By Marcela Ruiz
Morton College has been hosting a series of events regarding sexual assault awareness during this month.
On April 12th, the Sexual Assault and Bystander intervention workshop took place at the student union at 1:00 p.m. Kevin DeMarce, outreach coordinator for Pillars; was the guest speaker. He began his presentation by showing the video Dear Daddy.
“I will be born a girl”, the main statement presented in the video indicated that a woman’s biggest danger is her vulnerability.
DeMarce discussed how sexual assault awareness begins with educating men. He believes point of views and attitudes towards women are formed from childhood. In turn, during teen years these attributes can manifest themselves in either a positive or negative manner.
“How can we change these messages? Do these attitudes change in college or do they become more discrete?” he asked the audience, referring to how people express about women in a sexual manner.
A student commented that she believes these types of conversations are taboo in most cultures; which makes it more difficult to prevent the assault or for victims to come forward.
According to the department of justice 1 of 5 women and one of 16 men are victims of sexual assault while in college. Surprisingly, 90 percent of these victims do not report the assault. In part, “because they are fearful of their attacker”, said DeMarce. He added that, “Victims may also be ashamed to go to trial and having to deal with people’s perception of them, or feelings of guilt. But the most prevalent reason remains to be the belief that no one is going to do anything anyways.”
“no one is going to do anything anyways.”
DeMarce mentioned that people tend to help when they are alone rather than in a group. To be an active bystander means that if someone presence a comment or abuse he/she: “does not wait for someone else, a person alone has to be the one stepping up”.
Lastly the video “Who Are You?”, was presented to help students visualize when is the possible right time to intervene to prevent sexual assault and how the outcome can be different.
For further questions about Pillars and the available programs, outreach coordinator Kevin DeMarce can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org