Following the rape and subsequent suicide of her daughter, Andrea Cooper launched a nationwide campaign to expose college students to the tragic consequences of sexual assault.
Cooper will speak tonight at 7 p.m. in Corwin Pavilion about her daughter Kristin’s experiences. The presentation, entitled “Kristin’s Story,” is hosted by Associated Students, Take Back the Night, Sigma Pi, Delta Delta Delta and AXO.
Since Kristin’s death in 1995, Cooper has visited hundreds of colleges across the nation. Despite her difficulty divulging the heartbreaking story, Cooper said sharing the story brought healing.
“The first two years were the hardest,” Cooper said. “But I prayed that God would give me the strength to continue because I knew by telling the story, I could be saving lives. It has gotten easier every year.”
According to Christina Baggao, co-chair of A.S. Take Back the Night, recent campus suicides have set the stage for the event.
“Our campus really needs more events like this,” Baggao said. “Especially after the loss of Sean [Feliciano] to depression, many friends of mine didn’t know where to turn. People need to realize that help is not far away.”
Cooper noted that UCSB seems particularly committed to mental health issues.
“I must say, after visiting around 300 campuses, it appears that UCSB has the most support services of any that I have been to,” Cooper said. “I encourage students to go to counseling if they are suffering from any kind of problem.”