Bossier Parish Community College kicked off a month-long observation of sexual assault awareness by holding a ceremony on its Bossier City campus Tuesday. The mayors of Shreveport and Bossier City signed a joint proclamation declaring a “Day of Action,” a move to help educate people and prevent future sexual assaults on and off college campuses.
Although Bossier Parish Community College has never had any reported instances of sexual assault that clean record may not give a complete picture, according to the college’s vice chancellor for student services Karen Recchia.
“We don’t know who has come on our campus – a student, faculty or staff member -- who may have been a victim of sexual assault and has not been able to come forward. Hopefully, awareness events like this will show we care and we’re here,” Recchia said, adding this event was a first for the college.
Recchia says the community college is urging its students to take a 30-minute voluntary and anonymous survey about sexual assault and bystander intervention. She says the college is trying to glean information from students so it can better dedicate resources on this issue in the future.
Nursing student Jeremy Meche is also in the Army National Guard. Over his eight years of service he says he’s encountered dozens of soldiers who’ve been victims of sexual violence. He tries to be a compassionate friend.
“You grieve, cry and blame yourself. Some have suicide problems. It’s a personal thing. You have to be there to support and listen and have a shoulder for them at all times,” Meche said, adding he’s currently helping three victims recover from a sexual assault.
Centenary College also will host three events during sexual assault awareness month, beginning Thursday, April 7, when the Barksdale Air Force Base Sexual Assault Theater Group performs in Kilpatrick Auditorium at 11:10 a.m.
Centenary will host the “Let’s Talk” men’s brunch on Saturday, April 9, at 10:45 a.m. in the college’s Whited Room. The college said in a news release that coaches, athletic directors, and men from all disciplines are invited to attend.
The college will host the “Women in Media” brunch Saturday, April 16, at 10:45 a.m. in Kilpatrick Auditorium. This event is geared toward women working at local television stations and newspapers.
The Louisiana Foundation Against Sexual Assault says someone is sexually assaulted every two minutes in the U.S.