The Resident Assistants at The Village and Florida A&M University’s new organization Warriors Against Rape put together a workshop called “Consent 101”. The event took place on Thursday, March 14 in the Village’s Multipurpose Room and involved a guest speaker, a support team, fun trivia games, and snacks. The purpose of the event is to educate students on the importance of consent and what the word exactly means.
The organization felt there could not have been a better time to inform students about the dangers of intoxication and preparing them with the tools of knowledge needed to try to prevent an attack the best they can. The host of the event was the organization’s historian, Joi Robinson, who felt timing of the event seemed perfect since spring break is around the corner.
“This workshop is so important because spring break is coming up and a lot of people are about to be in situations where consent is required,” Joi said. “On campus the rate of sexual assault has gone up, so this needed to happen. There are so many people that don’t even know what consent is.”
The students in attendance were educated by Dougla-Khan Stancil, a counselor who works in the Office of Counseling Services. He opened with a list of resources for victims to turn to incase they needed help. He demonstrated examples through case studies.
The examples displayed how there are situations where consent can be miscommunicated or even assumed.
There were three scenarios discussed that appeared to be notorious for leading a sexual aggressor to perform sexual assault: If they have had sex with the victim before, If the victim was intoxicated and “appeared” to “want it”, and if the victim gave consent upon initiation and then changed their mind.
The scenarios could be endless, but one thing Stancil avidly expressed was that best way to clarify if someone is okay with having sex is just to ask the person.
“You may think it might ruin the mood, but it is better to be safe than sorry,” Stancil. “If someone has no intent to rape someone knowing this information can help reduce the chances of it happening.”
The workshop touched on how sexual assault is not just a women’s issues. There are men that are sexually assaulted and are too afraid to admit it due to gender norms. Music student Ja’quarius Poindexter detailed his experiences with gender bias.
“Men are always labeled as the sex fiends and it’s always assumed that they want it. That’s not always true,” Poindexter said. “If a guy doesn’t want to have sex with a girl it comes with so many negative connotations. We’re either the bad guy, embarrassed of something, or gay.”
Sexual assault has become a more discussed topic since the MeToo movement and the topic of prevention has come up more often in hopes that it would decrease the number of victims. Victims shouldn’t feel alone and should know that there are resources out there for them.
If you are a FAMU student male or female and seek solace because of sexual assault, W.A.R. is an organization that places emphasis on acting as a support system to victims of sexual assault.
There’s also other resources that are there for full utilization if needed:
FAMU Public Safety (24 hours a day)
Refuge House Crisis Hotline (24 hours a day)
850-681-2111 or 800-500-1119
FAMU Student Health Services
FAMU Office of Counseling Services