Supporting Survivors

Students and faculty participate in demonstration to raise awareness about sexual assault

Copy Editor Rosannah Gosser Photos by Rosannah Gosser

Students gathered to protest sexual harassment

A crowd gathered on the Library Lanai Monday afternoon to stand in solidarity with survivors of sexual assault. Bearing signs and posters, both students and faculty hoped to spread awareness about the prevalence of rape and other forms of sexual assault in communities. The demonstration, led by HCC Professor Noelie Rodriguez, coincided with protests put on across the county that promoted support of sexual assault survivors as Dr. Christine Blasey Ford prepares to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thurs., Sept. 27. Campus community members passed around a microphone to speak about their reasons for participating in the demonstration. “We have an opportunity to decide if we want a sexual predator to have a say about the choices we make with our bodies and in our society,” said Melissa Ferguson. “We have to stand up and I appreciate everyone being here because that’s how we make change. All I can say is keep standing up and using your voices.”

"I am here today because I’m also a sexual assault survivor,” explained UHH student Megan Stone. “It’s not always strangers; more often than not it’s someone you know and trust. Everyone needs to be really aware of what’s going on around us. When something like that happens, it doesn’t just hurt for a month or a year. It can still hurt you ten years down the road. As long as you live it’s going to be in your head and it can really affect. It can almost define you, and it’s been a struggle to make that something that doesn’t define my life.”

“I feel like a lot of people need to understand that when you make one wrong decision, it changes their life.,” Kaulana Pomroy told the crowd on Library Lanai. “I might not ever have kids and I live an unconventional lifestyle as a member of the LGBTQ community, according to most people. A lot of it stems from the fact that I am a sexual assault survivor."

“It might not even be people outside of your community, it might even start with people inside of your own home,” Pomroy continued. “I feel like this is something that needs to be expressed widely because women are being exploited. I hope that if you are a sexual assault survivor as well, just know that you’re not alone and you can’t get help unless you come forward.”