PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – If you’re a fan of the CBS reality show Big Brother, you’ve probably seen Paulie Calafiore before. He was a contestant last year.
On Thursday, he was on the University of Pennsylvania campus to talk about an important issue to him.
“I am here to speak about the sexual violence,” he tells KYW Newsradio. “The occurrence of it, what we can do as a community to help stop it and help raise awareness to it in a positive way.”
He says people tend to be afraid to discuss this topic.
“So I want to open up the conversation and encourage more people to talk about it,” he says.
The main message on National Sexual Assault Awareness Day that Calafiore wanted to get across…
“Self empowerment,” he says, “but also bringing awareness to the environments and how you can help your friends, family, loved ones, anyone this happens do.”
Calafiore leads RAINN (Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network) events all across the country.
“That one person gets inspired by maybe one thing I say, and then they go and carry on that to try to create positive change,” he says.
But he can thank the Alpha Sigma Pi fraternity for bringing him to Penn’s campus. They organized this discussion.
“I hope people are more aware of how often something like this happens,” says fraternity brother Elvis Jimenez, “how often people don’t say anything about it, how many people live in fear, and I just want people to be more proactive.”
Sex assault survivors also spoke at the event.
“I feel there’s not enough done to help survivors and too many people are afraid to speak up since they don’t have a safe space to talk,” adds Jimenez.
They shared their stories and took the audience through their healing process.