UCSB students will gather today in an effort to bring an end to sexual assault against women.
Students Stopping Rape, a UCSB student-sponsored group, will host its second annual anti-rape rally, “It Affects Me,” from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Storke Plaza. Activities will include discussions about the organization and their various accomplishments and a musical performance by the UCSB a cappella group Naked Voices. There will also be a series of speeches from representatives of various anti-rape organizations on campus, and the event will end with an open mike session where audience members can speak their minds about the subject of rape.
“We want to raise awareness about the effects of rape. Everyone is affected, whether directly or indirectly,” said Sarah Crowley, student coordinator for Students Stopping Rape. “We want to let everyone know that rape is not just about the victim. Rape culture and sexual assault is an issue for both men and women and is prevalent on this college campus.”
Based on the logic that rape affects men as well as women, Men Against Rape is a student group that works to decrease sexual assaults in the community by educating male students about what defines sexual assault and what they can do to prevent it.
“We live in a culture that doesn’t champion rape and yet allows it to happen,” said Dustin Fujikawa, co-coordinator of Men Against Rape and second-year global studies major. “It allows actions that are derogatory to women, such as the sexual objectification of women that is so ingrained in us, that it perpetuates the violence we see toward women everyday.”
Students Stopping Rape has handed out 300 T-shirts with the words “It Affects Me” printed on them. People can wear the T-shirts to show support for those working to end sexual assault and to demonstrate their disapproval of sexual assault.
“Our ultimate goal is to end sexual violence on this campus, as well as in the community,” Rape Prevention Education Program Coordinator Carol Mosely said. “This is the second year for the ‘It Affects Me’ rally, and we will continue to put it on, as long as the title continues to raise questions.”