Walking in the shallow darkness or even in the bright daylight can be a risk. Sexual assault can occur anytime, at any place to anybody, which is why this topic is very important. According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, “One in five women and one in 16 men are sexually assaulted while in college.”
SUNY Old Westbury junior Erica Henderson is president of the student organization Student Together Against Rape (S.T.A.R.). Henderson said, “People commit these acts to feel a sense of power, they like to take control over their victims.” Henderson ensures that her Old Westbury community is informed about sexual assault. She also hosts programs that inform the community to be aware telling students,“If you see something say something”. In addition to educational programs there are numerous emergency lights around the campus.
Old navy employee Arlin Bautista witnessed an incident.The cool breeze made her feel at ease as she rushed to make her seven o’clock shift. On route to 42 street she saw a male wearing a navy-blue sweater with grey sweats trying to force himself on an innocent woman. As an act of heroism Arlin yelled at the predator. In fear of being caught he ran as the darkness swallowed him. Arlin felt confident in herself because her actions saved the victim from having mental or physical issues. According to RAINN.org victims of sexual assault suffer from “depression, PTSD and suicide.” These symptoms are the reasons why victims often do not speak up.
There are some who feel completely safe, while there are others who don’t feel completely safe in their communities.
There are numerous ways to prevent sexual assaults and patrolling campuses/communities is one of them. Safety aid Joy Alonge ensures safety of the Old Westbury community. Her task is to patrol the campus and escort residents to their dorms. Alonge said,“Victims should speak up and let what is going on be known; by standers if you see signs let your voice be heard.”
Overall communities should come together as one and protect one another. SUNY Old Westbury is already taking the steps to prevent incidents of sexual assault on campus. “You shouldn’t wait to be victim in order to be involved”, said Kelsey another student advocate of S.T.A.R.