Discussion brings sexual assault awareness, safety tips to students

Detective, sexual assault victims share advice, experiences

Nicole Holman, Community News Editor


The rate of sexual assaults continue to increase on college campuses, with the number of reported assaults growing each year. This was the central statement made at the Sexual Awareness Talk held on campus.

A discussion and information session on sexual assault and awareness was held for CSUSM students and faculty on Dec. 2 in Markstein 104. Every seat in the classroom was filled, and while students lined the back wall, San Diego detective Carl Hershman handed out pamphlets on ways to recognize potentially dangerous situations regarding sexual assault.

“Being aware of your surrounding is part of the battle. Take advantage of the facilities provided by your campus. University Police Department will drive you to your cars at night and there are other resources available. I recommend students look into simple self-defense classes, as well,” said Hershman.

As students skimmed the pamphlets, the first speaker, Arnita Moore, Volunteer Coordinator of Women’s Resource Center, provided those in attendance with resources for those who have survived sexual assault or know others who are survivors.

Two sexual assault survivors, Kate Grossmith and Jules Edwards, were also at the event to offer advice, support and to share their experiences.

The room was silent as both Grossmith and Edwards made their way to the front of the classroom to begin their presentation.

“It’s a sad truth…that women have to walk on eggshells just to maybe be safe in our world. Knowing steps we can take to prevent sexual assault is the first thing we can do to make things better, though,” said Edwards.

As each of the speakers finished sharing their stories or providing information, students were then asked to share their own advice on staying safe from sexual assault both on and off campus.

One app, called SafeTrek, was introduced to students at the event.

SafeTrek is an app developed to track the user’s location until they arrive to their destination. The user places their finger on their phone screen until they are safe. Once they are safe they enter a four-digit pin number to exit the app. If the user is in danger, though, they can remove their finger from their phone and in thirty seconds the police will be notified.

Finally,CSUSM provided resources for survivors of sexual assault. The new campus Anti-Sexual Assault Advocate, Christa Wencl, can be reached through her email [email protected] or through the H.O.P.E. and Wellness Center.