The week of October 22nd IU will be participating with thousands of other colleges and universities in It’s On Us, a national initiative to bring an end to college sexual assault. It’s On Us focuses on the positive duty all of us, particularly men, have to combat sexual assault – not just stepping in and intervening if we see it about to happen, but also to contribute to an environment where everyone knows it is unacceptable and survivors are supported, heard, and cared for.
Events on campus occur throughout the week – Monday includes a ‘pledge’ drive where you can take a vow to be a catalyst for change (and get a t-shirt, which you are encouraged to wear that day), an Escalation film workshop, redefining ways of seeing relationship violence, and a Red Flag campaign, offering insight into seeing and acting on ‘red flags’. Tuesday features the “It Was Awkward, But…” campaign, encouraging people to share how they intervened in a situation before it spiraled into sexual assault. And Thursday features a Know the Signs workshop hosted by the Genesis shelter (this one is designed more for faculty and staff, but students are welcome to attend as well).
IU has many resources to help those who have been touched by sexual violence, whether a victim or a supporter. If you personally are a survivor of sexual assault, know that all IU staff who interact with students, as well as all administrators, have taken training in how to help you. And if you want complete confidentiality in talking about it (most staff are legally obligated to report some information, such as that a crime occurred), IU East offers counseling services to help you heal. There is emergency and contact information posted in every bathroom.
The library also offers a variety of guidebooks, resource books, and teaching manuals such as Campus Sexual Assault: College Women Respond by Lauren Germain, Perspectives on College Sexual Assault: Perpetrator, Victim, and Bystander by Roland Maiuro, Sexual Assault in Context: Teaching College Men about Gender by Christopher Kilmartin, Reporting Sexual Assault: A Social Ecology Perspective by Kim Ménard, Sexual Violence on Campus: Policies, Programs and Perspectives by Allen Ottens, and Campus Rape Victims: How They See the Police by Veronyka James.
We may think, as a non-traditional campus, that sexual assault is the kind of problem that happens somewhere else. But even without dorms, it can happen here, too. Be vigilant, because all of us are in this together. And all of us can make a difference. You are not alone. Because it’s on all of us to help.
For more information, you can contact our deputy Title IX Coordinator, Tracy Amyx, at firstname.lastname@example.org.