Lynn student raises awareness during Sexual Assault Awareness Month

“Women in the military are more likely to be sexually assaulted by their fellow military comrades than they are to be killed by enemy fire,” said Shaffer.

Published Apr. 17, 2013

Rachel_ShafferRachel Shaffer, a junior at Lynn University majoring in American Studies, is passionate about educating people – especially her fellow college students – regarding sexual assault of women in the military. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

She, in conjunction with Lynn’s Women’s Center, is hosting a screening of the Academy Award-nominated documentary about the epidemic of rape within the U.S. armed forces, The Invisible War, on Monday, April 22, at 7 p.m., in the Amarnick-Goldstein Concert Hall in the de Hoernle International Center. 

“Women in the military are more likely to be sexually assaulted by their fellow military comrades than they are to be killed by enemy fire,” said Shaffer. “The Institute of Medicine recently reported that these women are nine times more likely to experience symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I believe it’s especially important for those of us who do not make the sacrifices of military service to be aware of our individual responsibility as civilians to protect our soldiers and veterans when they come home from protecting us.”

The screening will be preceded by a panel discussion and will feature special guest, U.S. Congressman Ted Deutch.

Panelists include: 

  • Jill Levenson is an associate professor of human service in Lynn University's College of Arts and Sciences and a licensed clinical social worker with over 20 years of experience treating sexual abuse victims, survivors, perpetrators and non-offending parents. She is a nationally recognized expert on sexual violence. Her academic focus is on sexual abuse and how offenders are categorized and treated.
  • Teresa Bennett Pasquale is a trauma therapist at the Palm Beach Vet Center in Greenacres, Fla. She works with combat veterans and survivors of military sexual trauma with issues of readjustment, PTSD, addiction, family issues, and other related mental health issues. 
  • Naomi Lischak is a sexual assault victim advocate with the Palm Beach County Victim Services and Certified Rape Crisis Center Services and Certified Rape Crisis Center. She earned her Victim Service Practitioner Designation through the Office of the Attorney General, Florida Crime Prevention Training Institute.

“I hope after attending this event, more Lynn students will become civically engaged,” said Shaffer. “Awareness is vital for keeping the next generation of Americans informed and active as citizens.”

More on Shaffer 

Rachel Shaffer is a junior in Lynn University's College of Arts and Sciences. She is majoring in American Studies and minoring in education. Originally from Brooklyn, N.Y., Shaffer aspires to teach civics and history. Her interests include women’s issues, health care, education and economic policy. This summer, Shaffer is interning at MSNBC's Morning Joe.