Documentary to be shown to spread sexual assult awareness

By Allison Krecek

Students will learn about sexual assault and its consequences while snacking on something sweet at Thursday’s Divas and Desserts.

Attendees may enjoy dessert and light refreshments during a screening of “Red Blooded Men,” which will be followed by a discussion of the key issues explored in the documentary. This event is a part of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

“Divas and Desserts is an annual program where we focus on a featured event. This year, it is the ‘Red Blooded Men’ screening,” said Andrea Drott, interpersonal violence prevention health educator and organizer of the event. “We also have information about women and the history of [the] DeKalb area and the history of the sexual assault prevention movement.”

“Red Blooded Men” was created by five NIU students under the supervision of communication professor Laura Vazquez.

The documentary includes interviews with male students who feel pressure to compete with other men when they come to college. The students also obtained a recording of a woman’s story of her own sexual assault. She wanted to tell her story but not be featured in the film.

“They found a woman who stood in for the woman who was assaulted, so it was sort of like an actress reenacting what happened,” Vazquez said. “She was talking about what it was like to be taken advantage of after a night of partying and having a good time when she really doesn’t want that to happen, and she tells her story.”

Vazquez said she hopes students take in some of the information the film provides.

“There’s messages about alcohol, there’s messages about competition, how men compete with one another in the film,” Vazquez said. “We also talk about victim blaming, social expectations talking about gender behavior, so those are all pieces of this, so that’s what they were trying to get at throughout the film.”

Vazquez, Drott and Ware said they hope those who attend have a better understanding of what sexual assault is and how to prevent it.

“I hope people from the event take more knowledge about sexual assault awareness and about the different roles of masculinity and how all those different things feed in to the messages of sexual assault,” said Victim Advocacy Services coordinator Shana Ware. “I hope that with just bringing two programs together that people are more aware of the different issues the film brings up.”