On April 13, Associated Students of Skyline College (ASSC) set up a table in building six for their “Shine the Light” event, focusing on the role of men in preventing sexual violence.
The event was inspired by the White Ribbon Foundation as part of a series of workshops held by ASSC for Sexual Assault Awareness month.
Founded in 1991, the White Ribbon Foundation asks men to wear white ribbons, to pledge that they will never commit an act of sexual violence against women, encouraging men to do their part in preventing sexual violence in relationships, as well as the prevention of sexual harassment.
ASSC found out about the program through advisor Anjelica Gacutan, who referred them to the White Ribbon Foundation’s website. Citing success with previous workshops relating to sexual assault prevention, ASSC thought it a good idea to bring this event to the rest of the college.
“It made a lot of sense to my team and I,” Marlon Gaytan, ASSC commissioner of activities said, commenting on their motivations for holding the event.
ASSC set up a table inside building 6 after plans to hold the event outside, with luminaries at nighttime, were set back by the windy conditions outside.
The students manning the table still kept high spirits even with their setbacks, smiling as students came up to the table, with a few keeping their eyes on the raffle for prizes, such as tee shirts and personal alarms.
Another main component of the event was the amount of resources available to victims of sexual violence at the table.
While the main focus of the event seemed to be the responsibility of men in preventing sexual violence, there was also an array of different resources, such as pamphlets available to anyone who came up to the table, no matter their gender.
“It involves both genders, and the duality is never forgotten,” Gaytan said. “The solution to the problem is two sided.”
ASSC-SOCC liaison Gianni Grelli, who was also helping to run the table, elaborated on why students who don’t care as much about the topic should.
“Nobody’s going to leave because you tell them to,” Grelli said. “Violence and matters of social justice shouldn’t be taken lightly.”
Grelli also went over some of the things you can do to help someone who is a victim of sexual violence.
“Talk about examples, not the people,” Grelli said. “Leave people’s’ names out.”
Grelli stressed that victims tend to isolate themselves more if you specifically mention their name.
Grelli also emphasized the need for listening to victims.
“Defensiveness might make them shut down, and go back to their abuser,” Grelli said.
There are many resources for those who are suffering from sexual violence here at Skyline College. ASSC is also hosting an escalation workshop on April 28, training attendees in what they can do when they see sexual violence.