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Presentation educates students about rape

Sarah Mayer | Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Saint Mary’s College Residence Hall Association (RHA), Health and Wellness, Security, and the Saint Joseph County rape crisis center, SOS, teamed up for a presentation entitled “I Was Kind of Raped” Monday evening to educate students about dangerous scenarios facing college-aged women.

Regina Hall Director Toyin Adeyemi began the presentation by introducing a fictional video created by the RHA starring students Andrea Krebs, Aimee Cunniff and Kristle Hodges.

The film relayed a potential rape situation, debunking the myths that rapes occur in a dark alley with someone you do not know. According to the video, a college-aged woman is 10 times more likely to be raped then be in a car crash.

Following the video, director of SOS and Notre Dame graduate Annie Ehlwall defined rape for the crowd gathered in VanderVennet theatre. “Rape is a nonconsensual act where one of the two parties says no to sexual activity.”

Ehlwall especially warned college students about rape because “anytime alcohol is involved, judgment is impaired. As far as rape is concerned, alcohol never puts you a clear state of mind,” she said.

Ehlwall then described three red flags for rape. The first tactic used can be force; whether through threats or intimidation.

Secondly, not saying “no” is not saying “yes.”

“If someone is passed out a party,” Ehlwall said, just because they did not say no specifically, forcing them to have sex is still considered rape. There needs to be open communication.”

Third, she reminded the audience that it had to be sexual activity before it can be considered rape. If not it is considered criminal deviant conduct.

SOS has volunteers and advocates on hand dealing with rape, Ehlwall said.

“Only 10 to 20 percent of rape cases are reported the police. The victim needs to know that people believe her story and are not judging her,” she said.

In terms of attackers, it is a fact that 85 percent of the time the victim is acquainted with the person who raped them.

“Rapists rape for power and control 100 percent of the time.” Ehlwall said. “Also, they rape to humiliate the victim.”

Although Ehlwall said there is some premeditation, rapists often try to find people who are not secure in their own life because those are the people that are easier to convince that the rape was their own fault rather than the attackers.

Director of Saint Mary’s Security Dave Gariepy stressed the importance of rape kits. “Even with physical evidence and witnesses it takes almost two years to bring a rape case to trial but coming in as soon as possible with as much evidence as possible it helpful.”

Above all, Gariepy said to not let the rape eat away at you.

“Turn to someone, please do not try to deal with it on your own,” he said.