Standup to sexual assault

Anna+Mendez+and+Andrea+Gonzalez+give+a+presentation+to+a+small+group+of+students

Project D.A.T.E. peer educators Anna Mendez and Andrea Gonzalez encourage the audience to utilize and become "upstanders" instead of bystanders in cases of sexual assault, by using resources both on and off campus

Han Byol Yi

As part of a two day event put on by Project D.A.T.E., a workshop called Stand Up, Speak Out revolved around what a bystander can do in situations where sexual assault might be happening.

“The focus of this workshop revolved around the bystander instead of the perp to show that someone stepping up can change the situation,” said speaker Andrea Gonzalez, a peer educator and survivor of sexual assault.

Gonzalez started by opening up about her sexual assault struggle when she was in the first grade.

A group of about 15 people broke up into sets of two or three to go through some scenarios.

Participants were able to choose different ways of responding in certain situations. One of the situations described a scene where a group of friends were making sexually explicit comments about a person who walked by.

Option A was just be a bystander and do nothing. Option B was to be an “up-stander” by taking action.

Option B was the general consensus.

By becoming a up-stander it lets the perpetrator know that what he or she is doing is wrong.

“It can happen to anyone, male or female, and doesn’t matter what age,” Gonzalez said.

CSUN junior Daquan Owen, 21, said he learned the three D’s: “Distract, Delegate, Be Direct,” from the workshop.

Owen said he learned that he doesn’t always have to intervene directly. In the past, he learned to take action by himself and fix the problem. Today, Owen learned that if he doesn’t want to confront the perpetrator himself, he can get other people involved to stop what’s going on.

Gonzalez shared a more recent story about a male and female near school. She could visibly see that the male was very angry and screaming at the female, so she honked.

In hindsight she believes she could have stopped, but honking was better than nothing.

“It distracted him and let him know that there are people watching and what he was doing is unacceptable,” Gonzalez said.

Shardae Young, 21, studying public health said she learned about apps like CircleOf6 and bSafe that can help her in an unwanted situation.

“Its cool that by just tapping the phone, the phone will automatically start recording,” Young said.