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Sexual Assault Prevention on College Campuses
December 4th, 2014
Today’s blog post comes from Jennifer Cassetta, a self-defense expert, public speaker, author, blogger, and so much more! Cassetta is self-described as committed to “keeping YOU strong, safe, and sexy!” Read about her new book, Hear Me Roar: How to defend your body, mind & heart against people who SUCK, and the inspiring steps she's taking to empower women.
I recently had the privilege of speaking in front of 385 sorority girls, with my co-author and partner-in-crime, Lindsey Smith. We gave our Hear Me Roar presentation at Duquesne University to a smart and savvy group of women.
1 in 4 college girls will be the victim of a sexual assault, according to various organizations like RAINN. Many of them won’t be reported and a lot of these crimes are not being handled well by authorities at schools if they are reported. Hence, why President Obama has appointed a task force to make sure colleges are handling sexual assault cases better, after the fact.
But what about trying to prevent sexual assault in the first place? This isn’t something that the task force is focused on. Thank goodness for social media campaigns that have taken flight in 2014 to help raise awareness around these cases. There was the Mattress Project#HeforShe to promote gender equality and #ItsOnUs to reject the quiet tolerance of sexual assault. But we need more…
I have been teaching self-defense at schools around the country throughout the last few years but now have teamed up with my co-author, Lindsey Smith, and present the Hear Me Roar workshop at schools like Duquesne. It blows my mind to look out at the faces in the crowd and know that 25% of these girls have been hurt in some way.
We do our best to take a very serious subject and make it engaging. We talk about sexual assault in all of its forms from a creepy grab from a stranger to date rape and even full-on stalking. Lindsey shares her personal story of being a victim of date rape and how we can protect our fellow women and I follow up with personal safety guidelines and self-defense.
It’s a scary reality but something that we need to face, head on. Empower young women to fight back against this social “norm” as well as work with men to bridge the gap of equality.
We can all do our part, even if it’s just joining in the conversation and not keeping sexual assault as a taboo that nobody talks about.