By Glenn Wohltmann
One in five women in the U.S. will be sexually assaulted at some time in her life, and one man in 71 will be sexually assaulted, according to statistics from the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.
April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM), and LPC’s Health Center is working to raise public awareness about sexual violence and educate communities on how to prevent it.
It does happen, although there have been no sexual assaults reported on campus, according to Dayna Barbero, nurse practitioner and the health center’s site manager.
To help raise awareness, Tri-Valley Haven’s Clothesline Project will be on display in the 1600 (administration) building throughout the month. On April 26th, from 4 to 6 p.m. the college will host Escalation, a sexual assault prevention workshop for students.
Barbero said college-age students are the highest risk age group for interpersonal violence, and Las Positas students will present information to their peers at the workshop, which will be held in the Mertes Theater.
“The Escalation Workshop is a powerful, emotionally-engaging 45-minute film based workshop that educates students and the community about relationship violence and empowers all of us to create a community free of abuse,” Barbero said. “Escalation is research based, free and facilitated by students for students.”
Barbero urged students who are victims of sexual assault to contact the health center or Tri-Valley Haven for support and advice.
She also has suggestions for those who have a family member or friend who has been assaulted. Those suggestions include believing what they say, to tell them it’s not their fault, and to create a safety plan if the threat is ongoing.
“This affects students long term and can affect their school work,” Barbero said. “Be supportive without judgment and allow the survivor to make their own decisions. Every person and situation is different, but every person needs support from nonjudgmental, compassionate peers (and a) support network.”
Tri-Valley Haven’s crisis number is 800-884-8119. It is staffed 24 hours a day.