Sexual Assault has unfortunately become pretty common today and I, Kellie Clendennin, pledge to put an end to sexual assault on Georgia Southern’s campus. One in five women and one in sixteen men are sexually assaulted in college, and we should make sure that we prevent this from happening here. Many of my personal friends have been sexually assaulted and have struggled so much with overcoming it. Will you take this pledge with me?
One woman in particular that I know has been sexually assaulted many times because she was too afraid to speak out. She felt as if she had nowhere to go or anyone to talk to. She was scared and did not have any idea how to overcome what she had experienced. She was putting all the blame on herself.
Someone took advantage of her without her consent.
After her experience, she felt lonely and thought she had no one to talk to. In reality, she had many resources here on campus to help her recover and support her, such as the Counseling Center, Sexual Assault Student Educators, and Health Services. There are also many resources locally off campus and national services, such as the Statesboro Regional Sexual Assault Center and the National Sexual Assault Hotline (1-800-656-4673). If anyone has experienced assault, we need to help them find them the resources and help that they need!
We all need to know how we can help ourselves and others in reducing sexual assault. My friend was sexually assaulted by a person she knew and this is often how many sexual assaults occur. When we go to parties or big events, we need to be sure that the people we surround ourselves with are safe to be around and will look out for our well-being. We should check in with our friends at the party to be sure everything is going ok and have a designated non-drinker who can be on the lookout for others. Self-defense, running, hiding, and getting help can also reduce your risk by 80%. Here on campus, we offer self-defense classes through Public Safety and during special events. For instance, during Sexual Assault Awareness Week next week, The University Police Department and Health Services will be offering Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) classes. These classes will be offered on Tuesday Feb 28th and Wednesday March 1 from 3-7pm.
Sexual Assault Awareness Week is the week we dedicate to educating the students on campus about sexual assault and what they can do to help. On Monday, we start our Clothesline Project that will continue throughout the week and will have a guest speaker, Tim Mousseau, at 7pm in the Russell Union Ballroom. Tim tells his own experience with sexual assault and how he worked through it. We also have a Health Hut at the RAC to continue spreading awareness on sexual assault. On Thursday, we have the Take Back the Night March and End the Violence Rally in front of the bookstore and rotunda. Bystander Intervention classes will be offered at 10am and 11 am in the RAC. With all the events going on this week, we can become more educated on sexual assault and come together as a University and put a stop to this violence. We can take the pledge together and save one life at a time!
Thank you, Kellie Clendennin