Students learn about facts and myths of rape and how to protect themselves.

One in every four women becomes a sexual assault victim or is involved in an attempt on a college campus, according to Cerritos College speech instructor Minodora Moldoveanu, who was the speaker at the Women’s Self Defense Seminar on Friday in the Social Science Building.

Even though she was not a victim of rape herself, Moldoveanu said that when she became aware of the topic, she found it interesting and started to do a lot of research on it.

She said in the seminar, “Sadly, we live in a rape-infested society.

“The youngest rape victim is four months old (and) the oldest rape victim is 93 (years old), so if you’re anywhere between those two ages, you’re likely counted.”

Moldeveneau said that rape is a gender-based crime, making it more likely for a woman to be raped over a man unless the man is sent to prison. She said it is gender-based because 99 percent of men commit rape.

Moldeveneau also provided a list of myths that make victims less likely to report the crime:

Women want to be raped.

Sexual arousal leads to rape.

Most rapes are in dark alleys by strangers who act extremely violent toward the victim

Rape involves physical force

The victim has to be physically resistant for it to be considered rape

Weapons need to be involved

Rapists are mentally unstable and of lower economic status

She added that sexual assaults are more likely to occur between acquaintances, mostly on dates and to women between the ages of 17 to 25 years old.

She said that out of everything she discussed in the seminar, the most important thing a person can do to prevent from being attacked is “assertiveness, standing up for yourself and saying No and then doing the necessary physical steps to make sure that someone understands.”

To prevent from becoming a victim herself, Moldoveanu also took self defense classes and showed the group of students at the seminar different techniques in order to defend themselves.

She said gauging the eyes, a kick to the groin and simple punch to the nose will help to get you out of your predicament.

She also mentioned how a person should speak up if they are feeling uncomfortable, even if the other person has no intention of doing so and could possibly feel offended.

Moldoveanu said that almost every semester she has a few students that will go and discuss what happened to them because of her knowledge on the subject.

“My goal is for them to deal with the problem so they can lead close to normal lives as possible. And I’m not a counselor either so I’m not trained to counsel them to help them deal with it, but what I can do is point them out to resources.

“I’ve pointed women out, before, to our Health Center because I know that they have some psychological services or they get referred to psychological services.

She said that even though she has not been a victim herself, based on what she knows, she is still able to empathize and understand the students that come to her and share their experiences.

Cynthia Arellano-Lavariere, another speech instructor, and psychology instructor Michael Farris are co-advisors for the Gift of Inspiration Falcon Team Club, who held the seminar.

Arellano-Lavariere explained why the GIFT Club decided to host this seminar, Arellano-Lavariere said, “The GIFT Club is to bring together the community so like everyone on campus. We want to bring the community, faculty, staff and students so we figured it was something that was needed, like an awareness.

“We’ve had some things happen on campus and a lot of students were afraid so we figured that this was a good topic right now.”

Since Moldoveanu has spoken at Cal-State Long Beach about the issue of sexual assault, Arellano-Lavariere decided it was a good idea to bring her in to speak at Cerritos College.

“It was a great turnout. I think we’re going to have another (seminar).

Right now, (Moldoveanu) is talking to the Long Beach State team to come and perform, so they do a performance and then she speaks.”

Whether or not this seminar had a strong impact on the students that attended, Arellano-Lavariere said, “A lot of people came out and they were clapping and excited and also some were emotional. I did have some (students) when I was out (in the hallway) and I did talk to them and made sure that they were OK.

“It’s a very difficult topic and so, if we do offer it again, (we will) definitely be prepared. I think we were fine (this time) but there are people that this is a very emotional topic (for them). Even if they aren’t victims themselves, they maybe know a victim or are afraid for whatever reason in their life, so that’s a really scary thought.”