Staff from the Women’s Center and REACT had an information session in the CUB last Thursday concerning sexual violence. The session was in response to the annual rape, abuse and incest national network (RAINN) Day to raise awareness and educate students about sexual violence on college campuses.
According to www.rainn.org, the event is held every year on the last Thursday in September and is about empowering college students to educate their peers about risk reduction and recovery resources on campuses.
Katrina Howard, office manager of the Women’s Center, revealed that the session was formed to make people aware of domestic violence and how people can help someone dealing with personal assault.
Howard added that even bystanders are encouraged to speak out and help those who might be victims of sexual violence, whether by calling the police or taking action when they see someone being harmed.
Howard also encourages women on campus, especially freshmen girls, to have a buddy system, so when they go out on the weekends, they are with someone who is trusted and can ensure that they make it back home safely. Locking doors and windows is a must, no matter if one is home or not. Women also should be alert when going out because they never know when they may face a threatening situation.
The members of REACT (Rape Educators and Contacts) also wanted to make people aware of domestic violence, partner abuse and advocating for victims of abuse.
“Never leave your beverage unattended, practice safe sex, always give consent if you do or don’t want to have sex and make sure your partner consents, as well,” said Ashley Tanner, president of REACT.
According to the SU safety information page, REACT is a program that supports survivors of sexual assault and educates the campus community on the issue. The REACT program is made up of diligent students who volunteer and go through intensive training, recognizing the need to end violence and sexual assault. Members from REACT are on-call weekly, to assist someone who has been assaulted.
“It’s an outlet for women to come and talked about their issues regarding assault. It’s confidential and it’s good to go and talk to someone else and not have to worry about it. We’re there because we care about people and we want to help them get through situations that they may be in and promote healthy relationships and help prevent violence between men and women,” said Jillian Klingerman, secretary for REACT.
Howard said the Women’s Center and REACT will be teaming up throughout the semester for more events like the information session. Events like Zombie Prom and Condom Bingo will raise proceeds that go to women in need.
The Women’s Center adopted the “No More” movement, which is a program to prevent sexual assault and violence. It is also an organization that is fighting to end domestic violence and sexual assault through campaigns, volunteers and donations.
Students who need a place to talk about personal matters can visit the Women’s Center, which is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information, type “women’s center” and “REACT” on the SU webpage’s search tab.