Women Who Lead conference promotes anti-rape culture at FIU

By Vanessa Martinez
Staff Writer

Shannon Miller was introduced as the keynote speaker during FIU’s ninth annual Women Who Lead conference.

The seven-time Olympic medalist is well-known for her success in winning 49 National competitions and 59 International medals.

Due to her accomplishments such as starting her business in marketing and entrepreneurship, advocating women’s health and battling against a rare form of ovarian cancer and winning she has endured in the fight of women in leadership.

During her appearance she shared the importance of motivation in leadership. She talked about subjects  such as handling adversity in a positive manner.

“It’s about the attitude and mindset in winning every day,” Miller said.

“The Gold Medal Mindset,” as she calls it composes of four simple tasks: have goals, stay motivated, be positive and remain consistent.

Her career as a gymnast accentuated an example of overcoming obstacles people face when putting up with a fight.

The schedule of events opened with two concurrent sessions. The panels revolved on the 21st century self-image of women as well as discussing raising sexual awareness towards women in need.

Because of the high statistics of students who are at risk for sexual assault, the Victim Empowerment Program has been enabled to provide help for women in the At Risk Center located on campus.

The goal for these programs is about seeking volunteering opportunities to advance help towards women dealing with post-traumatic disorders or depression due to rape, sexual harassment and assault.

Since many universities have not gathered programs like these available, the Women’s Center has held these resources amongst students dealing with these serious issues.

It had not been known to many that 1 out of 350 women in college experience actual sexual violence.

Now, with the aid of the school’s facilities, FIU embraces the responsibility of keeping cases confidential or not depending on the decision of the victim.

The main goal is about enabling help in which the victims can confide in order to keep the university environment free of sexual conduct and harassment.

Aside from the program proving that women have a role in avoiding sexual violence it also tells us that men are taught not to rape and to respect women as well as men who are also rape victims. The ethical principle behind this is that it is more than a matter of obeying the law but condoning it as the right thing to do.

Some pressing tips the conference left to students are:   If you see something, say something; never ask victim assaulting “why” type of questions; when put in a vulnerable situation of sexual harassment flee, do not resist, and scream; and lastly, do not simply report to the records, but also maintain the wholeness of the victim.

FIU promotes the facility towards any woman undergoing stressful events by supplying free medical attention, birth control, morning-after pills, condoms, and STD examinations at the Rape Treatment Center.

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