Group aids rape victims, stumbles without space

Chrissy Williams / Roundup

One in five college women have been raped, according to the Sexual Victimization of College Women Survey.

Legislation was passed this year to attempt to protect California college age women.

Sacramento passed the “Mandatory Orientation: Sexual Violence Prevention Act” this year, requiring California colleges to “implement written protocols to ensure that students, faculty, and staff who are victims of sexual assault… receive treatment and information.”

The act also requires schools to post information about sexual violence online.

According to the online crime statistics for Pierce College, only one rape has ever been reported on campus, in 2001.

Even if nobody has been raped, however, there are rape victims on campus.

How does rape mentally affect this 20 percent of women?

Rape leaves a lifelong scar.

A Pierce student and rape victim said, “I hate me. I hate the way he made me feel.

“I just want to get rid of his memory, to wash everything off of me. I still feel dirty.”

According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), victims of sexual assault are three times more likely to suffer from depression, six times more likely to suffer from post traumatic stress disorder, thirteen times more likely to abuse alcohol, twenty-six times more likely to abuse drugs and four times more likely to contemplate suicide.

For students who have been raped, the Campus Violence Response Team (CVRT) is available to help.

The CVRT is a group of five faculty and staff members who are trained to handle situations with students who have been involved in violent situations and don’t know what resources are available to them in their community.

“We are here to be a friendly face and a hand to hold during a turbulent time,” said Kathy Oborn, leader of the team.

The CVRT supports victims of sexual assault and gives them references for counseling, peer support and trauma services.

They can also help make a criminal or civil charge against an assailant.

You can call the CVRT phone numbers that are listed in students and sexual violence section of the school Web site, but they are not yet a full-time operation.

“I would like to have a 24-hour hotline, but we just do not have the resources for that now,” said Oborn.

If you need immediate treatment, The Valley Trauma Center has a 24-hour line at (818) 719-0453.

Currently, CVRT does not have a permanent facility to operate from, either.

“It is a problem,” said Oborn.

“We are too spread out. Each CVRT member is in a different office on campus.

“We need to have a central place where we can gather. Years ago there was a Women’s Resource Center trailer by the cafeteria, where people could ask questions about things like these, or legal options, but it is gone now.

“It would be great to have something like that available again.”

The health center, located in the Campus Center, is the best place to begin.

The health center is open every weekday and in the evenings.

Students can drop in or call at (818) 710-4270 and speak with a CVRT nurse at the health certer.

The nurse will be able put you in contact with other CVRT members.