In order to bring awareness to our campus, New York Film Academy dedicated this week, April 25 – April 29, to Sexual Assault Prevention. As part of the week, awareness flyers, stickers, and monitors were used to spread awareness on the subject. Photography student, Hanna Cowart, won our Sexual Assault Prevention Contest by creating the thought provoking poster seen above. An Honorable Mention to the contest was the 30-second “You Are Not Alone” video, created and acted in by NYFA students, which can be seen HERE.
Additionally, the Academy held two informative workshops on Self-Defense and Sexual Assault Awareness.
Self-Defense Workshop with Michael Acosta
First, NYFA welcomed Michael Acosta, a martial artist for over 20 years. Acosta provided students and faculty with a hands-on lecture and demonstration on how to properly and effectively defend yourself in a harmful situation. He began by introducing what is considered an uncomfortable or even dangerous situation. While it may vary from person to person, there is usually no mistaking the point in which someone is in serious danger. It’s in these moments that Acosta showed how to not only escape those situations, but to effectively defend one’s self through martial arts techniques.
“I believe that martial arts is useful as a tool to develop discipline, self-confidence, and commitment,” states Acosta. “I have seen it help kids and adults overcome their insecurities, improve focus, and achieve the goals they set for themselves.”
Students learn best through experience and muscle memory. The martial arts teaching focuses on mastering basic techniques by using people in group exercises and mentally preparing them for real world situations where they can be used for self-defense.
If you’re unsure of whether you’re in a potentially harmful situation, the chances are that your intuition is right. “If somebody is encroaching on your space, you need to say something,” says Acosta.
One piece of advice that stood out just from a general standpoint is the fact that we’re usually preoccupied with our own personal space—social media and smartphone interaction—that we sometimes forget about the world of interesting people around us. Acosta concluded, “the more you interact with people, the more comfortable you get.”
NYC Alliance Against Sexual Assault Guest Speaker
From the New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault, NYFA welcomed Senior Campus Sexual Assualt Coordinator, Jeenie Yoon. The Alliance’s mission is to build the capacity of communities, organizations, and institutions to advance the right to live free from sexual violence and reduce the harm it causes individuals, families, and society. Ms. Yoon provided a power-point presentation and lecture highlighting what is considered sexual assault and how serious the issue can be. Using film and television series as examples—like Game of Thrones, Girls, Goldfinger, and others— Yoon was able to properly define when a man or woman crosses the line and becomes a sexual predator. The most alarming message is the fact that most victims are not speaking up.
Her talk, and the week in general, was specifically designed to make people aware of sexual assault and to realize that it is more common than we often think. So, if it is or has happened to you, we encourage you to speak up!
For more information on the NYC Alliance Against Sexual Assault, please visit their website at: www.svfreenyc.org