Drawing from her own experience, Pamela Jesse, LBSU events service coordinator, offered tips to students on how to avoid domestic violence and remain safe on campus and at home.
She urged students to understand that consent starts with self confidence and having the strength to say “no.”
“Many years ago when I was dating a guy from the East Coast (…) I thought ‘this [is] an opportunity to get to know somebody,’” she said. “I decided I was so not ready to have sex, and I found the courage I never had in my entire life and I said, ‘we are not having sex tonight,’ and we both breathed this sigh of relief and had the best date, because the pressure was off.”
Students from the communication studies department hosted the domestic violence talk in the University Student Union Monday to raise awareness about abuse prevention with Jesse as the guest speaker.
Her main topics were self awareness and empowerment as a means of protection. The talk focused on three aspects that students experience daily regardless of gender. These topics were sexual assault, domestic violence and consent.
The talk also empowered people to demand consent when dealing with sexual encounters, even if it is with their significant other.
Jesse also taught audience members that being aggressive can be the best option when dealing with unwanted attention. For women, a simple “leave me alone” can be all that is needed.
The event also served as a safe place where people could tell their stories and ask personal questions about domestic violence, sexual assault and consent.
“For me as a woman, stuff about sexual assault and places I can go when I’m in trouble … I think that is a good thing to be aware, and we want to promote awareness all around,” said Angelia Churn, a junior communication studies major.
On campus, students have access to many resources including the night escort service that the University Police Department provides to get a ride to their car; they will also make sure the vehicle is safe to enter.
Jesse also recommended that people should inspect their surroundings before entering their driveway. If something doesn’t look right, she said it’s best to drive to the safest place, such as a local police department or a well-lit area with cameras, or call for an officer to check your home.
“The police would rather check your home and [there would] be nothing, then to get a call two days later and hear that you have been a victim of sexual assault,” Jesse said. While there are many things people can do to protect themselves from domestic violence and sexual assault on campus, Long Beach State offers protection services and it is recommended students explore that avenue before any other option.
Jesse also recommended women enroll in her Rape, Aggression, and Defense women’s self defense course that is offered by the University Police Department. More information on the course can be found on the UPD website. “You guys need to be the generation that says ‘no means no,’ I care about myself and we need to do something about this,” Jesse said.