April 7. 2014
Valdosta, GA - Valdosta State University is working to "Take Back The Night" in April for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. As part of their initiative, the University played host to nationally known guest speaker and survivor, Elaine Pasqua.
"If I talked to 300 people and I made a difference in the life of two people, I had a good day that day" says Pasqua.
As a survivor of sexual assault herself, Pasqua says she tries to make her presentations conversational, to encourage healthy communication between people.
"It's important to share a personal story, because then, it helps people to connect with their own past experiences. If you're just sharing facts, statistics, you lose people", she says.
Event Organizers say having a speaker with personal experience helps ease the taboos associated with discussing sexual assault... especially when alcohol is involved.
"It's wonderful to have a survivor speak. That's what we always try to have. Because there's nothing better actually better than hearing a surivor of sexual assault or rape speak, and share their story, and see what they have overcome", says Holly Wright, with VSU Health Promotions.
Men and women both took part in the conversation and also the exercises. Though sexual assault in men is less common, Pasqua says it does happen and needs to be discussed.
"I do feel like guys should also come out to this. The reason why I feel like that is because I feel like that they should be educated on the awareness of sexual assault because sometimes it could happen to them as well. So, I think they need to be aware", says VSU Senior, Stafford Higgins.
You can learn more about Elaine Pasqua and information on her programs by visiting her website, ElainePasqua.com.