A personal tragedy in Angela Rose’s life helped transform her into part of a bigger movement against sexual violence.
Now an activist, Rose will headline an event at Ferris State University organized to bring greater awareness to the realities of sexual assault through a survivor’s discussion, “Shattering the Silence of Sexual Violence,” set for Wednesday, April 13, in Room 111 of the College of Business at 7 p.m. Ferris’ Committee on Sexual Assault will host the program. It is free and open to the public.
“Unfortunately, we know that sexual assault happens everywhere,” said Nicholas Campau, co-chair of the Committee on Sexual Assault and coordinator of Student Life at Ferris. “This is a chance for women to learn how to protect themselves and for people to learn how to protect friends and family members.”
Rose became a victim of abduction and sexual assault at age 17. Through support from her community and others affected by the same attacker, Rose led an effort to create the 1998 Sexually Violent Persons Commitment Act in Illinois. Since 1998, nearly 200 convicted sex offenders have been labeled as “Sexual Violent Persons” in Illinois.
Campau and the Committee on Sexual Assault wanted to bring a speaker to campus with an ability to relate to students and inspire the community.
“It’s a sensitive topic for survivors on campus. It’s emotional, but it’s important and impacts a lot of people. We don’t want to ignore it. We want to educate students and provide opportunities for support,” he said.
Ferris student Jennella Rykse, a representative of the Social Work Association on campus, believes that students may be empowered by Rose’s message.
“I feel that speakers like Angela Rose are necessary on every campus because it is important to reach as many people as we can about topics such as sexual assault,” Rykse said. “I believe that this speaker will empower someone who attends the event, and that is what we want.”
Campau hopes the dialog on sexual assault continues beyond Rose’s presentation.
“I think the main thing is to bring about awareness,” he said. “There are a lot of small steps we can take to really prevent sexual crimes from happening, such as not leaving a friend behind at a party or monitoring your own behaviors.
This is great for survivors to be inspired or to speak out,” Campau added.
The program is sponsored in part by the Diversity and Inclusion Office Faculty Staff Mini-Grant. Other sponsors include the Office of the Dean of Student Life, Office of Student Conduct, Office of Multicultural Student Services, the Personal Counseling Center, the Social Work Association, and Women’s Information Services, Inc.