The Scarlet & Black

The Student News Site of Grinnell College

The Scarlet & Black

The Scarlet & Black

Sexual assault awareness speaker

Activist Angela Rose gave a talk, titled “Shattering the Silence of Sexual Violence”  in JRC 101 on Thursday evening. Before beginning, Rose led the group in deep breaths and remarked about how she was impressed with Grinnell’s Wellness Lounge. Rose spoke about how she was kidnapped and sexually assaulted by a convicted murderer when she was 17 and explained that she had interviews with detectives at the police department in the aftermath of the assault and they were skeptical of her story. It took four years for the case to come to trial and when it did, she was asked what she was wearing at the time of the crime.

As the talk progressed, Rose used her own and other individuals’, personal experiences to highlight the fact that victim-blaming is a common societal response to survivors of sexual assault and abuse.

“We live in a victim-blaming society,” Rose said. “Nine out of 10 women in college who are raped do not report the crime, according to the Department of Justice  … This is a public health crisis.”

Photo by John Brady
Photo by John Brady

After the assault, Rose joined together with the perpetrator’s previous victims and their families to pass the 1998 Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act in Illinois. “I was able to fuel my anger into activism,” Rose said. “I felt from feeling victimized to feeling like I could make a difference.”

When she went to college, Rose discovered that there were not peer-education groups that engaged men and women. This led her to found a nonprofit dedicated to doing just that—PAVE: Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment. Since its founding, PAVE has trained thousands in sexual assault prevention and Rose said that last September over 400 colleges participated in PAVE events.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
Donate to The Scarlet & Black
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All The Scarlet & Black Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *