Artistic expression used to bring awareness to sexual violence

By April Rodriguez

A group of students used a pair of jeans to artistically express their  thoughts and emotions on sexual assault.

It was a small and intimate group in which only five females and one male participated. 

The theme of the meeting was healing through your trauma as students manage school. 

The meeting was split into two portions. 

The first half was students getting to know each other and sharing whatever was in their heart.

The second half was the arts and crafts portion, where students decorated two pairs of jeans as a form of artistic expression while also bringing awareness to sexual assault. 

Some students drew images of flowers and wrote empowering words while others wrote more direct messages.

 Some common themes found on the jeans were human trafficking, sexual assault and trauma. 

While decorating the pants, students were able to bond with one another while diving deeper into the event. 

The event was led by the campus advocate for the Women’s and Men’s Center. 

The Women’s and Men’s Center is a non-profit organization that is partnered up with the East Los Angeles College campus and provides free services for students. 

The services include reporting options, individual counseling and support groups. 

“The only qualifications needed is proof that you or someone you know is facing domestic violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment, human trafficking or stalking.

 “Students can also get services for family members at their location off campus.

 “The services off campus are free as well for non-students,” staff worker Daniela Herrera said. 

Herrera has worked with this company for a few years and brings awareness to what their organization provides. 

Herrera provided a safe and welcoming environment for these students. 

She said these events are not only for women, but men as well. She encouraged students to express themselves as we discussed some of the issues she comes across in the organization. 

She also provided information for students if they wanted to get tested for HIV or if they needed any other self help.

 April is Sexual Assault Awareness month and there will be multiple events coming from the East Los Angeles Women’s center. 

Upcoming events include a poetry workshop and a workshop for faculty members who want to learn the signs of sexual abuse or human trafficking.

The last event will be the Art Exhibition and Runway Show on Friday, April 28 6 p.m. –  8 p.m. in the F5 Multi-purpose Room, second floor.

The event will focus on sexual harassment awareness and will include the pairs of jeans that were decorated during the support group meeting.

 For more information on these upcoming events, you can contact Andrea Owens or Eileen Le via email. For information on the Women’s and Men’s Center you can contact Herrera via email. 

Andrea Owens: owensas@elac.edu, Eileen le: ieef@elac.edu, Daniela Herrera: dherrera@elawc.org.

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