On Monday, November 13, 2017, the Student Senate of Alcorn State University hosted a Sexual Assault Forum. The event was held in the James L. Bolden Campus Union Multipurpose Room. The speaker for the event was Melanie Barton from the Mississippi Coalition Against Sexual Assault. Barton touched on many sub topics dealing with sexual assault such as who to call when assaulted, what not to do when assaulted and the after affects of rape and sexual assault.
“You are not a victim. You are a survivor,” stated Barton. In the forum, she expressed how those that are assaulted often feel like less of an individual after their assault. They feel lost as if there isn’t anyone out there that will understand them or even believe them. According to Barton’s presentation on ‘The Traumatic Effects of Sexual Assault’, only 5% of rape cases are reported. Many cases are unsolved and those that are reported, less than half of the survivors get justice.
The forum gave valuable insight on sexual assault. After an assault, you should contact the police. Let them know what happened and where you are immediately. You should then call someone you are most comfortable with. They may be able to calm you down or even come to where you are for support. You are not to take off your clothes or shower, you don’t want to ruin any evidence or DNA that may be on you. Contact your local crisis center after everything has come to a standstill. There is a Rape Crisis Center in Jackson, Mississippi as well as Natchez, Mississippi.
Kia Donald, an attendee at the forum from Edwards, Mississippi stated, “This is really a world wide epidemic and we as a community must bring more awareness to this issue in order for there to be change. I am glad the Senate put the event together for us on campus tonight.”
“Sexual assault is a serious matter and should not be taken lightly. It takes many steps to overcome an assault but with time and patience, healing will begin. What happened/happens to you is NOT your fault when it comes to assault,” stated Barton.