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Consent Week: A Midweek Round-up

Second-year economics student and former Daily Bruin staffer Alex Torpey speaks at the Wednesday night event. (Manvel Kapukchyan/Daily Bruin)
Second-year economics student and former Daily Bruin staffer Alex Torpey speaks at the Wednesday night event. (Manvel Kapukchyan/Daily Bruin)

This week marks the second annual Consent Week, a program organized by Student Wellness Commission (SWC)’s 7000 in Solidarity to spread awareness about sexual and gender-based violence.

This year’s Consent Week is almost over, but the Facebook event still shows some events for Thursday and Friday, and the “Man Up?” photography exhibit will still be on display until Saturday as well. For those of you that couldn’t make it, or weren’t aware, here’s a roundup of information, ideas and facts from the past events for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Also, tabling events have had freebies (water bottles and T-shirts) for participation in their activities, so look out for those!

MAIN FOCUS: Realizing the intersecting nature between specific communities and gender-based violence, presented by Chrissy Keenan, co-director of Bruin Consent Coalition (BCC).

  • Males feel societally pressured to suppress their emotions, and their experiences of sexual assault and violence are invalidated, said Katharine Lee, third-year microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics student and a member of BCC.
  • Sexual assault and ancestrally rooted attitudes of repression towards sexuality in South Asian communities need to be changed to combat sexual violence and negative attitudes toward sexual assault survivors both in the United States and South Asia, said Ria Jain, a second-year molecular, cell developmental biology student and a member of BCC.
  • The experiences of people of color and undocumented individuals in regards to sexual assault are unique because of the struggles they face in being able to report or acknowledge sexual assault, Jain said.
  • Safe spaces, open minds and understanding are needed for survivors to discuss and heal from traumas, Jain said.
  • Male survivors of sexual assault are important and should be validated. Media depictions and societal ridicule of male sexual assault victims need to be corrected, said Vikas Rajgopal, second-year business economics student.
  • Difference between confidential (Counseling and Psychological Services, Student Legal Services, Santa Monica Rape Treatment Center) and non-confidential reporting sources (UCPD, Title IX office, Dean of Students): If a sexual assault victim is unsure of whether she or he wants to report their assault, they should seek confidential reporting sources. If they would like to pursue legal action, non-confidential reporting sources are necessary, Lee said.
  • Donate to the Leelah Project, a project in memory of Leelah Alcorn, a teenager who committed suicide after years of lack of support in assuming a female gender identity from her parents, Lee said.
  • According to a poster made by BCC, there are higher rates of sexual violence among LGBT communities, and LGBT communities may be more reluctant to speak about their experiences.

Jennifer Hu / Daily Bruin

If you can, swing by the remaining Consent Week events on campus, which focus on gender representation and the media, or check out the “Man Up?” photography exhibit while you can. And if you aren’t able to, take this roundup to heart, and remember:  Consent is sexy.

Compiled by Arushi Tainwala and Kelly Yeo

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