Caroline Heres, Julie Gelb and Jackie Reilly are on a mission to decrease sexual assault on college campuses. Last fall, Caroline and Jackie, who are students at Syracuse University, discussed the fact that they’d both been assaulted. What started as a chat between two friends evolved into a need to take action. Together, they decided to spread the word by contacting Syracuse sororities and holding a meeting about helping one another prevent assault
The pair received an encouraging response, and it quickly became clear that they had major potential on their hands. They teamed up with their sorority sister Julie Gelb, a PR major, to create Girl Code Movement. The organization aims to bring college women together across the country and encourage them to be active, empowered bystanders to help prevent rape through identifying possible victims and keeping them out of harm’s way.
Girl Code Movement is in the process of becoming an official student organization at Syracuse, which will enable members to host events on their own. In the meantime, the founders are working with sororities and other campus organizations this semester to hold meetings about rape prevention. The group also aims to draw attention to the issue using campus media, and runs a popular Facebook page.
Girl Code’s Cock Block Crew (CBC) movement enlists college ladies to be on the lookout for environments that could put a woman at risk of being raped. The movement’s Facebook page lists factors like alcohol, drugs or bad relationships as the kinds of signs to note. Girl Code knows and maintains that the only person to be blamed for assault is the rapist, but taking preventative action is a way to try to make a difference in an issue that otherwise leaves us feeling powerless.
I love this idea: it all comes down to women looking out for each other. These ladies’ efforts are not only humbling, but they’re a sign of what’s around the corner for the rape culture in this country. It won’t be tolerated for long.
[Image via Facebook.com/TheGirlCodeMovement]