The Humanities and Social Science Division hosted a spot week on Sexual Assault and Family Violence from Oct. 16 to Oct. 20.
This event, held in the Professional Development Room of the Dean’s Office, was intended to bring awareness about domestic abuse and sexual assault issues that occur on campus and in the community.
Speakers from all walks of life came to share their stories of abuse with the students, and vice versa.
Sexual assault and domestic violence are prevalent in Guam, and particularly, within the school system.
“[It has to be] made known that this is a problem,” said B.J. Cruz, speaker of the Guam Legislature Speaker.
In his speech, Cruz recounted his experience as a victim of sexual assault when a priest molested him as a child.
He expressed disdain for relationships between school staff and students and stressed the importance of developing a curriculum for young kids to learn about the dangers of inappropriate physical contact.
“Education is the key to addressing this situation of domestic violence and sexual violence,” Cruz said. “[We] have to teach kids about [the difference] between good touch and bad touch.”
The students who attended the spot week were glad it helped bring the issues of sexual assault and domestic violence to the attention of their government representatives.
“I think it’s important for our government representatives to see that we want action and change regarding sexual assault, especially in places of higher learning,” said Aubrey Yatar, an English major.
Yatar said she feels sexual violence exists because people allow it to happen.
“We need to get out of our own world sometimes and have empathy for each other. We have to be diligent about removing the stigma that surrounds it, and we have to be willing to do the right thing and intervene,” she said.