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The Advocates’ teen interns, or ETCs, are bringing awareness to the problem of sexual violence during Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

To mark Sexual Assault Awareness Month, The Advocates’ teen interns, in collaboration with The Community Library, are screening the documentary film “Roll Red Roll” on Wednesday, April 21, at 6:30 p.m. via The Community Library’s Livestream.

“Roll Red Roll” tells the story of a sexual assault that took place in 2012 in Steubenville, Ohio, when three football players raped a young high school student.

“This documentary explores culture change within the community and exposes the denial, peer pressure, Steubenville football culture and social media influence that play key parts in the tragedy,” states a press release. “By focusing on the reality of rape culture, the film aims to reduce the stigma surrounding it.”

Monica Reyna is the Violence Prevention Educator for The Advocates, a nonprofit organization based in Hailey that provides shelter, financial resources and community support for those suffering from emotional and physical abuse. She oversees The Advocates’ nine teen interns, known as ETCs (Every Teen Counts). Reyna said their role in the community is to foster healthy relationships as peer educators and cultural influencers.

“Their main job is to inspire others to speak out and create positive cultural change,” Reyna said. “Their goal of screening ‘Roll Red Roll’ is to raise awareness about an issue that impacts all of us and to think critically about the role each of us can play in ending sexual violence.”

Reyna said that according to the 2017 Idaho Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 1 in 5 female high school students in Idaho are sexually assaulted, coerced or raped; 15.1% of female high school students and 4.1% of male high school students had been forced to have sexual intercourse when they did not want to during the previous 12 months.

“Last year, The Advocates supported 61 survivors of sexual assault,” Reyna said.

“Roll Red Roll” director Nancy Schwartzman writes, “The bottom line is that rape is preventable. Steubenville is just like your town or school. Watching and studying the police interviews, the story shows clearly that rapists and bystanders are not “monsters”—they are us, our sons, our fathers, our coaches, our friends. When we turn them into “monsters” it makes rape hard to “see” and eradicate. We as individuals and communities have to take responsibility and teach accountability to our children so that they understand this is wrong. And that speaking up and intervening is the right thing to do, even if no one else is doing it. I am hopeful that audiences take these lessons to heart and will move forward in creating safe, loving and caring communities for our future generations.”

Third-year Advocates teen intern Ethan Hunt said, “This film is an honest look into modern manifestations of rape culture and how an event such as the one depicted in the film, and what happens after, can shift the culture of an entire town for the better. We know that if everyone in our valley took the time to watch ‘Roll Red Roll,’ we as a community could achieve a greater understanding of rape culture and its negative effects on teens in America.”

Each year the Advocates’ ETCs plan and implement awareness campaigns and events with a vision of creating a “compassionate community free from emotional and physical abuse,” Reyna said.

“The ETCs tackle topics such as teen dating violence, sexual assault and bullying. They also join the prevention education staff in classrooms to teach about consent, the components of a healthy relationship, red flags or warning signs of abuse and being an active bystander,” she said.

To RSVP for the virtual screening, go to bit.ly/theadvocates_rrr.

Email the writer: tevans@mtexpress.com

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