V-Day Campaign a success

by Sarina Rhinehart


“Threat. Shout. Slap. Control. Scar. Shame. Disgust. Ugly.”


According to the U.S. Department of Justice, every two minutes, someone in the United States is sexually assaulted.


Simpson’s “V-Day Campaign” brought awareness to the issue of sexual assault, raising over $579 for The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) and the V-Day Organization’s Spotlight on the Women of Haiti. 


“These issues are very much alive and need to be brought to light,” sophomore Shanice Whitney said.


Throughout the week, surprise events in Pfeiffer entertained and informed students about the campaign.


Fraternity men brought out their feminine side on Feb. 6 by wearing dresses in Pfeiffer.


A flash mob of people invaded the cafeteria on Feb. 7, shouting statistics related to domestic abuse and rape.


The ‘V-Day Luncheon’ on Feb. 9 featured a speaker from Children and Families of Iowa who discussed the impact of domestic abuse and what to do about it.


Also on Thursday, the Performing Arts Theme House sponsored the V-Day Variety Show.


Throughout the week, students donated over $147 in change for the Penny Wars, an event sponsored by Religious Life Community (RLC), Sexual Assault Response Advocate (SARA) and Alpha Phi Omega.


Joe Sorenson, senior and student body president, took first place with the most change and wore a dress and heels to the Friday night performance. Coming in second was Luke Behaunek, director of residence life, who wore the same attire Saturday night.  


The big finale for the week was the performance of “A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant and A Prayer” on Feb. 10-11 in Great Hall.


Before and after the show, there was a bake sale sponsored by Delta Delta Delta, and T-shirt sales sponsored by the Alpha Psi Omega Honorary theatre fraternity.


“I participated in the ‘V-Day Campaign’ because I think it is an awesome way to bring attention to issues regarding domestic violence around the world,” Whitney said. 


At the end of the week, the months of planning for these events all seemed worth it to “V-Day Campaign” director and senior Kennedy Horton.


“I had tears in my eyes both nights, and I’ve never been so proud of a group of individuals in my life than the group of actors that I worked with on this show,” Horton said.


Playing a big part in the week was the group SARA, a group of 16 students who are trained to deal with cases of sexual assault.


Sexual assault is defined as any type of sexual activity that you do not agree to. It can happen anywhere at any time. SARA works to inform students about this issue and is there for students if they have questions or concerns. 


According to Simpson’s annual security report, in 2010 there were four reported sexual assault cases, and many cases go unreported.


The U.S. Department of Justice approximates that over 60 percent of sexual assault cases are left unreported, with male victims being the least likely to report cases of sexual assault.


“Students should know that if you ever are sexually assaulted, it is not your fault,” said senior Sam Brough. “It is only the perpetrator’s fault.”


Members of SARA participate in a 20-hour training session with Polk Country Crisis the week before school starts.


“The best thing to do if someone you know has been assaulted is just be there to listen,” Brough said. “You can’t force anyone to talk about it. Let them open up when they want to.”