Senior Project: Sexual Assault Prevention
By Kelly Gallagher
My name is Kelly Gallagher and I am a senior currently conducting my Senior Project on a rape prevention presentation. After being introduced to the Senior Project, I knew I wanted to choose a topic that would impact not only me but my fellow classmates. I became interested in doing an awareness and prevention presentation, but I had too many topics to choose from. After narrowing it down, I came to the decision of making the focus of my project rape. In our society, rape is occurring more often and is damaging the identity of many women in the world. I chose this heavy topic because I want to make a prevention and awareness documentary presentation that would hopefully avert rape from occurring and to let women know it is not their fault.
My progress as of now has been getting interviews and information from sexual assault experts. I first went to the non-profit organization Women Helping Women located downtown and interviewed their manager Kendra Massey. Massey gave me a very helpful and educational outlook on rape survivors and the help they should receive after such a traumatic experience. I also was able to get involved and volunteer with their adopt-a-family Christmas gift program. I adopted a family of a single mother who is a rape survivor needing assistance with her family. I had a Christmas list filled with gifts her child wanted and needed. With the help of fundraising from the Seton Helping Saints club, I applied and received a $100 check from the club who raises money year round for student’s needs, including financial help with student’s Senior Projects. I also was able to interview Charlotte Mock, a senior at Xavier University who is president of Xavier Students Against Sexual Assault, (XSASA). Mock was able to share her realistic outlook on rape. Considering she is a college student, Mock was able to share stories that have happened to her colleagues and how to avoid a situation resulting in rape. Mock is very supportive of my project and said, “I am super excited that Kelly has chosen this project about sexual assault and rape, the subject needs as much attention as it can get.”
Throughout this process of learning about sexual assault, I have realized that it not only has a harmful physical effect on woman, but also a mental and emotional affect. Many survivors have struggled with certain triggers that can cause them to become extremely upset later on because of their victimization. The emotional agony that many survivors deal with afterwards the rape is the greatest pain a woman deals with. It is common for the survivor to lose trust in any male peer because of the traumatic experience she had.
I hope to pursue my next steps of my Senior Project by interviewing campus police at a local college university and if possible, also interview their school counsellors who help guide students who have been victims or survivors of rape. I hope that my final product will be a website with helpful information on how women can avoid being a victim and also realistic ways to respond and act when found in a situation that could result in rape. With the help of my mentor and interviews, I believe that I can have a strong outcome with my Senior Project. So far I know I have really benefited and learned so much from this experience and I hope it has this effects on my classmates as well. I look forward to educating my classmates on this topic and how they can prevent themselves from being in a situation resulting in rape.