ACM Raises Sexual Assault Awareness with Films, Talks, Rally PDF Print E-mail
Wellness - Wellness
Written by Gil Hazelwood   
Monday, 20 April 2015 03:34

Allegany College of Maryland students are doing their part to raise awareness of sexual assault on college campuses and promote healthy interpersonal relations by screening two films, holding discussions and conducting a rally.

The events, scheduled April 22-23, include the films “The Hunting Ground,” released this year, and “Escalation,” in 2014, as well as discussion that focuses attention on campus sexual assault and violence and the need for students to build and maintain healthy personal relationships.

The concluding activity is a “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes” rally especially designed to help participants better understand the experience of women and the imperative of curbing sexual assault and gender violence.

All activities are free and open to the public.

These Cumberland-campus events are spearheaded by second-year students in ACM’s Human Service Associate curriculum, who have made sexual assault awareness their class project, in collaboration with ACM’s Student Government Association.

“We are passionate about this issue and want all members of our community to experience safe and healthy relationships,” said Janice Hare, one of the Human Service Associate students. “It’s on us to make sure this happens.”

The two-day program opens Wednesday, April 22, with screening of “The Hunting Ground,” a Sundance Film Festival-debut documentary that exposed the national problem of sexual assault on college campuses, the reluctance of some higher education institutions to address it and the devastating toll the crimes take on students and families.

The film casts a glaring light on the growing crisis while offering an inspiring story of

renewal, especially through two of its central figures, former University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill undergraduates Annie Clark and Andrea Pino.

Clark and Pino transform themselves from victims to survivors to activists who helped galvanize a national movement as founders of End Rape on Campus. Their group advocates filing complaints under federal law, such as Title IX, to compel universities to address sexual violence.

The 90-minute documentary, winner of a 2015 Global Film Can Award from the College of William and Mary’s annual film festival, will be shown at 6:30 p.m. in the College Center’s Zimmer Theatre and be followed by student-led discussion on the subject.

“Escalation,” to be shown Thursday, April 23, is the centerpiece of a 90-minute film-and-discussion curriculum produced by the One Love Foundation. It is currently being viewed by high school and college students across the nation.

The film, which focuses on violent interpersonal relationships, is followed by facilitated group discussions in a workshop format. Developed by One Love Foundation, the workshop was created in 2010 to honor the memory of Sharon Love’s daughter, Yeardley, a University of Virginia senior and lacrosse player murdered by her boyfriend.

Set on a college campus, the realistic film follows the escalating violence in a young couple’s relationship. After the screening, small-group discussion provides a forum for viewer reaction and for ideas to promote development of healthy personal relationships.

“Escalation,” which begins at 11 a.m., also in the Zimmer Theatre, is followed by the final event, “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes.” The rally, starting at 12:30 p.m., is part of a national movement, The International Men’s March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault and Gender Violence.

Participating men and women will wear high heels donated by Horizon Goodwill Industries, a community partner in the rally, to show support for the sisters, mothers, friends, girlfriends and wives in their lives, hence the name. The tactic allows participants to view the subject from a female perspective as it provides a light-hearted means to begin a serious discussion.

Individuals or teams from organizations, clubs and groups can enter the rally at the College Center anytime between 12:30 and 2 p.m. and walk a route around the campus fountains. Door prizes donated by local businesses will be awarded to participants.

All three events are supported by the Family Crisis Resource Center, a valuable partner for ACM in its practice of taking sexual assaults and relationship violence very seriously.

An FCRC counselor will be present to answer questions and provide support since the issue of sexual violence, particularly as depicted in the films, can elicit strong emotional reaction in the audience. ACM’s on-site counselor, Lorrie Dunn, will be present for the screening of “Escalation” and available to provide additional information and support.

Inquiries can be directed to Cherie Snyder, director of ACM’s Human Service Associate program, at 301-784-5556 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or to Erin Yokum, ACM student life director, at 301-784-5205 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Information is also available on the college website, www.allegany.edu.

 
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