WPI Sponsors Speaker on Sexual Assault Prevention

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616

A national speaker and author on sexual assault prevention will speak at WPI on Tuesday, March 23, at 7 p.m. Bill Nelson will present "Your Weapon Within: How to Lower Your Risk of Sexual Assault" in WPI's Alden Memorial Hall. The program is sponsored by the WPI Interfraternity Council, The Student Speakers Fund and Residential Services.

The focus of Nelson's presentation is on education and prevention of sexual assault, with an emphasis on developing an awareness of your surroundings, learning to identify potentially dangerous situations, trusting your instincts, being creative, and able to think on your feet if ever involved in an attack, and how traditional gender roles, sexism and cultural conditioning can lead to sexual violence and against women.

"Becoming involved in a physical confrontation should be your last resort. Good common sense, awareness, education and preventive avoidance measures will help you lower the risk of sexual assault. The fact that such attacks do still occur even after taking every possible precaution makes it improtant to at least consider some type of plan in case something has gone wrong in your prevention or avoidance training," says Nelson.

Nelson has spoken to thousands of people across the country on the issues of sexual assault prevention and self defense. Nelson is currently chairman of the board and a volunteer advocate for the Central Minnesota Sexual Assault Center and a volunteer advocate for Woman House, a battered women's shelter in central Minnesota. A Fifth-Degree Black Belt instructor in the art of Soo Bahk Do Karate. Nelson currently owns and operates a martial arts studio in central Minnesota. He earned his bachelor's degree in psychology with a minor in criminal justice from St. Cloud State University. Nelson has been a private investigator for the past 15 years and is a former police officer.

"The more we know about sexual assault, its victims, the attackers, our own personal area, our own physical limits and capabilities, the more we can then deal with the issue of sexual assault with confidence," says Nelson.