn't you especially refer to the increased risk of sexual violence for the LGBTIQA* community?

We are aware, that our campaign and approach has its blind spots. Due to our scientific approach in the making of the campaign we depended heavily on data. Unfortunately especially for minorities data is missing. So if you know about studies let us now. We're looking forward to more approaches to the topic of sexual violence which shines a light on our blind spots.

Men also experience sexual violence, why don't you speak about this issue?

We do speak about it by addressing all genders in this campaign. Despite many other campaigns, we want to raise awareness, that men also experience sexual violence quite frequently. Unfortunately, it is very rare to find valid data concerning this neglected area of research. We are aware, that sexual violence happens to all genders and we don't want to exclude anyone in this campaign. Looking at the available statistics, we can see how many women experience sexual violence. We want to use the data to show survivors that they are not alone in this, to inform the community and to support empowerment processes. 

Why does the campaign only focus on universities?

Sexual violence exists and it doesn't stop in front of a university entrance. Nonetheless, talking about this issue in an university context often encounters closed ears. Members of the university seem to be well educated, open minded and concious in every aspect. Sexual violence and mistreatment in their own rows? No way! Well, we're sorry to say but yes, it happens. And it happens more than most people are willing to admit. We know, that this campaign should be spread all over the city, all over Germany. But with our limited resources, we decided to set the focus to the university campus where we, as students, are experts on the field. We already made our own experiences and are well connected to survivors of sexual violence as well as to the university network. Shining a light to an issue in an environment, where sexual violence is not seen as such a big problem, is already a first important step in the right direction.

Warum ist diese Kampagne so moderat? Wir brauchen radikale Botschaften für eine Veränderung. 

Sexual violence is a very sensitive topic which easily triggers survivors and can lead to a deterioration of their psychological state. Protecting these people is our top priority and we want to act in solidarity and with respect towards them. We believe, that empowerment and consent are key towards a more supportive society. We don't want to blame or use finger pointing as mechanisms for raising awareness. Instead, we want to inform, start discussions and create a supportive community by acting as gentle warriors.

We'd love to hear from you!

Action for Awareness is a small group of motivated students with big dreams, thus we are open and pleased to welcome new motivated members. For any other inquiries, do not hesitate to contact us.