Reading, Pa- April is Sexual Assault Awareness month and every year Albright’s faculty and staff hold specific events on the Albright College campus to help raise awareness of sexual assault on all college campuses. Last year, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, started the It’s On Us campaign, in which many citizens of the United States took the pledge on being responsible in sexual assault cases of both women and men. From celebrities, to victims, to doctors, to students and staff of college communities, “It’s On Us” has helped increase the awareness on sexual assault. “The It’s On Us” pledge goes:
To RECOGNIZE that non-consensual sex is sexual assault.
To IDENTIFY situations in which sexual assault may occur.
To INTERVENE in situations where consent has not or cannot be given.
To CREATE an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported.
Since this pledge has started it has gone viral on many college campuses, and finally it has reached the Lion’s Den. Albright students and staff have finally taken the pledge on sexual assault. According to The White House Blog, President Barack Obama says that one in five women have been sexually assaulted during their college career and only 12 percent of those assaults are reported, and the ones that do get reported only a fraction of the sex offenders are held responsible.
To help keep the awareness alive and well, Department of Public Safety, The Gable Health Center and The Criminal Justice Society teamed up to hold special events on Albright’s campus about sexual assault. These events helped students understand the importance behind sexual assault and when or if someone is sexually assaulted the steps that need to be taken. According to the Gable Health Center some of these steps include:
- Going to a safe place
- Preserve all physical evidence of the assault. Do not shower, bathe, douche, or brush your teeth. If possible do not change your clothing.
- Call a friend, a family member, your RA, or Assistant Director of Residential Life or someone else you can trust.
- Report the assault to the Gable Health Center and Public Safety.
Assistant Dean of Students and Director of The Gable Health Center, Samantha Wesner says, “There are several ways that someone can report when an incident has occurred. They can come to the health center, they can go to the conseling center, they can go to Public Safety, they could go to their RA, they could go to The Assistant Dean Amanda Hanincik, who oversees community standards,” she continued, “If it is an employee they can go to the Human Resource Department or a student can go to The Dean of Students.”
To help protect and defend their selves from sexual assault, Public Safety and The Gable Health Center encourage students to take advantage of the R.A.D. Program, which stands for Rape Aggression Defense. The classes are taught by public safety officers and are free to all students, and can guarantee effectiveness when it comes to self-defense.
“I definitely think it is effective, just knowing the love ones in my life, my little sister, my mom, and my girlfriend,” says Albright senior Chris Stephens. “You never know when stuff like this can happen especially on college campuses. There are sometimes unfamiliar surroundings. People are sometimes drinking and get out of hand. It’s always good to know different types of defense. Just to have that in mind even if it doesn’t happen, even if this person is able to share this kind of knowledge with somebody else.”