CARE spreads assault awareness

Katie Hanson

The UW Oshkosh Campus for Awareness and Relationship Education organization hosted Speaking of Sex, a program, that educates the audience about sexual assault on April 20 in Reeve Memorial Union Ballroom. CARE Student Director Kelsey Mueller said the organization educates people about relationships. Campus Victim Advocate Katie Huskey said one in seven women at UW Oshkosh are sexually assaulted during their time here, and one in four women in the nation are sexually assaulted during their college career. CARE Student Director Lauren King said the main purpose of the event was to help bring awareness to sexual assault. “[The event] will explain to students what is considered sexual assault and give them ways to be able to communicate about sex,” King said. According to Huskey, this event is important to students because sexual assault is an issue not only in the area, but across the nation. “Sexual assault is a problem at UWO and all college campuses throughout the United States,” Huskey said. “One main thing the program will help with is understanding the dynamics of a sexual relationship.” Huskey said students will learn how to help communicate effectively to avoid problems. King said students may not know how to say no when they are in these situations. High Impact Training speaker Michael Agnew ran the program in a discussion, question and answer format. When he asked what communication was, the audience came up with the definition of more than one party involved in relaying a message while others listened and there are both verbal and nonverbal forms of communication. There were three scenes performed by actors the audience watched, and after the scene, were able to question the characters why they did what they did and why they thought it was okay. One scene was of a party where the characters were both drunk and they were about to go somewhere private, so the guy could take advantage of the drunk girl when the scene ended. Agnew asked the audience if they would intervene in this situation. One audience member said they would ask if they wanted to go to the bathroom or get some water just to divert the attention and get away from the situation. UWO student Taylor Schneider attended the event and said he got one main point out of the program. “There is a major lack of communication in relationships that can lead to problems,” Schneider said. UWO student Griffin Reese attended the event and said he was surprised by what he learned. “I am astounded that anyone would think it is okay to treat people in these ways,” Reese said. Reese said this event was important to campus and had some advice about remaining safe. “Rape and sexual assault happens way too often,” Reese said. “The main thing is to always stay in a group when going out to the bar or parties. Also, never drink mystery drinks if offered one.” “CARE is a student organization that educates the campus and community on healthy relationships, unhealthy relationships and makes students aware of issues like sexual assault,” Mueller said. Mueller said with the program being interactive, the audience was able to get involved while learning. They gave tools and advice for conversations for people to have about sex since it is a harder topic to discuss with people,” Mueller said.