7 Ways Students Are Taking On Campus Sexual AssaultMay 22, 2014
In the last year, the White House has taken a strong stance against campus sexual assault with the release of a new website providing resources for survivors. We applaud the administration for pushing schools to take action when it comes to ending violence on campus.
But we’re especially proud of the work students in our own community are doing. Across the country, college students are taking a stand against sexual assault. Earlier this year, we asked folks on campus to share their advocacy stories. Here are some of our favorites.
1. Project Unspoken
Grand Valley State University and Swarthmore College initiated Project Unspoken, a national campaign for survivors to share the negative reactions they received when they came forward with their assault. Each school asked survivors to submit pictures of themselves holding up written responses and then displayed the images at a community event.
2. Denim Day
Advocates worldwide wear jeans on Denim Day to raise awareness about the misconceptions surrounding sexual assault. Students at the University of Missouri, Columbia, took the awareness day to the next level by writing empowering messages on denim. They placed these pieces in bags and handed them out to community members to spread the message that clothing plays no part in causing rape.
3. Hands Project
The Hands and Words Are Not for Hurting Project is a national campaign that asks participants to pledge to use their hands for helping and not hurting. Participants stamp their handprints on paper as a symbol of their pledge. The University of North Alabama, the University of Alabama, and Grand Valley State University host this event annually.
4. Walk a Mile in Her Shoes
Students from the George Washington University, Millersville University, and the University of Delaware took part in the Walk a Mile in Her Shoes campaign, which encourages men to take a stand against sexual assault. Men walk a mile in heels to raise awareness in their communities about the serious causes and effects of sexual violence against women, and about how men can take steps to stop it.
5. Other Marches
Many students have organized marches to voice their opinions about the need for safer campuses. Some marches were part of national campaigns, like Take Back the Night and Slutwalk, while other groups, like one at the University of California, Merced, hosted a Walk for Change to address needed improvements to sexual assault awareness on campus. Muskingum University, Moravian College, and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, all hosted Take Back the Night marches. The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (pictured above), had 250 people attend their march!
6. Educational Workshops
George Mason University, the University of Maryland, the University of Connecticut, and the George Washington University have all hosted educational programs for sororities. George Mason University’s National Panhellenic Council hosted a two-hour workshop to train students on the definitions of sexual violence and perpetrators and on becoming an active bystander. The workshop included activities on intervention techniques and the effects of victim-blaming.
7. Student Symposiums
Students at Baker University hosted a student symposium to educate their peers on sexual violence, rape myths, and active bystander intervention. The University of Alabama hosted an event exploring the media’s treatment of sexual assault cases, The REEL story of Sexual Assault at Florida State University. The event looked at how the media depicted (and influenced) the Jameis Winton sexual assault case and how students’ response to sexual assault reports affects survivors.
Want to share what your campus does to address sexual violence? Send your story to to firstname.lastname@example.org.