5C Stereotypes and Sexual Assault Discussed at Scripps

By Tori Mirsadjadi '12, Senior Copy Editor Last Friday evening, Scripps hosted a discussion on 5C stereotypes. The forum, held in Vita Nova’s conference room, had modest attendance from the other 5Cs, including a couple of male- bodied individuals. It Ends Here partnered with Pomona’s Advocates for Survivors of Sexual Assault to hold the discussion, which attendee Emily Hamphsire (’15) said used 5C stereotypes as “the lens around which to look at the 5C climate around sexual assault.”

One of several athletic coaches in attendence brought up friends’ responsibility to look out for one another and prevent sexual assault. The discussion turned to addressing victim-blaming when it comes to sexual assault, and the need to shift toward a mentality of not raping rather than not getting raped.

The definition of sexual assault was central to Friday's discussion. Educating people about the definition of sexual assault was agreed to be important. The talk emphasized that sexual assault extends beyond rape, and involves any unwanted sexual advances, including those made by friends and on dance floors.

Part of the push toward addressing how Scripps students handle sexual assault was the issue of Scripps' self defense lesson of "slap, grab, twist, pull" not being the most useful self defense tool.

The way administration addresses issues surrounding sexual assault came up in other forms, as well. The complexity of handling cross-campus assault was brought up, and it was clarified that the policies of the home campus (i.e., where the sexual assault occurs) determine how the situation will be handled.

In addition to the key issue of defining sexual assault, the discussion emphasized the resources available on the 5Cs for victims of sexual assault. It Ends Here is one of several resources. Project Sister (which posts its information in bathroom stalls around the dorms) is another. On Scripps, the RAs are always available to help students, and have special training to handle tough situations like sexual assault. Dean of Students Bekki Lee, who was present at the discussion, emphasized the fact that she is also available as a resource for Scripps students. Pomona's Advocates for Survivors of Sexual Assault, though not specifically for Scripps students, is another important resource on the 5Cs. Monsour also hosts a 5C group for survivors of sexual assault, which meets on Fridays. For those who have survived sexual assault, seeking help can be hard, but just broaching the topic--as last Friday's forum did--is an important first step.