Speaking out against assault

Natashia Doolittle presented information during a forum to inform students about the dangers of assault at Kayser Auditorium.
Matthew McCarroll | Lariat Photographer

By Brittney Coulter

The Sexual Assault Work Team and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. held a presentation in Kayser Auditorium Wednesday night to warn students about abuse and sexual assault. Natashia Doolittle, a representative from the Advocacy Center for Crime Victims and Children, spoke about the necessity of open discussion, citing the statistic that one in four women and one in 33 men will be sexually assaulted during their college years.

“It’s very important to talk about it because it happens a lot more often than we’d like to think,” Doolittle said.

Risk reduction strategies were also given to help minimize the occurrence of sexual assault among college students.

“The biggest thing is being aware of your surroundings,” Doolittle said. She recommended that students travel together, especially at night, and get information about parties before attending. She continued by explaining the steps that should be taken if a person falls victims to sexual assault. She recommended speaking with professionals, reporting the incident and getting examined by at a hospital within 96 hours of the event.

DeLorean Wilkinson-McGee, who also works for the Advocacy Center, gave a presentation about the three types of abuse, physical, sexual and emotional, all of which students may experience.

Wilkinson-McGee said that threats, controlling behavior and excessive jealousy are some of the signs of unhealthy relationships and said students who see these signs in their partner should get help.

Lori Genous, the director of wellness at Baylor and facilitator for the Sexual Assault Work Team, went on to stress the importance of bystander intervention in aiding victims of assault.

Testimonials were given by victims of sexual assault and abusive relationships. Their advice? Speak up.

Students are strongly encouraged to report instances of assault to the Office of Judicial Affairs or the Baylor Police Department.

Additional resources regarding sexual assault and abuse can be found at the Baylor Counseling Center, Baylor Police Department and the Baylor Health Center.