Clark and Pino draw 700 students with presentation regarding sexual violence on college campuses
Between two presentations on Thursday April 21, more than 700 students attended the moving and inspirational event, Shatter the Silence of Take Back the Night.
Speakers included Annie E. Clark and Andrea Pino, co-founders of End Rape on Campus (EROC), subjects of the film “The Hunting Ground,” and co-authors of the book “We Believe You: Survivors of Campus Sexual Assault Speak Out.”
The speakers emphasized the long-lasting effects of rape on victims. According to data published through Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), almost one-third (31 percent) of sexual assault victims develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) at some point during their lifetime.
Clark and Pino told the audience the importance of using law to take power and take action with Title IX emphasizing individuals can help change the current culture in some way.
Clark and Pino urged “Everyday Activism,” which suggests every individual can play a part in ending violence and oppression by resisting rape culture, supporting survivors and challenging institutions.
“You should never feel ashamed to speak out and ask for help,” said Clark to the audience, explaining the importance of taking action against sexual assault.
Alexa Whipple, senior exercise science major from Arapahoe, said she thought this presentation was really insightful into the “behind the scenes” aspect of sexual assault culture. “The information that they provided is extremely important to be aware of on and off campus. I learned a lot from attending this presentation.”
As part of the event, Ana Summers, senior middle school mathematics major from Bellevue, Colorado, also spoke of her personal story with sexual assault.
“I hope that the audience took away the sense of hope and knowing that they are not alone when fighting to overcome obstacles. There are resources that are on campus that can help, and I am always available if a student needs someone to relate to,” Summers said.
Amanda Skalka, junior exercise science major from Deweese, said, “I think that it is extremely important that students know where they can go to get help when they are a survivor and the speakers helped explained how to bridge the gap.”
Before ending the presentation, Clark and Pino emphasized the power of asking yourself the hard questions about sexual assault, education and the value of taking action.
Power through law
Better Title IX enforcement would motivate colleges to respond to campus assault cases with more alacrity.
Under the law, universities must respond to survivors’ needs to ensure all students equal access to education and also find just solutions — such as the expulsion of assailants.
Increasingly, college officials face scrutiny and lawsuits from victims when schools do not take appropriate action after reported sexual abuse.
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any education program or activity that receives federal funding.
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