One in four women and one in eight men will be victims of sexual assault or attempted sexual assault by the time they leave college. These were among the statistics shared with attendees of [Georgetown’s seventh annual “R U Ready?”]( event on Wednesday.

The program, which addressed sexual assault and the challenges facing victims, was held in Copley Formal Lounge. It was sponsored by [over a dozen student groups and university departments](, including The Corp, Department of Public Safety and LGBTQ Resource Center. Staff from Health Education Services, the Women’s Center, Residence Life and the Counseling and Psychiatric Service coordinated the event.

“This program is a great way for people from both genders to come together and learn about the reality of sexual assault on a college campus and make sure that people are aware of the resources Georgetown has to offer,” Brigitte Garza (COL ’11) said. “This is a really important issue and people should know the resources available to them.”

A main goal of the event was to increase awareness of the issues that accompany sexual assault and to address the conception that sexual assault is solely a women’s issue.

“To say that sexual assault is a women’s issue is to say that whaling is an issue for the whales to deal with,” Jordan Green (COL ’12) said. “It could happen to men, too, and all-around it’s an issue that everybody needs to be concerned about; the more guys that could get involved the better.”

Joshua Guzman (SFS ’10) agreed.

“It’s definitely a major issue on college campuses, and a question a lot of people ask is, `Why should men be involved? This sounds like a women’s issue,'” Guzman said. “It’s more complex to ask, `Why aren’t enough men involved?’ It’s definitely a man’s issue too. We definitely want to create a better place on campus for all Hoyas.”

[Shiva Subbaraman, director of the LGBTQ Resource Center](, said that she wants to see increased awareness of relationship violence among LGBTQ couples.

“Much of my interest is to bring this issue to same-sex couples, because this issue often [is not] included when you talk about sexual assault. There are additional levels of shame because you feel it only proves people’s idea that all gay people are dysfunctional.”

For many victims, sexual assault is often more difficult to deal with because they know their attackers, Subbaraman said.

“We always have these images of perpetrators being someone mysterious and out there, but unfortunately [they] are not,” Subbaraman said. “Ninety percent of the time, it is somebody we know and somebody who lives in our dorms, in our classroom, in our homes, which makes it much [scarier].”

Throughout the evening, speakers and student facilitators said that there are always resources and help available on campus. The speakers stressed that sexual assault is not the victim’s fault.

“It’s something someone else prevents; it’s never something someone brings onto themselves,” said Megan Foster, training and recruitment assistant for the Rape Abuse Incest National Network. “I think the biggest issue around sexual assault is that people don’t reach out and don’t tell their experiences. So people have this feeling that it doesn’t happen very often when it actually does.”

Tara Brewster, a victim of sexual assault and the event’s guest speaker, encouraged everyone to become involved in this issue.

“You don’t have to be 100 percent helper-certified to say, `It’s not your fault.’ I told my story because I don’t want anybody else to go through this, and I certainly don’t want anybody to feel like it doesn’t matter, or that they don’t matter.”

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