Sexual Violence on College Campuses
Campus safety impacts the entire San Diego State University (SDSU) population, making it a community responsibility to increase knowledge and awareness of issues currently affecting the safety on campus. One of the prominent concerns of campus safety is sexual violence due to its psychological, emotional, and physical consequences.
Sexual violence occurs in many different forms and can affect anyone. The term itself means any physical sexual act (such as unwelcome sexual touching, sexual assault, sexual battery and rape) perpetrated against an individual without consent or against an individual who is incapable of giving consent due to that individual’s use of drugs or alcohol, or disability. Consent requires clear communication between participants and is the agreement to engage in sexual activity. It does not need to be verbal however; verbal agreement can help participants to understand boundaries. It is extremely important to understand that consent can be withdrawn at any point if a participant becomes uncomfortable. Sexual assault is extremely underreported which results in many perpetrators not experiencing any legal repercussions.
College campuses are beginning to stand up against sexual violence! This progressive movement is in part a result of the White House initiative called the Campus Save Act. This act strives to increase transparency about the scope of sexual violence on campus, guarantee victims enhanced rights, provide for standards in institutional conduct proceedings, and provide campus community wide prevention educational programming. To learn more about the Campus Save Act, visit: http://campussaveact.org/.
Check out RAINN Day 2015!
Sexual violence has become an increasingly widespread topic across college campuses resulting in the creation and implementation of many significant campaigns and events. Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) is the nation’s largest anti-sexual assault organization educating more than 120 million Americans each year about sexual violence. RAINN uses community partnerships to put critical sexual assault information into the hands of young people. RAINN has created an annual day of action, which aims to motivate campuses to take a stand against sexual violence. This year, on September 17th, SDSU will be participating in RAINN Day. The event will have many opportunities for interaction with peers and staff and will include information about consent, survivor resources, and sex positive choices. Come out to this event at Campanile Walkway near Hepner Hall to help raise awareness on a serious issue that affects the SDSU community!
SDSU’s Let’s Talk Campaign
Let’s Talk is a current rape and sexual violence resource campaign at SDSU. The Let’s Talk campaign aims to raise awareness of sexual violence by increasing the communication about awareness, prevention, intervention, and survivor support. Let’s Talk is a collaboration of rape and sexual violence resources specific to each college campus. Police, medical, counseling, community, and specialized campus services are involved in the resource collaboration. The SDSUTalks.sdsu.edu website is a great resource for information about survivor rights and options, understanding consent, and for information on Let’s Talk programs and events happening throughout the year at SDSU.
Are you looking for more opportunities to get involved in taking a stand against sexual violence? Check out these resources in the SDSU community!
Aztecs for Awareness (AFA)
Aztecs for Awareness is an organization at SDSU that works to raise awareness of, and provide education about sexual assault and violence. The organization focuses on preventing sexual assault and violence along with responding to friends or family members who may become victim of rape, sexual assault and or domestic violence. AFA encourages students to be proactive about sexual assault and violence prevention on campus and in their home communities. For more information regarding Aztecs for Awareness, check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AztecsForAwareness
Womyn’s Outreach Association (WOA)
The Womyn’s Outreach Association is currently the only organization at SDSU with the explicit mission to empower and liberate the female student population of the University. The organization creates activist events, and programs raising awareness of women’s issues and social justice. WOA implements the SDSU Take Back the Night each year in April. To learn more about WOA, visit their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/aodwoasdsu/info?tab=page_info
Article by: Samantha Greeney, MPH Candidate, Graduate Health Promotion Assistant