Students Take Back the Night

The presentation appears to have hit its mark. Some students left feeling better prepared on how to help their friends.

"It made me more aware if I knew somebody," said Casey Welborn, an ECU freshman. "I don't, but if something happens the next few years, then it made me more aware of how to deal with it."

Members of the Kappa Sigma chapter of Delta Sigma Theta flash a little creativity before “Take Back the Night,” a march that helped raise awareness to sexual violence and assault.

Another goal of the week’s events is to get men to understand that this is not just a woman’s issue, said Sue Molhan, an ECU victims’ advocate coordinator. There are male victims of sexual assault as well.

“We try to get the message out that if it does happen, men are less likely to report the sexual assault, and we try to encourage them to report it because it’s not any different than if you were a female being sexually assaulted,” she said. “And there’s nothing to be ashamed of, and we could offer them the same support as we can for women.”

The presentation by One in Four in the Hendrix Theatre also focused on reaching out to men (ECU requested that the audience be co-ed). They reviewed definitions of certain terms for the audience; discussed what a person can do if they see a risky situation turning dangerous; and showed a police-training video in which a man describes, in graphic detail, a scenario of a male police officer being raped by two other men.

“When the men are watching this, they are able to put themselves in a victim’s shoes, rather than the perpetrator’s shoes if it’s a male-on-female crime,” Shotwell said. “That allows the men to really go into, a lot of times for the first time, what it would feel like to be assaulted.”

Walking to support women and raise awareness about sexual assault took a different and fashionable turn for some ECU males and members of the national nonprofit group One in Four.

The ECU Department of Student Experiences and the Office of Victim Services are cosponsoring the week’s events, which also included a presentation on Tuesday for law enforcement officials by Rob and Debbie Smith, the inspirations of the Lifetime movie “A Life Interrupted.” Debbie Smith was raped in their home while her husband, a police officer, was asleep following a shift at work. She later became an advocate on behalf of rape victims, and in 2003 the U.S. Congress passed The Debbie Smith Act to provide money to address the backlog of DNA samples in criminal cases. The movie was also played that night and the couple was available to answer questions in Hendrix Theatre.

On Wednesday, a meet-and-greet with ECU police was held at Wright Plaza. More events are scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, including the following:

A personal safety course is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. Wednesday in the Mendenhall Student Center.

An introductory session to the RAD self-defense class will be held at 2:00 p.m. Thursday in the Mendenhall Student Center. The course will review basic self-defense moves.

A candlelight vigil has been organized by graduate students for 7:30 p.m. in front of West End Dining Hall.

—Contributed by Justin Boulmay

Page 2 of 2  <-- previous page