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Sexual assault awareness event at Cal Poly to show solidarity with survivors

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Posted at 7:08 AM, Oct 28, 2021

On Wednesday evening Cal Poly campus organizations hosted events creating a safe space for students to show solidarity with sexual assault survivors.

These events were held in response to two sexual assaults that were reported on campus within a week this October.

"I was attacked. I was strangled, raped, and kidnapped for hours. It completely changed my life," said Voices Beyond Assault Founder and sexual assault survivor at the event, Brianna Michelle.

She explained her feelings of confusion following the assault and emphasized the importance of creating awareness for young adults-- especially those entering college.

"When you experience sexual assault you just don't know what to do because we aren't taught that," said Michelle.

She described how education plays an important role in prevention, like "what consent is, what boundaries are, those things need to be taught coming into college."

Cal Poly students expressed that the university did an acceptable job of addressing the situation, but they wish it was talked about more often.

"I think it's like more of a spontaneous thing like people say let's talk about it this month and then we never talk about it again," said Cal Poly student, Victoria Acostavasquez.

"I would like them to have more events like this to help spread more awareness," said Cal Poly student, Alex Philyaw.

"I just wanted to come and share my support and learn about it because I feel like it's not talked about often," said Cal Poly student, Audrey Wall.

The Cal Poly Women in Business Association and the Women's Network Cal Poly hosted the campus event tonight in order to create a safe space for students to show solidarity with sexual assault survivors.

"I just hope that we collect these ideas and this kind of energy we have and put it toward continuing this conversation," said President of the Cal Poly Women in Business Association and student Grace Battles.

"We needed to create a community because Cal Poly sometimes lacks on the different community vibes when it comes to events that happened," said President of the Women's Network Cal Poly and student, Maggie Freadman.

For sexual assault resources visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website.