Langara student battles sexual assault with new pledge

 

Langara students join Melissa Malano's battle in a fight against sexual assault. (Ashley Legassic)
Langara students join Melissa Malano’s battle in a fight against sexual assault. (Ashley Legassic)

Langara student Melissa Malano is fighting back against rape and sexual assault, and Langara’s playing a part in this battle.

After the 21-year-old criminology student’s own experience with sexual assault, she decided to start a pledge last week for students to express their support for this ongoing issue, and has gained over 100 signatures so far.

Many of the men who signed the pledge denounced mainstream media’s idea of “college sex and promiscuity,” according to Malano.

Langara student Melissa Malano created a pledge against rape and sexual assault. (Ashley Legassic)
Langara student Melissa Malano created a pledge against rape and sexual assault. (Ashley Legassic)

“In our popular culture now a days, they put emphasis on the whole ‘sex and drugs being the in thing’, and a lot of younger people kind of have this misconception to think that going out and getting laid on a Friday or Saturday night on a daily basis is ok, and snorting coke off someone’s ass is cool, because that’s what we see in music videos, too,” said Malano.

Langara students are joining the pledge 

Student Eyren Uggenti helped Malano when she started the petition, suggesting to her that opening the petition up, rather than exclusively male signatures, would get support from the student body as a whole.

Uggenti also believes that it’s a taboo subject that people aren’t necessarily willing to open up about.

“When [Melissa] first started talking about it, I was kind of taken back and then I was like ‘O.K., what’s actually trying to be accomplished here and how can we go about doing that?” Uggenti said. “I think awareness is some of the key to that preventative approach as well.”

An issue that needs to be addressed openly 

Women are ashamed to tell their story because they would rather forget the situation ever happened, Malano suggested.

“These women that have been assaulted blame themselves, and I can relate to that because I did that too,” Malano said. “It’s part of the healing process to just completely forget it all together.”

Glenn Ruby of the Langara Falcons’ men’s basketball team thinks the topic needs to be addressed more openly.

“Even if I haven’t heard of any of those cases. . . obviously those things do take place,” said Ruby. “Something like rape or assault can really damage someone permanently, so it’s definitely something that needs to be focused on.”

Sign the pledge.

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