Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Sexual assault awareness videos premiere

UW-Madison students gathered Tuesday at Memorial Union to view the premiere of “Transition to Survivor I and II,” sexual assault awareness videos created and co-produced by UW senior Angela Rose.

Rose, founder of the campus organizations Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment and Men Opposing Sexual Assault, created the videos to encourage public recognition of sexual assault.

“Every one of you knows someone who’s been sexually assaulted, but you’ll probably never know it,” Rose said in one film. “It’s your mothers, it’s your sisters, it’s your brothers. Sexual assault is the most underreported crime in the U.S.”

The videos presented the stories of several sexual assault victims through video clips of the women discussing various aspects of their experiences, from reporting the crime to dealing with the violence’s aftermath.

One featured survivor, Alyssa, spoke of the effects rape had on her personal life.

“I spent a year afterward completely blaming myself,” she said. “I stopped going out; I stopped talking to my friends. I ended up detaching myself from my life.”

Another victim, Ariel, talked about the difficulty of constantly remembering the assault.

“I would close my eyes at night and I would see him,” she said. “I could still smell him. I could smell him on me. I would take showers constantly to rid myself of the dirty feeling.”

The videos addressed police officers who take reports of the sexual assaults as the women described various experiences they had reporting their experiences to authorities.

“In my opinion, it’s very important for police officers to treat the victim with dignity,” Rose said.

Another message contained in the videos was ways for friends and family to support victims of sexual assault.

“The first piece of advice I have is to believe the victim,” Rose said. “Let the victim know that you know it was not his or her fault.”

Rose filmed the segments for the videos last summer despite a lack of funding, said UW senior Dana Borowski, chair of PAVE.

“Angela financed everything herself, that’s how dedicated she is to this cause,” said Borowski. “She knows the other producer, the girls appearing in the videos are friends of hers, the musician is a friend of hers, and the poems were also written by friends.”

Stephanie Byrnes, UW junior and PAVE co-chair, said she is collaborating with Rose to promote the videos to public forums.

“We’re working on press kits to send to high schools, police departments and health classes,” said Byrnes. “We’d also like to set up a website where people can order the videos if they’re interested. After she graduates, Angela plans to take a speaking tour, and we’ll send the videos to the universities she visits as well.”

At the end of the second film, Rose’s message for viewers was to make their voices heard in the battle against sexual assault.

“We live in a victim-blaming society, and we need to speak out and listen to each other,” Rose said.

Borowski agreed that speaking out is crucial for society’s awareness as well as the victims’ wellbeing.

“All the girls talked about activism and speaking out as an important part of the healing process.”

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