Sexual assault awareness brought to light at DVC workshop


Brown bag workshop flyer for both workshops on sexual awareness month at Pleasant Hill campus (Photo courtesy of Brown Bag Series)

Samantha Laurey, Senior staff member

In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness month, Diablo Valley College has opened two workshops that acknowledge those who may have experienced sexual assault or harassment.

These workshops aim to create a safe place for those who may need to speak on the matter or become more informed on how to prevent it.

The most recent workshop was led by two prevention representatives of Community Violence Solutions, Lilliana Gonzalez and Sofia Villegas.

They work within Contra Costa County and Marin County to show presentations that educate students from all schools, workspaces, and to the community about how to prevent and be aware of sexual assault or harassment.

“I come out, educate and give out the preventative services,” said Gonzalez, “and that feeling of giving preventative services to those who need it is what fuels me to keep doing this.”

The presentation spoke about what is considered assault, harassment, and bullying. It refers to one’s personal safety, the boundaries that can be established, and the steps that may lead to the event. The audience was given the platform to contribute their thoughts, concerns, and experiences if they feel comfortable to do so during the presentation.

One of the most highlighted parts of the workshop was knowing when one has or has not given consent. Gonzalez and Villegas say that the motto for their talk on consent is, “Yes is yes, anything else is no.”

Community Violence Services offers free assistance for all ages. One of those services is an exam that can prove that sexual harm has been made to someone if taken within seven days prior to the incident.

Another service sends out licensed advocates of the organization to work with victims with hospital visits, working with the police, and offer any therapy that is needed for the victim to help them move forward in a positive way.

Beyond workshops, there are other ways to support survivors of sexual assault. According to Gonzalez and Villegas, the community can celebrate days that recognizes other events of assault.

For example, April 24 is considered Denim Day for the month of sexual assault awareness. This day was created to witness the Italian supreme court overturning a rape convention, where the judge believed that the victim assisted the accuser with her tight pants, which meant that she gave her consent.

Another day that is encouraged to celebrate is Take Back the Night, which helps women feel more comfortable with going outside at night and not feeling endangered in any way.

The next workshop is on April 10, Your Voice has Power, will take place at the Student Union in room 204 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

If you or anyone is struggling with sexual assault, harassment, and/or bullying, please reach out to Community Violence Solutions at (800)-670-7273. Their crisis line is open 24 hours every day to assist anyone who is in need of therapy, services, and assistance.