Sexual violence remains an all-too-common problem in our communities, our nation, and our world. Recent studies have highlighted the growing concern of sexual assault on college campuses. A recent study revealed that approximately 12 percent of student respondents across 27 universities reported experiencing nonconsensual sexual contact by physical force, threats of physical force, or incapacitation since they enrolled at their university.
To increase awareness about this issue, prevent future crimes, and aid victims, SPU recognizes April as National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The Office of Safety and Security along with various
clubs and departments across campus are sponsoring several displays and events
to draw attention to the “Elephant in the Room” and educate our community about
issues such as consent, bystander intervention, and resources on campus to
provide support for survivors.
By promoting safe behaviors, thoughtful policies
and healthy relationships, we can create safe and equitable communities where
every person is treated with respect.
Book Display – During April the Library will display book titles related to gender based violence. Informational brochures will also be provided.
Clothesline Project – April 18 to 28th, displayed in Martin Square. T-shirts, designed by SPU students, serve as a way to educate and unite the community against sexual assault and gender-based violence.
The Elephant in the Room – April 18 to 28th, Martin Square, weekdays from 10:00am to 6:00pm. A life-size elephant will be on display. Our community is welcome to write words of support and encouragement on the elephant throughout the scheduled times. Ribbons and pamphlets will also be available for students who want to know more about consent, bystander intervention, and support resources.
Staff Council on Personal Safety – April 19th 12:00-1:00pm in the Library Seminar Room. Staff Council is sponsoring a one hour presentation by Safety and Security on Personal Safety for men and women. The main goal of crime prevention is to reduce the risk of being a victim, which is best achieved by removing and avoiding opportunities for a criminal to take advantage of you or your property. Universal crime prevention tactics will be reviewed as well as issues specific to gender based violence. Attendees will learn bystander intervention techniques that demonstrate how to safely intervene in potentially dangerous situations. Resources for further education and support will be available. Staff Council will be raffling off personal safety alarms and a highly recommended book, “The Gift of Fear,” by Gavin De Becker.
Staff Council sponsored Women’s Self Defense Workshop for female staff – April 20th, 12pm – 1pm, lower gym. Staff Council is sponsoring a one hour physical self-defense workshop for women conducted by Safety and Security certified self-defense instructors. This workshop is designed to teach women about the dynamics of gender based violence, the body’s natural reactions to trauma, and effective non-physical preventative measures that can help lower one’s risk of being targeted. The physical defensive skills are simple and easy to learn.
Denim Day – April 26th is a nationally recognized day in which people are encouraged to wear jeans (denim) in order to protest the misconceptions that surround sexual assault. “Ask Me Why I’m Wearing Denim” buttons will be available at the Office of Safety and Security and in Martin Square at the Elephant in the Room display.
Faculty Responses to Student Disclosures of Sexual Violence – For All Faculty – April 27th 11:00 – 11:40 Eaton 112. Faculty, in their unique position in the lives of students, are likely to have sexual assaults disclosed to them. The Office of Safety and Security wants to help faculty know how to respond to a disclosure of sexual assault and how to connect the victim to services and support. Under Title IX, faculty members are generally mandatory reporters if a sexual assault is disclosed to them. Presented by Cheryl Michaels.
Faculty Responses to Student Disclosures of Sexual Violence – For Female Faculty – April 27th, 11:45 – 12:30 Eaton 112. Faculty, in their unique position in the lives of students, are likely to have sexual assaults disclosed to them. The Office of Safety and Security wants to help faculty know how to respond to a disclosure of sexual assault and how to connect the victim to services and support. Under Title IX, faculty members are generally mandatory reporters if a sexual assault is disclosed to them. Presented by Cheryl Michaels (for female faculty only).
Pornocracy: Power, Politics, and Patriarchy – April 27th, Upper Gwinn, 7:00pm to 8:30pm. This event is co-sponsored with a student club [GN1] and the Office of Safety and Security. Pornography can perpetuate misogyny and sexual violence. This can be seen on an individual level when pornography becomes the primary teacher of one’s sexual development and the internalized messages of pornography are lived out in relationship, sometimes unconsciously. Pornography can prevent people from forming and maintaining meaningful relationships. It can also contribute to loss of jobs, severe depression, and sexual issues within committed relationships. Resources and information for those struggling with pornography will also be available. Presented by Andrew Bauman, a licensed mental health counselor. He holds a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology from The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology. His first book, “How We Change: A Framework of Healing Transformation” will be available in 2018.
GBV Lunch Lecture “Beyond Rape Myths: Why Victims Aren’t Believed” – May 2nd, 11:45 – 12:20 Demaray 150. Presented by Vicki Aaberg, PHD, RN, School of Health Sciences Faculty and Cheryl Michaels, Assoc. Director Safety & Security. Rape myths include misperceptions about who is “rapeable” and how a victim of “real” rape behaves before, during, and after an assault. These myths create a conflict between how many people assume victims should behave and the way in which victims actually behave; this in turn impacts how our society responds to survivors. Neuroscience suggests that many common victim responses are actually the results of fear and trauma – not deception, as they have frequently been interpreted. Understanding these physiological responses to trauma can transform how survivors are supported.
Online Gender Based Violence Prevention Fundamentals – This online training will be made available to all faculty, staff and students. This program covers important topics such as students’ rights and responsibilities; preventing sexual violence, dating violence, stalking, and harassment; sensitivity regarding victim/survivor experience; and promoting a culture that helps prevent these crimes from occurring. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to register or log in to Canvas to access the class.