Sexual Assault Awareness Month: Prevention and Awareness

April is sexual assault awareness month, studies have shown that women ages 12-34 are of the highest group to get sexually assaulted; especially on college campuses. Many think that sexual assault can only happen to young women who party or drink but in many cases that is not always true. Sexual assault and violence can be experienced by young women and even men in any setting so no matter what you should know the signs of sexual violence and assault. Sexual assault on campus can come in many forms, not just an unwanted sexual experience. Some include an unwanted touch or comment from a stranger or even someone you know. Sexual assault does not always have to be from a stranger and it can happen anywhere, on the street, in the home from a loved one and even in a group outing from a close friend.

    A big part of sexual assault is prevention methods, some include to always use the buddy system when using the buddy system you are able to check on your friends and know they are staying safe while having fun. Also, if out and about, never ever set your drink down, if you do you should always get a fresh one no matter what. Many sexual assaults begin with date rape drugs so always be aware of your surroundings and what you are consuming. Things such as carrying a stun-gun or pepper spray can be helpful as well in case you have an unwanted encounter while walking home or to your car. These items can be purchased at Walmart, on Amazon and many other places and can buy you valuable time to get help.

    There are many organizations that work with sexual assault prevention and awareness but one of the largest nationwide organizations has a base right here in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The Eta Alpha chapter of Alpha Sigma Phi fraternity here at OSU is partnered with RAINN for their philanthropy group. RAINN is a sexual assault and awareness organization that focuses heavily on prevention and awareness on college campuses nationwide. VP of service and Philanthropy for Alpha Sigma Phi Kyle Crawford talks about their work and experience with RAINN.

    “RAINN is one of our philanthropic partners which stands for Rape Abuse & Incest National Network. They’re one of the biggest sexual violence networks nationwide. As a fraternity, our brothers learn about one of the biggest problems on college campuses which is sexual violence. I don’t know of any other fraternity that deals with matters like we do with RAINN so I am truly honored to be a part of Alpha Sigma Phi.” Crawford said.

    The fraternity has done a few events on campus to raise awareness of sexual assault and violence one including a bracelet giveaway where the men of Alpha Sigma Phi passed out bracelets and flyers outside of the student union to raise student awareness of assault and violence.

    “We passed out bracelets and flyers to raise awareness for the student population and to give them an opportunity for outreach if they have experienced sexual assault,” Crawford said.

    If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault you can contact RAINN at 800-656-HOPE (4673) to get help and talk to a trained staff member.