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Sex Signals:

Title IX Explained

By Patrice Mitchell
On August 27, 2015

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits sexual discrimination in education. Students and faculty of all genders and ages are all covered under this law, and are protected from the threat of sexual harassment. The law covers all federally and state funded institutions including primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, as well as museums and technical schools. There are other laws that were designed to challenge sexual misconduct on and off campuses such as the Violence Against Women Act and the Family Violence Prevention ad Services Act. 

 Although these laws are meant to protect individuals from sexual acts of violence, it doesn’t always prevent them.  Vice President Biden made the following remarks upon the release of a White House report on sexual assault on April 29, 2014: “We know the numbers: one in five of every one of those young women who is dropped off for that first day of school, before they finish school, will be assaulted, will be assaulted in her college years.” 

That number has since risen to one in four women, and according to statistics by the Bureau of Justice, 80% of assaults on college students are never reported to the police. Many media outlets refer to this as a “silent epidemic.”  

To identify, prevent, and combat sexual assault and acts of violence against women on college campuses, many universities are reaching out to outside organizations to assist in educating the students, faculty, and staff on the issue.  “Sex Signals” is a seminar that has come to Concord University for the past few years to help students comprehend the realities of sexual violence, as well as the definition.  

According to the Sex Signals website, “Sex Signals has become one of the most popular sexual assault prevention programs on college campuses through its unorthodox, humor-facilitated approach to examining our culture, sex, and the core issue of bystander intervention.” 

 The Catharsis Productions seminar uses actors to act out uncomfortable, yet realistic situations that display forms of sexual violence. The program is designed to communicate with students on their level, and to give them a deeper understanding of a topic that is difficult to talk about.  

The presenters took their time to fully address any questions or concerns from the audience. One of the most discussed topics during the seminar was about the presence of alcohol during a sexual assault. Many students are often confused about whether or not someone could consent to a sexual act while drunk, or otherwise inebriated. Students were told that the phrase “No response means no,” is good to remember in a situation when you are not sure whether someone is consenting to a sexual act or not.   

Students were surprised to hear that the number one date rape drug in the United States is alcohol.  It’s been proven that the presence of alcohol is “closely associated” with sexual assault in social situations and on college campuses, but it is in no way a means to justify or excuse an assault.   

Hilary Williams, an actor for Catharsis Productions, has been with the company for 2 years. Sex Signals travels all over the world to perform for universities and other organizations in hopes of creating dialogue for social revolution.  

Williams says, “Actually seeing a live show about something [like sexual harassment], makes people more willing to have the hard conversations about it, and it could lead to cultural change.” 

It is clear that issues like rape and sexual violence are uncomfortable to talk about, especially in an auditorium full of classmates and friends. “Sex Signals” and other organizations like it help to clarify the importance of education and prevention. The goal is no abolish the sexual assault culture on campuses all together.   

For any information of Catharsis Productions and Sex Signals visit 


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