College campuses across the country are no stranger to the topic of sexual assault. Recently, many schools have been in the spotlight due to how they react to students who report an assault.
Schools such as Harvard, the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill, the University of Montana, and Florida State University have all had claims about not following the Title IX rule, which states that a student who reports an assault must be taken seriously and must be given the proper support.
On Tuesday, one of the two people who started a movement across the country to bring awareness to this issue came and gave a presentation at ESU, and was able to speak more about not only her movie, “The Hunting Ground”but also her persistence to stand up for what she believes in.
On September 19th, “The Hunting Ground”, a movie based on Clark, Pino and other survivors stories, was presented at ESU’s Abeloff Center for Performing Arts. After a short intermission, Clark was then brought in for a speech about what brought upon the movie to be made in the first place, and also answered questions that any audience members may have.
Clark’s speech and presentation were particularly powerful as she went into more detail about the problem of sexual assault across college campuses.
Clark not only provided sources that students can use for support off campus, but also spoke about her book “We Believe You”, that she wrote with Pino, and spoke about how to ask survivors hard questions while also supporting them.
Annie E. Clark was born in Raleigh, North Carolina and attended the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill.
While originally loving the beginning of her college experience, her world completely turned upside down after experiencing a sexual assault. Clark reported it to the school, where they evidently did nothing. She then realized she was not alone when she met Andrea Pino, another fellow student at UNC who experienced an almost exact experience with the school and their misuse of Title IX.
Together, they challenged their school and filed a complaint about not having their claims taken seriously. Clark even stated that when she first reported her assault, the UNC staff member told her that assault was like “a game of football.”
Once their claim about the school made the news, the duo created “End Rape On Campus”, an organization that helps survivors at universities get the support they need. Many students attended the presentation, with many of them enjoying and participating in it as well. During one segment, Clark discussed the many myths that go on with sexual assault.
These facts were very interesting to audience members, with student Jordyn Sapolis stating, “92-98% of all people who come forward are telling the truth. Very few people lie about being raped and this made me realize I need to be more aware at all times.”
The LGBTQ+ community was also spoken about, with student Susie Costello commenting “More transgender people are sexually assaulted more than anybody else (28%) and their stories rarely ever get told, this made me realize that we to bring more awareness to this topic, talk about it more and make sure that everyone feels comfortable and safe on campus.”
Annie Clark plans to continue traveling across the country to spread her and Pino’s message, and hopes to make an impact in the lives of everyone she speaks to.
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