Apr 012004
 
Authors: Carmen Filosa

In an effort to bring awareness to sexual assault, the Pi Kappa

Alpha fraternity spent all day Thursday on the Lory Student Center

Plaza handing out whistles and fliers to inform both women and men

about the alarming rates of sexual assault.

“We didn’t see anybody on campus taking that role,” said Shane

Ferraro, public relations chairman for Pi Kappa Alpha.

With the recent problems involving the University of

Colorado-Boulder, Ferraro said it was a good time to bring

awareness.

Along with the whistles and fliers, the fraternity also had

several speakers, including Mayor Ray Martinez, speak about the

problem of sexual assault and violence.

“We know friends. We have friends who have been victims of

sexual assault,” he said.

In Colorado alone, one in four women and one in seventeen men

were victims of sexual assault in 2002, Martinez said.

Being in a preventive mode can help stop the problem of sexual

assault.

Locking doors and closing windows are just some of the actions

that will protect victims from attackers, Martinez said.

While these measures will help against attackers who are

strangers, two-thirds of the sexual assault cases in 2002 for the

state of Colorado were done by an acquaintance.

“We don’t need it. We have to get rid of it,” Martinez said.

Martinez said one of the main causes of the high rates stems

from the potential victims’ belief that it cannot happen to

them.

“It can happen to anyone at any age,” Martinez said.

In closing, Martinez proclaimed April to be Sexual Assault

Awareness Month for the City of Fort Collins.

Jody Jessup, assistant director for the Office of Women’s

Programs and Studies, said the event was helpful in bringing

awareness.

“Whistles won’t end sexual assault, but awareness will,” Jessup

said.

Recognizing that there is problem is the first step in

eradicating, Jessup said.

Also involved with the event was martial artist Jake Hatten, who

teaches a self-defense class to women and men that teaches them how

to get out of a situation when an attacker strikes.

He showed a move to the crowd in which he demonstrated the

simple act of not pushing against an attacker’s fingers and being

able to escape. He said it is better to push against an attacker’s

thumbs because there is more strength in the fingers.

“As men we have a responsibility to educate other men,” said

Mark Travella, alumni-relations chairman for Pi Kappa Alapha.

Travella said he and other members of the fraternity were

receiving a positive response from many of the women who were on

the Plaza and that the event was important to the community.

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