In the wake of Halloween, Mara Krueger hopes students had fun, while staying safe.
Krueger is a sophomore communication sciences and disorders major and volunteer coordinator at the Women’s Resource Center. She hopes students will be aware of their surroundings when going out this year.
“Watch out for your friends. If you see someone who is bothering your friends, ask them to stop. Anyone can intervene, and anyone should intervene,” Krueger said.
Krueger stresses the importance of consent.
“A lot of people think that drinking doesn’t make it sexual assault. That’s just not really the case. Neither people can really give proper consent when they are drunk. Make sure you are consenting to everything, and make sure that the person you are with is consenting to everything,” Krueger said.
Gabby VanGompel, junior social work and sociology major and the resource coordinator at the center, said if students experience violence, they are able to get help, although it might not be to the degree they need.
“We can hear survivors out, but legally there is nothing we can do. I would describe the center as more of a safe place you can go to let your frustration out. As for help we send people to outside sources,” VanGompel said.
VanGompel said sometimes survivors of sexual violence feel ashamed and unsure of where to receive help.
“Being a victim myself in the past, I was in fear of retaliation and fearful that it was my fault. I think that’s why some people don’t seek help,” VanGompel said.
Kerra Conrad, sophomore history major, is the secretary and communications coordinator of Promoting Awareness/Victim Empowerment.
According to Conrad, the organization provides information for survivors about the resources on and off campus.
“The mission of PAVE is to shatter the silence of sexual violence,” Conrad said.
Conrad said it is important for students to have somewhere to turn if an unfortunate event occurs.
“Sometimes people perceive that the way you dress says that you want to be assaulted but that is not the case. Just because you are dressed a certain way does not mean you are asking to be assaulted,” Conrad said.
Kat Taylor, junior arts management major, is aware that sexual violence is prevalent on campus and said it is not just women who worry about it.
“I feel like a lot of the times when I go out and get separate from my group of friends, I feel nervous, but I also believe that men can be sexually assaulted. If men don’t want to be intimate with a girl and she pushes for it the intimacy, that is sexual assault,” Taylor said.