No More 1 in 4

Flags+planted+by+students+in+front+of+Stevens+represent+the+one+in+four+women+who+will+be+sexually+assaulted+during+their+college+career%2C+Thursday%2C+Sept.+5.

Flags planted by students in front of Stevens represent the one in four women who will be sexually assaulted during their college career, Thursday, Sept. 5.

Brittany Amerson, Evergreen reporter

Small red flags staked in the grass fluttered in the breeze Thursday as students walked by on their way to class.

The flags, placed in front of WSU residence halls, were a part of the ‘No More 1 in 4’ campaign to educate and end the rape of women. By creating a visual representation of how many female college students are affected, the residence halls’ staff presented the statistic that states one in four women will be victims of rape or attempted rape during their four-year stay at a university, according to sites including the American College Health Association (ACHA) and WOTC news.

“You can say how many people are affected by this a million times, but visuals engage people,” Residential Education Director Hannah Mitchell said. “Flags are better than just handing people flyers. It’s a unique way to present the issue that makes people stop and ask questions.”

The campaign is happening across the nation and engages an issue that needs addressing. Women’s residence halls look to empower women and speak to problems that affect all people, Mitchell said.

Resident Advisor Sarah Nolet said putting the display on campus allows the message to reach more people.

“We live in female halls, and a lot of people don’t know about this problem,” Nolet said.

Flag displays were posted outside of Stevens Hall, Waller Hall and Stimson with volunteers who discussed the project.

The Wilmer-Davis and Stevens staff and students decided to put on the program early in the semester when most rapes and sexual assaults occur. The staff researched and verified their statistics with multiple sources including the ACHA, Mitchell said.

“Within the first six weeks of school is when most female freshmen become victims,” she said. “That is why we picked this date. We wanted to get it out as soon as possible.”

Mitchell said a lot of students do not understand what constitutes a rape or attempted rape due to the wording.

Once asked specific questions about rape, students realize that they are a victim. Even with this realization, most still don’t report the incident, she said. When referred to as rape people don’t report it because of the stigma surrounding it, she said.

Mitchell hopes the display will help students and bring the statistic down.

“The way to prevent rape is to get offenders to choose not to rape,” Mitchell said. “You can’t stop a choice, but by not doing anything we are saying it’s okay. And that is what we are trying to stop.”

Several groups at WSU, including ADCAPS, the Women’s Resource Center and Green Dot, support and provide resources with regards to learning about and preventing sexual violence.