Victoria Ivie / Courier A string of underwear that PCC students wrote messages on at the quad on April 24, 2019 for sexual assault awarness week.
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For years, claims of sexual assault have been making headlines accusing powerful men in entertainment, politics and colleges around the country of rape and sexual harassment. With all the attention on the topic and calls to stop sexual assault, PCC’s Student Health Services (PCCSHS) held 3 events throughout last week to provide Lancers with strategies to prevent sexual assaults on campus while also creating a safe learning environment.

“The topic is important because everyone should feel safe, especially in a place like school,” PCC student Angelica Gradillas said. “I think females hold a much higher risk than males and it’s not fair, everyone should feel safe and respected.”

The event guided Lancers on three different strategies to confront the possible attackers on campus; directly confronting the attacker, trying to diffuse the situation, and getting someone else to help the possible victims.

According PCCSHS, confronting the perpetrators might help diffuse a situation where violence might follow.

“I personally wouldn’t know what to do because I never encountered anything like that, but if I were to see it happening to somebody I would go help or go run and get somebody if I couldn’t do anything,” student Angela Hirrahs stated. “I feel pretty safe [on campus], I don’t have a reason not to.”

Another technique to help possible victims of sexual assault on campus is by asking the victims if they need help while trying to distract the attacker. Distracting the attacker might give time to the victim to react and avoid the assault.

Delegating or calling some else to help the victim is the third option advised by the PCCSHS, it’s important to contact campus police, students or other staff members that might be able to help.

“I feel like sexual assault is something we don’t talk about on a daily basis and feel like sex is just a topic people don’t like talking about because they get uncomfortable,” student Jazmin Sandoval said. “If we talk more about it and spread awareness people will feel more comfortable talking about it, and if they’ve been victimized then they’ll probably come upfront about it.”

During “Take Back the Night”, the last day of the event, PCCSHS took participants to locations around campus believed unsafe mostly at night for lack of light or students around.

Christian Aguilar/Courier PCCSHS staff preparing students to go to unsafe locations on campus to learn strategies to prevent sexual assault on campus on Thursday, May 2, 2019.

The first stop was the northside entrance of the W building in conjunction with the R building, and PCC’s Bookstore. The second stop was between the Center of The Arts, and UU building close to Lot 5, and the third and last stop between the L and C building by the student pick up and drop off area.

“We wanted to create sort of a community and show everyone that we are here for each other, this is not a topic we should be running away from, but it’s something we should consistently be talking about,” student event organizer Erika Nieblas stated. “We wanted to inform people how they can be active participants in preventing sexual assault, so, that’s why tried to do the bystander intervention as well.”

Students who don’t feel safe walking on campus at night are encouraged to call PCCPD at (626) 585-7484, officers will escort you to your location.

Lancers can also sing up for emergency alerts sent to mobile devices by clicking here.

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