This week, Students Stopping Rape is putting on its 5th annual It Affects Me campaign. As in the past four years, we will be giving out bright blue T-shirts with this slogan emblazoned on it in white. What affects us, you ask? Sexual assault affects all of us, whether directly or indirectly. One in four college-aged women will be subject to sexual assault or attempted sexual assault by the time of graduation. Men and children are also raped and sexually abused. If you have not been assaulted yourself, then the odds are high that you know someone who has been, whether or not they have chosen to disclose this fact to you. Sexual assault is a violation of a very personal and intimate nature, and it can – and often does – impact a person’s future relationships.
IAM is meant to act as a way to raise awareness about rape and sexual assault. We are here, saying that sexual assault affects us all, and so we all have a role to play in bringing it to an end. We have many events planned throughout the week. On Monday, April 17, Mujeres Unidas por Justicia Educaci-n y Revoluci-n (MUJER) will present a workshop in the Women’s Center Library at 4 p.m. titled “Women of Juarez.” At 3 p.m. Tuesday, the Queer Student Union will present a workshop in the Graduate Lounge called Sexual Assault in Queer Communities.” That night at 8, Men Against Rape and C.I.A. are co-sponsoring an event called “Guess the Rapist” in the recreation room of Anacapa Hall. On Wednesday evening, we will be screening “No! The Rape Documentary” at 6 p.m. in the MultiCultural Center in conjunction with the Associated Students Women’s Commission, followed by an open-mic night, also at the MCC, co-sponsored by the Student Commission on Racial Equality. On Thursday we will have our main rally on the Women’s Center lawn from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Assemblywoman Hannah-Beth Jackson will give the keynote address. That evening at 8 the Indian Undergraduate Student Body will present “Yoni Ki Baat,” a South Asian version of “The Vagina Monologues” at the MCC. Finally, on Friday, April 21, we will be having a free concert in the Hub, featuring L.A. hip hop artist Medusa[. The show, co-sponsored by A.S. Program Board and KCSB 91.9 FM, starts at 9 p.m., doors open at 8:30.
We hope that these events will be educational and raise awareness on campus about this problem. All week we will be tabling in front of the Women’s Center giving away T-shirts. In the past we have run out, so come get yours earlier rather than later, and show your support by wearing it as much as possible.
We also want people to have fun. Sexual assault is a heavy and emotionally draining topic, so it is important for everyone to do something about it, while also trying to be positive. We need to keep reminding ourselves why we are doing what we are doing: to make a world with no sexual assault. How sweet that world would be.
Carl Barnes is a graduate student in the Philosophy Dept. and a coordinator for Men Against Rape.