Student awareness is key to safety




By Megan G. Razzetti

College campuses are supposed to be safe learning institutions for students to comfortably work on their education.

They can also be hot spots for sexual assaults whether it be in a public location, after an evening class or during a campus sponsored event.

All students should be aware of this potentially serious threat that can exist on any campus.

East Los Angeles College has had few incidents over its 69-year history, but that doesn’t mean students should not be cautious.

Sexual assault is unwanted sexual contact that can include rape or sexual battery.

Usually, college students study hard in order to play hard and enjoy themselves on weekends.

Sometimes those activities end up in a threatening situation.

Sexual assault awareness is vital especially among students.

Regardless of which gender they identify themselves as, all students should be educated in understanding the effects of sexual assault and learn prevention.

According to The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), there is an average of 237,868 victims of sexual assault ranging from age 12 or older each year.

I feel that we must not only educate each other of what to do in case of being attacked, but we must also educate each other on learning what consent is.

Sexual assault comes in different forms. It usually is not a stranger in a trench coat lurking in the dark. Those who go far from home for college are a fish out of water in their college environment, who don’t have familiar relationships.

A collection of diverse people in this environment can make a new college student vulnerable to being a target of whom they are closest to or even someone they sit next to in a class.

According to the United States Bureau of Justice, three-quarters of all sexual assault and rapes against women are perpetrated by someone they know.

It is also not just women who are assaulted, men can also be raped and are least likely to report it,

even though they make up around 10 percent of victims, according to RAINN.

Victims also include, gay, lesbian, and transgenders. Anyone can be subjected to assaulted in some form or another.

Although you can never fully protect yourself from assault its important to be aware of certain things to avoid it.

Being aware of your surroundings and knowing who you are among are a start, especially when you’re out on Friday night.

If a situation looks or feels uncomfortable, listen to your instincts and leave.

When walking around campus avoid putting headphones in both ears so that you are more aware of your environment, especially when walking alone.

Prevention through education is key.

Self-defense classes are offered at ELAC to teach students how to not only physically fight but to stay focused without freezing in terror.

If you or anyone you know has been sexually assaulted or raped, it is important to report it and get the help you need.

The Violence Intervention Center ( VIC) at ELAC offers resources for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

If students wish to remain annoymous or are fearful of face to face interaction, studentservices/vic also provides listings for those in need of help.

The VIC is located in room G8 127.

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