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Mace & Crown | April 30, 2017

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'Say Something' Speaks on Date Rape

Erin Sudek | Assistant News Editor

One in 5 women and 1 in 16 men will be raped by the time they graduate college. This statistic is alarming, which is why conversations about the problem such as “Say Something” are important on college campuses.

A discussion forum about date rape held for students in Webb Center on April 5 brought awareness about the topic and to discuss how to help prevent these situations.

The presentation was sponsored by the Beta Alpha Chapter of La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity Inc., the Eta Omega chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc., M-POWER and the Women’s Center.

During the first six weeks of the semester, otherwise known as the “Red Zone,” students are at the highest risk of being sexually assaulted. Students are more willing to try new things, meet new people and go to new places during this time period, increasing the chance of dangerous situations occurring.

Adding alcohol into the situation only makes it worse, as it is the most common drug used in a date rape situation. Other drugs used by predators include Ketamine, GHB and Rohypnol, or “roofies,” which is the most commonly used drug.

“I knew about roofies, but I didn’t know that alcohol was the most common drug used in these cases,” senior Abizue Santos said.

Warning signs associated with these drugs include dizziness, confusion, disinhibition, acting extremely intoxicated when only consuming small amounts of alcohol and other similar abnormal behaviors. It is recommended that individuals get to know their limits when drinking in an attempt to recognize when something strange is happening to them.

There are many different ways to combat date rape. Tactics include keeping a close eye on your drink, using drug detection technology, always using the “buddy system” and going with your instincts. It is extremely important to also be an active bystander and say something if you see a possibly threatening situation.

The forum also included plenty of discussion from the audience. Students talked not only about the subject of date rape, but even shared their own personal experiences, applying each of the topics discussed to real world and personal examples.

A conversation about the accidental perpetuation of rape culture was widely discussed. Various students explained that by giving women preventative measures against rape, we are now putting the responsibility on them. In reality, it should be on the perpetrator.

“Instead of teaching women not to get raped, we should be teaching men not to rape,” graduate student Angel Kearns said.

The presentation also covered why so many victims of sexual assault do not report their case, which is often because of shame, guilt, victim blaming, lack of memory or other reasons.

What we can do is make others aware, ask for consent each step of the way and be nonjudgmental and active bystanders in situations that can be potentially dangerous. Trust your instincts and say something if you see something.