By Beatriz Garay
Sexual assault is still an ongoing issue on college campuses nationwide.
East Los Angeles Women’s Center held a Zoom workshop to inform sexual violence that occurs on college campuses and what students can do. The workshop was held by Madelin Melara and Daniela Herrera.
Melara discussed how the majority of the sexual assaults happen from someone who the victim knows as well as in familiar settings. 13% of students experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence or incapacitation both for undergraduate and graduate students. 23% of TGQN (transgender, genderqueer, nonconforming) college students have been sexually assaulted.
Some statistics that were presented in the workshop were 1 in 5 women will be sexually assaulted during their college career, 1 in 13 men will be sexually assaulted in their college career and 8 in 10 survivors knew their attacker. Every 21 hours someone is raped on an American campus.
When students are sexually assaulted on college campuses it can be scary, as most of the time stories like this go on with the victim not saying anything. It also creates an uncomfortable environment for the victim to be attending school as they might run into their abuser frequently or even attend the same class. This causes trauma for the victim to which it can lead to them to stop attending school. Melara made it clear to always make sure the victim says something especially if it happened on college campus. No matter what kind of sexual violence it might have been or be the victim needs to voice what happened to make sure there’s justice.
Herrera and Melara pointed out that fraternities, which are college social organizations, to look out for them as there are studies that show men from fraternities are three times more likely to rape. According to the study gang rapes that happen on college campuses are tied back to fraternities. In the workshop Melara mentioned a story of a rape accusation that happened in Standford University a few years ago, where a member of the Standford swim team had raped an unconscious female student outside of a fraternity home.
Consent was another issue that was spoken about. Melara said to make sure you always consent to anything that one might be involved with. She also said consent is a very big deal now where if one doesn’t agree to anything it’s ok to walk away. Even though there can be social pressures, if a student or anyone feels uncomfortable in a certain environment it’s ok to walk away.
Melara and Herrera also mentioned a resource for students who need help to deal with sexual violence are their campus advocates. They are there to help the victims or guide them with anything they need help with. Some of the help that can be provided are accommodations, calling the campus police and much more. ELAWC works alongside East Los Angeles College students in anything they need help with. Even though their title refers to a women’s center they also help with men.
Some information to know in case anyone needs help with sexual violence is ELAWC crisis hotline (800) 585-6231, National Domestic Violence Hotline (800) 799-7233 or text ‘START’ to 88788 http://www.domesticshelters.org/help/ca, http://www.elac.edu/Student-Services/Student-Resources/Student-Health-Center/Support-Center, National Sexual Assault Hotline (800) 656-4673 and RAINN (rape, abuse, & incest national network) www.rainn.org