“Project Speak Out” Airs on ABC

Students Boost Sexual Violence Prevention


Project members in discussion

The video explains and advocates against today’s rape culture … blaming the victim not the perpetrator.

In our day to day lives, the issue of sexual violence is prevalent. However, efforts to spread awareness about how to prevent sexual violence have only recently grown. At DMAE, the Zone has led a movement to do so and its success was noticed by a major news network last fall. Over a period of three years, The Zone developed initiatives to address gender violence that led to the creation of a student-made video about sexual violence called “Project Speak Out.”

“Call it the sign of the times:  high school students trying to spark honest discussion and change things when it comes to sexual violence,” news anchor Bill Ritter said.

Mr. Ritter and ABC 7 learned about the video and featured it on their broadcast last November. At DMAE alone, 20 students victims were recently helped through this violence prevention program.

“‘Project Speak Out’ is really important, especially in this day and age with technology and everybody being exposed to the consequences. As young people, we need to be aware and spread the word against it because we are the most influential,” said senior Gisselly Peralta who was on the student advisory board for the video.

The purpose of the video was to inform DMAE students and staff about the prevalent issue of sexual violence. With special thanks to ABC7 and Fios1, the video reached the attention of viewers of all ages, raising more awareness about sexual violence.  The video explains and advocates against today’s rape culture that focuses on blaming the victim and not the perpetrator.

The Zone began creating an awareness of rape culture in 2013 when the Zone staff trained DMAE athletes on how to intervene in potentially violent sexual assault. It grew from there into the Green Dot initiative, which involved approximately 150 students learning about human trafficking, consent laws, and marketing that promotes the rape culture, such as suggestive advertisements.

This year, the Zone is holding monthly events to continue raising awareness and has partnered with Lauren Hersh, co-founder of World Without Exploitation, to focus on human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

“Hopefully the spotlight on these issues can help stop it. There are way too many people being affected and with further publicity the issue can no longer be swept under the rug,” senior Miles Egert said.