Health instructor advocates sexual assault awareness

By Steven Adamo

Domestic violence and sexual assault are among many topics in health class, taught by instructor Andrea Owens. “I personally teach about power and control, and the cycle of violence. I also teach about sexual assault and its repercussions,” said Owens.

Owens is one of the co-chair of the Sexual Assault Awareness Violence Education Team. Every year, the SAAVE team plans the annual Sexual Assault Awareness Month during April and Domestic Violence Awareness Month which occurs every October.

Owens said that all institutions need to discuss these issues and that everyone needs to take a sex ed class. Marilyn Ladd, an East Los Angeles Women’s center board member and one of the founders of the original SAVVE team on campus, said men need to get involved in order to stop sexual assault from happening on campus.

After the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA) was passed, the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) was established in the Department of Justice.

The VAWA act in part works to educate and help prevent sexual assaults on college campuses. Ladd said that with the help of fellow co-chair Eileen Le and the rest of the SAVVE team, Owens has created more activities and events on ELAC campus than all other Los Angeles community campuses combined. Every day Owens is inspired by her students.

“Many of them come from families like mine, where diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure and other health issues,” said Owens.

Owens began teaching aerobics before becoming a Fitness Specialist at Yahoo because she wanted to be proactive. Her tasks included teaching fitness classes, employee massages and maintaining the fitness equipment.

“There is a potential to see more diabetes in poorer neighborhoods because there might be the possibility that people in such a neighborhood may not have all of the proper resources (financial, nutritious food choices, proper medical care) in order to assist with preventing diabetes. It’s hard to take good care of yourself if you don’t have proper resources.” said Owens. 

The average employee at Yahoo has an income that affords better access and availability for healthier options.

The cost of gym memberships and healthier food options are beyond the budget of a lot of students.

However, Owens believes that it’s important for students to choose healthier options and to exercise regularly. “Eat tons of fruits and vegetables, which can be more economical (and better for you) than a Starbucks. Drink plenty of water.” said Owens.

“Try to workout often during the week but it does not have to be in an expensive gym. You can walk, run, or hike; do exercise DVDs or YouTube videos; do body-weight exercises such as squats, lunges, push ups, planks, etc.,” said Owens.

“Making unhealthy choices makes it harder for students to focus on schoolwork, harder to perform tasks at work and to take care of your family.”

Owns offers students more resourceful alternative by encouraging them to take fitness class on campus. “Our ELAC kinesiology department has tons of awesome class ranging from kick boxing to body toning to zumba,” Owens said.

Next month, Owens and the SAAVE team will be hosting Take Back The Night, a march and vigil against sexual assault.

The event will feature many lectures and workshops as well as a screening of the film “The Hunting Ground,” a documentary film discussing sexual assault on college campuses. The Take Back the Night march and vigil against sexual assault takes place April 27 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Ingalls Auditorium.

C/N Steven Adamo

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