April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and all over the country different communities are using this month to raise awareness about the ongoing problem. WJBF News Channel 6's Barclay Bishop has more.
It's estimated that about 60 % of rapes go unreported; many of the victims never seek the help they may need to get through that trying time. But some local colleges are trying to help change that, using a strong visual to capture the community's attention. Georgia Regents University and Paine College have been teaming up for the past 17 years, holding their “Take Back The Night” rally. The event includes sexual assault advocates and survivors, many of whom decorated T-shirts which line the front lawn of GRU's the Summerville campus. The T-shirts are dawned with words of encouragement or facts about sexual assault.
“Only about 5% – 10%o report on a college campus. So you have to think of the social setting, right? The majority of sexual assaults occur when the perpetrator is known by the victim, right? So 85% – 90% of these situations, they know each other,” said Shannon Nix, Counselor and Interpersonal Violence Outreach Coordinator in GRU's Counseling Center. “It's your friend, it's your study buddy, it's the person you went on a date with. So in that social circle, it can be very uncomfortable for someone to come forward and speak out.”
The “Take Back The Night” Rally is Thursday night at 6:00 p.m. It will be held on Maxwell Theater lawn of the Georgia Regents University Summerville campus. In addition to informational booths, the event will also include the following speakers: Sheryl B. Jolly, Superior Court Judge; Richard Roundtree, Sheriff of Richmond County; Anne Ealick Henry, Executive Director of Rape Crisis and Sexual Assault Services; Todd Powell-Williams, Assistant Professor in GRU's Department of Sociology, Criminal Justice, and Social Work; and Shannon Nix, Counselor and Interpersonal Violence Outreach Coordinator in GRU's Counseling Center.