VPAS continues campaign against sexual violence

Jacob WaringOpinions & Features Editor

Violence Prevention, Victim Advocacy and Support Center hosted an informational table that educated students on strategies for bystander intervention.

According to Benjamin Yambao, a senior social work major that bystander Intervention is done throughout the year and is one of their ongoing campaigns.

“Our ongoing campaign [is] to really teach students how to engage in intervening situations regarding to sexual violence. That could mean assault, sexual harassment, exploitation, or stalking,” said Yambao.

Yambao and Taipha Antoine, freshman public health major, both said dialog with students take an informal atmosphere in an attempt to get a conversation about both bystander intervention and the center itself.

“[We] say ‘how is your day going?’ and [ask] ‘are you familiar with our program’ and how familiar they are with bystander intervention,” he said.

Antoine said the table had activities to help educate students on what to do in specific, problematic scenarios and examples of a positive interaction.

“It really helps a lot of students, and I believe like myself too. So, we have questions and scenarios where we ask students what they would do if they come across a situation,” Antoine said.

Yambao said that having these tables is essential for VPAS since it cultivates opportunities to reach out to students who may need the center’s services.

“We’re continuously trying to promote our department because I’ve come across students who say, ‘I wish I there was somewhere talk where I can talk about my problem’s in regarding what happened to me,” he said.

Yambao said that they make people aware of their resources where people can go and being there for people who are in need the center’s help.

Halley Shambra, a junior special education major said she loves VPAS and what they stand for in the Southern community. She also said she believes the programs they provide are needed on campus.

“They have programs like this on campus because a good chunk of students are in relationships and a good chunk of those students are not in decent ones,” she said.

Shambra also said that setting up the table at a time when Valentine’s Day occurred a few days ago was good.

“[It’s] holiday all about love and romance,” she said. “Some people contort those definition and make them unhealthy.”

Photo Credit: William Aliou

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