ROCK AGAINST RAPE
EWO, Women’s Center use music, poetry, performance to educate about assault
According to a Grand Valley State University survey completed in 2011, one in five women and one in 15 men will be the victim of a sexual assault before graduating college. It is for that reason that multiple GVSU organizations are working together to put on a concert to both entertain and raise awareness.
The annual concert, Rock Against Rape, will be held at the Fieldhouse Arena on Saturday, and is a collaborative effort between different university and student organizations, including Eyes Wide Open and the Women’s Center.
“Eyes Wide Open is the organization on campus that educates on sexual assault,” said Jessica Krebs, GVSU senior and vice pesident of EWO. “We give presentations, provide support and resources for victims and survivors and put on or co-sponsor events such as Rock Against Rape.”
Other events the organization sponsors and organizes include Take Back the Night, the Clothesline Project and the Sexual Assault Awareness Week, starting Monday.
The Rock Against Rape concert will feature two live bands, a slam poet and a performance by the student group ReAct.
“I am really looking forward to seeing the bands Believe You Me and Sargent Avenue,” Krebs said. “I have listened to a lot of their work online and they are going to put on a really good show.”
ReAct is a theater group comprised of GVSU students that perform short skits in order to prevent and inform about instances of domestic violence and sexual assault.
“I am most excited to see ReAct,” said Jordan Cross, GVSU senior and President of Eyes Wide Open. “They are an excellent group of students who put together skits based on sexual assault experiences.”
Krebs agreed that this topic may be difficult to speak about, but raising awareness is paramount.
“It is an incredibly important topic, especially since people generally don’t like to talk about this form of violence because it makes them uncomfortable,” Krebs said.
The event is free and open to the public but donations of toiletries such as toothpaste and deodorant are both welcome and encouraged. Free refreshments will be available and t-shirts will be sold. All donations and revenue from shirts will go directly to the organization Women in Transition in Holland and the YWCA in Grand Rapids.
This concert is the unofficial kick-off of the Sexual Assault Awareness Week. This week of learning and prevention will include multiple events including two nationally-recognized speakers.
“The mission of Rock Against Rape is to raise awareness of the reality of sexual assault on the GVSU campus in a non-traditional atmosphere,” Cross said. “While sexual assault is never a light issue, the goal of RAR is to create awareness through music, fun and solidarity.”
Information about upcoming events will be available at the Rock Against Rape concert this Saturday at 6pm in the Field House.
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