Making a Handful Rape-aware

Check out the Photo Gallery

Freshman Peter Rodriguez stood nervously at his podium and stared out to 10 students and 40 empty chairs in the first ever Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) event.

“All of you here are the chosen ones,” said an optimistic Rodriguez. “The path to becoming aware is through communication and that’s what we are doing here tonight.” Rodriguez planned on entertaining at least 50 participants with poets, bands, guest speakers, a hypo-psychologist, and life-saving information. “One in six women get raped in the world,” said Rodriguez. “We need to bring down this statistic by using communication.” Guest speaker from R.A.D and victims advocate Nancy Gifford, spoke to the audience about self-defense classes offered at FAU as well as the many ways in which people go unaware they have been raped.

“Silent sex, if intentions weren’t communicated, could be considered rape,” said Gifford. “This is why we offer rape prevention and defense classes for women one a month.”

Rodriguez introduced two bands, “Xavier Hawk” and “Trip, Don’t Fall,” both whom sang lyrics about peace, justice, and healing while playing bongos, guitar, and various wind instruments. Rodriguez chanted his vision for the movement over the tribal-like music.

After the music, director of the Quantum Healing Center, Dr. Ryan Sheen, took the audience through a series of breathing exercises to show the physical responses that could be felt as a result of the suppression of feelings and events.

“Our minds are very deceiving; don’t ever react with your body but with your head…” Sheen chanted slowly, “go back to the worst moment and feel your surroundings.”

Further entertainment was provided by musicians Flint Blade with his Chapman guitar and later Brenda & Mike, finalizing the two and a half hour event with “One Day over the Rainbow.”

Rodriguez had expected a larger crowd before the event started, but later felt the turnout was sufficient.

“The ones that need to be here are here, and they can help raise awareness through communicating and informing others.”

For more information on volunteering and participating in RAINN, check out www.rainn.org or call the national sexual assault hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE.