|Volume XXVIII Issue 24||April 10, 2003|
Students plan to raise awareness about
another four-letter word
Jenny Maxa & Meredith Nevin - Reporter
In a time of war and confusion, anti-war protests and "Support the Troops" rallies, it is easy to feel powerless and question how much individual contributions can really count.
Statistics suggest violence against women on college campuses is a crisis. National statistics show that one out of every four college women has experienced rape or attempted rape.
Twenty-five members of a general studies class called "Women, Violence and Resistance" taught by religion professor Rebecca Peters have organized an eight-day event to provide rape education awareness to students, faculty and staff at Elon.
"I think awareness is very important," said senior Vicky Hadee as she sat behind the information table in Moseley earlier this week. "It’s a problem we try to shut out of our lives."
The main Take Back the Night march will be April 16. Other activities planned for the week include a movie and discussion night, a speaker’s forum and an information table in Moseley Center.
The class is also engaging the campus in a penny war to help raise money for the Children’s Advocacy Center located at the CrossRoads Rape Crisis and Resource Center in Burlington.
The class goal is to raise awareness about rape and encourage everyone to take a stand and break the cycle: take back the night.
"I feel like participation is down," said senior Annie Chalmers, who has co-directed the event for three years. She was quick to add that students and faculty have been supportive, but "we want people to be involved."
Young women between the ages of 16 and 24 are four times as likely to be sexually assaulted than other age groups. The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network based in Washington, D.C. lists countless rape statistics on its Web site, www.rainn.org. Recent studies have shown that over the past decade, the rape rate has risen four times as fast as the total crime rate.
The perpetrators of this illegal action are not faceless, nameless strangers lurking in a dark alleyway—they are dates, friends, acquaintances and neighbors. On college campuses, 90 percent of all female rape victims know the assailant, according to Bureau of Justice statistics.
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