LaVoris Lee, Kearra Chester, and Grace Krafcisin.
In 2018, women still shouldn’t have to live with the fear of being sexually assaulted, especially while trying to earn an education. Colleges across the nation need to raise awareness of the frequent sexual assaults occurring on their campuses, and how victims can survive and heal from them. The United States Department of Justice highlights a chilling statistic: one out of every four female undergraduates will be victim to some form of sexual assault before graduation. RAINN (the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network) recently reported that someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted every 98 seconds. If those statistics don’t scare you enough to want to make a change in the world, then nothing will.
The biggest problem is that our community is unaware of how often and close to home sexual assault can occur around us. According to RAINN (the Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network) “Among undergraduate students, 23.1% of females and 5.4% of males experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation.” Although many people may not believe rape isn’t something that occurs frequently here in small-town Iowa, this is totally not the case. KCCI news recently reported a sexual assault/gang rape case in Ankeny, Iowa in October 2017. This crime was committed directly across the street from DMACC Ankeny Campus in the Campus Town Apartments. We hear about sexual assault going on in the world but not often do we feel so close to these events.
Furthermore, we all must work to help raise awareness for programs that assist rape victims and help remove the negative stigmas that victims deal with and make them lose the courage to seek out help. An article providing different types of opportunities and support for rape victims called The American Association of University Women (AAUW) talks about how women empowerment, treatment services, and medical care are critical to healing from these attacks.
“well-publicized materials detailing what steps to take immediately after a sexual assault, trained staff and a safe, confidential environment in which to report a crime, trained medical personnel who can provide sexually transmitted diseases and HIV screening and treatment, pregnancy testing, emergency contraception, and follow-up care.” Finding resources available for victims and others to locate are important. Campus and faculty members have an important and influential role in providing these resources. DMACC has a list of their procedures, different available counseling services for victims, and punishment for offenders listed on their website in the title nine categories of the Student Handbook.
According to AAUW, “By fostering a campus culture of gender equity and respect through programming, training, and awareness campaigns, faculty and staff can help prevent sexual assault. Faculty can also incorporate the issue of sexual assault into their curriculum whenever possible and whenever relevant to course content.” DMACC could incorporate an event to raise awareness to sexual assault and provide speakers with information pertaining to the event. We should have survivors speak at an event to promote awareness of sexual assault. When we hear about sexual violence on TV or social media, we don’t take it as serious enough as it is. Having a survivor speak will get us an insight on what victims of sexual assault go through. From knowing friends that have been sexually assaulted, they have a rough time dealing with their everyday life from it. If we don’t take a stand and speak for those victims and provide support that they need, who will?
· Introduce group members and topic
o Raising Awareness Preventing Sexual Assault on a College Campus
· Discuss why the topic should matter to DMACC students
o Dmacc students has directly been effected by sexual assault many times in the past and we have resources to help deal with it
· Review what was discovered about the challenge (key ideas only)
o Among undergraduate students, 23.1% of females and 5.4% of males experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation
o KCCI news recently reported a sexual assault/ gang rape case in Ankeny, Iowa in October 2017. This crime was committed directly across the street from DMACC’s Ankeny Campus in the Campus Town Apartments
o DMACChas a zero tolerance policy when it comes to discipline for those who commit these crimes, and has counselors and protocol to deal with these issues
o One person alone cannot alleviate this issue, We need to work as a community to help eliminate victim shaming and raise awareness
· Share suggestions/resources the group offers in the opinion piece
o DMACC has a list of their procedures, different available counseling services for victims, and punishment for offenders listed on their website in the title nine category of the Student Handbook.
· Reflect on 1-2 lesson(s) learned while collaborating
o Collaborating with peers is essential and inescapable in the professional world.
o Sexual assault occurs a lot more frequently than I originally believed.