by Zac Kauffman ’17, a Law and Society and Business Administration major with a concentration in Human Resources and a Hood College lacrosse player
As you know, April is Sexual Assault Awareness month, and in this month, it is important for us to take a moment to reflect and have a conversation about sexual assault and domestic violence. Sexual assault and domestic violence are serious issues that affect many people we know and love. The damage victims experience is long-lasting. Too often we forget that the harm is not limited just to the individuals, but reverberates throughout our society. Despite the horrible impact of sexual assault and domestic violence, communities are seldom united in their attempt to address and combat these problems.
Many of the problems we have unifying an approach to sexual assault and domestic violence comes from how we communicate about it, and it starts with our perspectives and labeling of the issues. It is unfortunate that sexual assault and domestic violence are often labeled as “women’s issues” when they are anything but. Dubbing sexual assault and domestic violence as “women’s issues” shifts the responsibility for action away from men, making it seem as though these issues do not apply to men. It is imperative that we look at sexual assault and domestic violence as a societal matter. We cannot be reliant on a few good men to help aid in the fight while the rest remain unresponsive and silent. We cannot view sexual assault and domestic violence as a “women’s issue.” Men should and must help to focus efforts and attention on these issues in order to create an effective alliance against these heinous abuses within our society. As the great Martin Luther King Jr. said, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” Without the participation of all members of our society, we aren’t able to completely combat these issues. We must band together.
For this Sexual Assault Awareness month, members of the Hood College community, both men and women, are coming together to face the issues of sexual assault and domestic violence. The Women’s Lacrosse team, the Men’s Lacrosse team and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee are uniting to promote the One Love Foundation. The One Love Foundation, founded in honor of Yeardley Love, raises awareness about unhealthy relationships, and works to “help activate communities to change the statistics around relationship violence.” The foundation advocates awareness and activism through an event called Yards for Yeardley, where the members of the community are invited to walk one million yards in a week. We are trying to reach this goal between April 17 to April 21 on the Thomas Athletic Field, and all are welcome. Information tables on the One Love Foundation and Yards for Yeardley will be set up in the Whitaker Campus Center Monday, April 17, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm and in Coblentz Dining Hall. Additionally, the Women’s and Men’s Lacrosse teams will play dedication games on April 13 and April 22. We hope to see you there!
One Love Committee left to right: Christina Murphy ’17, Zac Kauffman ’17, Samantha Bauer ’19, Larissa Pena ’20, Danny Capps ’18, Samy Brandt ’20