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Mace & Crown | December 13, 2017

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'The Hookup' Discusses How to Prevent Sexual Assault

Margaret Giordano
Contributing Writer

The Student Activities Council hosted “The Hookup” for students to discuss a widespread college issue: sexual assault. Anthony Dinicola, Senior Educator at Cartharsis Productions, led the presentation in the Hampton/Newport News Room in Webb Center on Feb. 1. The objective was to educate students about sexual assault and ways to prevent it on college campuses.

The event began with a discussion about gender identity. Students were asked to shout out words that described women, compared to words describing men. It was clear that women had a negative connotation when it came to sex, compared to men who mostly had positive associations. Dinicola said that students needed to realize that these roles of gender must be broken and that anyone can be a victim of rape.

“It opens people’s eyes to what could happen and the possibilities. It gives people more confidence to speak up about someone they may or may not know,” senior Rafiq Barne said.

Dinicola explained that “hookups” had many different definitions, but consent is the number one thing that makes a safe and healthy hookup. It was emphasized that alcohol is the number one drug used for rape, since alcohol causes people to lose their inhibition. He emphasized that consent cannot be given by anyone who is intoxicated.

“I thought it was very informative to learn how society has us using such harsh words towards each other, which can contribute to the physical hurt of others,” senior Heather Brown said.

Students were given the four “D’s” to shut down a situation and not go into bystander mode: direct, distract, delegate and delay. The number one thing for preventing rape is “active bystanders.” Students were taught that it is important not to blame the victim, since a lot of rapes can be referred to as a bad hookup to avoid embarrassment. Sometimes sexual assault is not reported in fear of accusations of being a liar as well.

“Rape is too prevalent in our society. It makes me sad to know this is still an issue in our progressive society,” Dinicola said.

The main objectives of “The Hookup” are to get people to have these types of conversations, identify the signals and gain the power to prevent a rape. Students were able to walk away with strategies to create a positive change for the rape culture that exists on college campuses. Visit catharsisproductions.com for more information and other presentations on this topic.