Letter to the Editor: Be aware of sexual assaults

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This year’s theme, “Engaging New Voices,” builds on the idea that we are stronger together, and that new college and community members are needed to expand sexual assault prevention efforts. We can all help this generation foster attitudes that promote healthy relationships.

Nearly 1 in 5 women and one in 71 men are victims of sexual assault (Black et al., 2011: The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, published by the federal CDC). We all have a role to play in preventing sexual violence in our community. Our actions, big and small, have a ripple effect on those we teach, guide, and influence. From modeling healthy behavior to addressing inappropriate conduct, everyone can make a difference.

Changing beliefs that contribute to sexual violence starts with believing survivors of sexual violence when they share their stories. You can help by calling out victim-blaming comments or rape jokes if you see them online. Remind those around you that sexual assault is never the fault of the survivor/victim. Seemingly small actions like this make a critical impact.

Get engaged this April. Join your Associated Student Government officer, Grant Turner, as he hosts “Take Back the Night” on Wednesday (April 26) from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the MHCC Gresham campus Main Mall.

Light refreshments and free T-shirts for the first 100 students will be provided. Please register, using the link on the MHCC Facebook page or contact Turner at asgdpscs@mhcc.edu. for more information.

Attend the free, award-winning performance of “Formless” by PDX Contemporary Ballet, expressing personal empowerment through dance. The group will be hosted by the MHCC Theatre Department at 7 p.m. Thursday (April 27) in Room 2147.

Help us by embracing your role in ending sexual assault and gender violence. Learn more about how you can use your voice to change the culture at www.nsvrc.org/saam.

We challenge each of you to get involved to be the difference.

– Grant Turner ASG Director Of Safety & Sustainability and the MHCC Title IX team.

-Cherilyn Nederhiser

lead Public Safety officer for MHCC.

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