Warriors Help to Stop the Stigma, Start a Conversation

Having a conversation about sexual assault is a key tactic in raising awareness. Photo Credit / Stephanie Ricker
Having a conversation about sexual assault is a key tactic in raising awareness. Photo Credit / Stephanie Ricker
Having a conversation about sexual assault is a key tactic in raising awareness. Photo Credit / Stephanie Ricker

Having a conversation about sexual assault is a key tactic in raising awareness.
Photo Credit / Stephanie Ricker

By Richard MacTough
News Editor

Over 100 people attended the annual sexual assault walk at 2 p.m. on Nov. 6. Students, staff and faculty joined the walk. Many gathered around the Courtyard in front of the University Center.

The event began with a song presented by the Musical Theatre Organization.

They sang “What the World Needs Now is Love” by Dionne Warwick.

They also performed a skit to bring awareness of trauma victims go through after being sexually abused.

A man found his friend unconscious in the performance, and was already anxious that his friend may have been raped.

“Did anyone hurt you while I was away?” said the student actor.

The crowd formed a circle and watched the scene take place. The woman proclaimed she was not raped. The guy responded with “I was raped.” The skit’s purpose was to challenge some of the audience’s perception of women being the only victims.

The performance conveyed a message to not be afraid to speak out to someone such as a friend. Students marched from the Courtyard to Monroe Hall.

“Two, four, six, eight, stop the violence, stop the hate,” the crowd chanted.

Arriving at Monroe Hall, women of ESU informed the people on crucial information in rape statistics.

“One out of six women have been a victim of rape in their lifetime,” said one performer.

“It starts with me, it starts with you. It doesn’t stop by tweeting it, sharing it on Facebook or making it in to a hashtag. It starts with change within yourself, and passing it on to somebody else,” stated Student Senator Marcus Narcisse.

He continued,”Sexual Assault should not happen. We talk about only one month of the year, why are we not talking about it in the other 11 months of the year? Sexual Assault is an epidemic. Women of ages 18 to 24 are more likely to be victims of sexual assault than the general women population.”

awareness-2-resizedThe walk continued on passing Shawnee Hall, and the crowd made their way in front of Koehler Fieldhouse. With another presentation, one male was physically assaulted by his girlfriend for being home late.

The walk finally made its finish at the Women’s Center on Normal St. Food and Beverages were served to all those who participated in the walk.

There were also pamphlets of information for the participants to take with them and read more about sexual violence and what they can do to prevent it.

Students were encouraged to sign a ribbon and hang it up on a clotheslines for all to see showing their commitment to end sexual violence.

It also represented someone who was a victim of sexual assault that participants are close to. One Ribbon read, “Got Consent?”

Getting consent and understanding consent are things advocates try hard to elaborate on to educate others.

“Actually go to make change,’” said Student Senate President Andrew Kissling.

He mentioned the new LiveSafe App with safety features for students to be safe home. A student can watch their friend on a GPS map to make sure their friend gets home safe.

Dr. Doreen Tobin vice president of student affairs and title IX coordinator shed some insight to the crowd on sexual violence.

“Today we have an awesome crowd. On campus in the last two years, 31 sexual assault and sexual misconducts have been reported. In the last year, it increased by three to a total of 34. Only five of those were sexual assault,” said Tobin.

Tobin explained sexual assault is the most unreported act of violence of the nation. Victims are afraid to report it because they feel someone’s life will be ruined or the victim will be harassed themselves.

Email Richard at:
rmactough@live.esu.edu

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