A Call to Action to Make Campuses Safer
A survivor at Grand Valley State University shares how one person responded to their assault.
1 in 5...
One in five college women is the victim of sexual assault; the majority (75-80%) know their attacker.
"My dean encouraged me to take time off, go home, essentially wait for my rapist to graduate and then come back to campus when it was safe to do so," said Dana Bolger in a National Public Radio interview. And Bolger’s story is not unlike thousands of other sexual assault survivors.
Recent media coverage is inspiring action.
"More than a weight gain during the first year of college, The Other Freshman 15 is a term reminding us that sexual assault can be more frequent during the first 15 weeks of school." This website offers action steps for students and parents. Use the site's built-in, easy-to-use search tool and look up your teen's school or your alma mater and ask them to take a stand and increase prevention and intervention efforts.
As survivors of sexual violence share their stories, the spotlight has shown that too many colleges and universities are lacking policies, not providing adequate training for students and faculty and not addressing a culture that minimizes the danger of sexual assault for college women.
Statistics remind us that the danger is very real. One in five college women is the victim of sexual assault; the majority (75-80%) know their attacker. The federal government has publicized a list of colleges and universities (including Dartmouth College) being investigated by the US Department of Education for how they handled reports of sexual assault.
With awareness has come a swell of activism. Parents and students are asking about their school’s policies, students are demanding a voice on campus and survivors are finding solidarity with each other. Survivors and advocates are collectively raising their voices for real change.
New federal legislation encourages and mandates schools to provide more prevention and intervention regarding sexual assault. Find out what your school is doing to come into compliance with the law.
Make a plan today to talk to your teen, or to someone you know who has a high school or college student. Share info through social media. Use your voice to speak up. Together we can create safer homes, schools and communities.
Boys and Men as Activists
Here are links to two YouTube videos to help you talk with boys and men about the important role boys and men play in preventing sexual assault.
1 is 2 Many
A Needed Response
Other Freshman 15
Look up your college or university and sign a letter asking the president to do more to protect students from sexual assault.
Know Your Title IX Empowering Students to Stop Sexual Violence – a resource dedicated to personal and school-wide activism
Bringing In The Bystander – a program of Prevention Innovations through the University of New Hampshire, emphasizing community responses and responsibility
Not Alone - established by the federal government, with information for parents, students and schools
National Campus Safety Awareness Month – professional development and resources for schools to create campus-wide change.
American Association of University Women-7 Ways Students Are Taking On Campus Sexual Assault