Advocates speak about sexual assault


Mary Brunal, Reporter

Two sexual assault advocates in April encouraged AACC students—especially men—to stay away from friends who pressure them into having sex.

David Seeber, an educator with Catharsis Productions, told students peer pressure among guys to have sex can be brutal. Even good friends sometimes label their pals as gay or “a p***y” if they aren’t sexually active, he said.

Some men, Seeber said, not only pressure their friends to seek out sexual partners when they’re not ready but also pressure their own partners.

“When a guy feels entitled to sex,” Seeber said, “that’s a dangerous guy.”

Speaking with Seeber during the sexual assault prevention presentation was Tiffany Mitchenor, also of Catharsis Productions, who said, “We want to make a cultural change. … We are here for rape prevention.”

To encourage audience interaction, Mitchenor yelled to crowd: “Rape is sex without …” The audience replied: “Consent.”

Consent, Mitchenor explained, requires a verbal “yes” and a sober partner.

When someone is drunk, judgment is impaired, she said. “Consent is giving your partner a chance to say no,” Seeber added.

Audience members said they agreed with the speakers.

“We should not support rapists,” said Hannah Seiger, a first-year engineering major.

Second-year psychology major Austin Visk said the presentation helped him realize that he and his friends should “be more aware of your surroundings and be more mindful when you go to parties.”

During an improv scene, Mitchenor and Seeber portrayed a freshman girl on campus, stretching after a workout, and an upperclassman trying to hit on her by getting in her personal space to touch her. Seeber explained that some guys may see girls as objects.

Most sexual assault cases, they said, go unreported because society blames the victim rather than the rapist for the assault, or because the victims fear others will judge or retaliate against them.