Alumna to speak on sexual assault, hopes to open eyes

By Sanmai Gbandi

An alumna hopes to bring awareness to sexual assault by telling her own story of being assaulted when she was a Baylor student. The event will be at 8 p.m. Thursday in the lobby of Brooks Flats.

This event, which is happening during Sexual Assault Awareness Month, will focus on the current attitudes toward rape and try to encourage students who may have experienced sexual assault to report it.

According to the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence, 74 percent of completed and attempted sexual assaults against women were not reported to the police. According to the New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault, at least 1 in 4 college women will be the victim of sexual assault before her academic career is over.

Dr. Jonathan Tran, who has been an associate professor in the religion department since 2006, approached the former Baylor student about speaking about her experiences. Her name was not released due to the sensitive nature of the topic.

He said the event will focus on ways to promote change in the current rape culture.

“Usually with sexual assault the emphasis is put on women and how they can protect themselves, putting all the responsibility on them,” Tran said. “Whereas the emphasis should be put on men learning respect.”

He said that an event like this at Baylor is “monumentally important” because it puts things in perspective for the Baylor community. He said it is important for other students to know that sexual assault does happen here and people at Baylor should be able to talk about it.

There will be a discussion about ways to promote learning a culture of respect, how potential victims can protect themselves, and encourage reporting the assault to the police if it happens.

Baylor Wellness resources will be on hand for those who need them. Brochures about sexual assault, information about scheduling an appointment with the counseling center and a counselor will be on hand at the event.