Alumni Spotlight

 

Jen (Brockman) Carlson '03

Jen (Brockman) Carlson ’03 is on a mission. She is fighting in the trenches for a cause dear to her heart. She fights for justice and freedom. No, she is not fighting overseas against a foreign enemy. She is right here in the Ozarks, fighting against sexual violence. Carlson is a consulting trainer for the Arkansas Coalition Against Sexual Assault. It is her job to arm law enforcement, rape crisis centers, and the general public with knowledge about sexual violence in order to curtail its occurrences and properly handle each case when violence does occur.

A criminology and sociology double major at Drury, Carlson got her start in in the social service sector during her collegiate years. While interning with the Drury Outreach Office, she worked with students at Central High School who were in danger of not graduating. The more time she spent with these students, the more she realized the domestic and sexual violence in their home lives was a major source of their academic problems. Upon graduation, Carlson began working with the Boys and Girls Town, acting as a caretaker for neglected and abused children displaced from their homes. During this time, she began to notice all the programs set in place to protect children from abuse, and yet, there were few programs to protect adults from sexual violence. Carlson realized, “Just because you turn 18, doesn’t mean you can’t be a victim.”

Carlton shifted her focus to protect adults from sexual violence and rape. Currently, she travels all over Arkansas, spreading her message of violence awareness. It is her mission to give her trainees a better understanding of what constitutes sexual violence and help them recognize that society’s perception of rape is flawed- rape can happen to anyone, and one’s attacker is seldom a stranger; acquaintance rape is much more common. By educating the public on the realities of sexual violence, Carlton hopes to reduce the occurrences of sexual violence and better aid those who have been affected.

Article written by: Megan Waterman (current student)

Did you know that?....

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. By raising awareness about the truths of sexual assault to communities and individuals, such occurrences may be reduced. Learn more information about Sexual Assault Awareness Month or click to learn how you can become more involved.