Take Back the Night

sas2Take Back the Night is an event held around the world to raise awareness about sexual and domestic violence and to promote a community that stands up against this violence. Decades ago in Europe, women from many countries met together as a tribunal council to discuss women’s safety when walking down public streets. This was the first ever Take Back the Night. In later years, a rally and march has been held in several cities around the world to protest several issues around women’s safety.

The first Take Back the Night came to the United States in the late 1960s. In 1973, Take Back the Night was held to protest pornography in San Francisco, and serial murders of women of color in Los Angeles. In October 1975, a march was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania after the murder of Susan Alexander Speeth, who was stabbed to death while walking home alone. Since the 1970s in the United States, Take Back the Night has focused on eliminating sexual and domestic violence in all forms. Thousands of colleges and universities, domestic violence shelters, and rape crisis centers have held this event all over the country.

NOVA has had three Take Back the Nights in the last year. We hold Take Back the Night twice a year, in April and October. NOVA’s most current Take Back the Night was held on April 21, 2015 at the Loudoun Campus. This event consists of a resourcSAS1e fair and rally followed by a candle light march around the campus. We invite resources within the NOVA community, as well as outside resources. During our rally, we invite sexual assault, domestic violence and/or stalking survivors to talk about their experiences. If you would like to participate in the next Take Back the Night at NOVA, please contact Angela Acosta at aacosta@nvcc.edu or 703-323-2406.

If you are in need of services or have questions, please contact NOVA SAS at nova.sas@nvcc.edu or text/call 703-338-0834 (24 hours / 7 days a week).

-Written by: Angela Acosta, Sexual Assault Services (SAS) Outreach Specialist, NOVACares Office 

The Red Flag Campaign

red_flag_dayThe Red Flag Campaign is a public awareness campaign designed to address dating violence and promote the prevention of dating violence on college campuses. The campaign was created using a “bystander intervention” strategy, encouraging friends and other campus community members to “say something” when they warning signs (“red flags”) for dating violence in a friend’s relationship. What are some of those red flags?

  • Constant phone calls, texts, e-mails, or messages throughout the day or showing up unexpectedly
  • Telling you how to dress or act
  • Take your money or take advantage of you in other ways
  • Try to isolate you and control whom you see or where you go
  • Blame you for how they treat you, or for anything bad that happens.

Dating/partner violence is about power and control. Research indicates that in 21% of college dating relationships, one of the partners is being abused. College aged women (16-24) experience the highest per capita rate of intimate partner violence. Recognize a red flag in a friend’s relationship? Violence and abuse in relationships usually continues and often gets worse over time if no action is taken to stop it. You can help your friend by being honest about your concerns. Say something!

If you are in need of services or have questions regarding red flags in a relationship, please contact NOVA SAS at nova.sas@nvcc.edu or text/call 703-338-0834 (24 hours / 7 days a week). We can help you approach a friend to let them know that you are concerned and help guide them to resources.

-Written by: Angela Acosta, Sexual Assault Services (SAS) Outreach Specialist, NOVACares Office 

Safety Tips

Many of NOVA Online’s 23,000 online students take courses on campus too.  Please watch this informative video on how you can stay safe while taking classes or proctored exams.

Safety Tips:

  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times.
  • It’s always better to walk in pairs and trust your instincts.
  • Students, faculty and staff are asked to stay alert and report suspicious activity to NOVA Police.
  • Police escorts are available at any time by calling (703) 764-5000.
  • Report any information about this case by contacting NOVA Police or by enrolling in NOVA’s LiveSafe App. Learn more about LiveSafe at www.livesafemobile.com.

Stay Healthy and Safe This Fall

3 pumpkins on fence

Fall is here! Now is a great time  to start or maintain healthy habits. Here are a few tips to help you get started:

  1.  Be proactive about the flu. Here are some great tips about flu prevention.
  2. Prepare for cold weather.
  3. Have a happy and safe Halloween.
  4. Start a fitness routine.

For more tips on fall health and safety, visit the CDC website.

If you are interested in learning more about the Ebola virus, please visit NVCC’s library guide.

Bicycle Etiquette: What to know

Now that the warm weather and long nights have arrived, if you are a bicycle enthusiast, promote your safety and well-being by obeying biking safety rules. Here are some tips that will help you be respectful of others on the roads and trails and overall promote the importance to being mindful of biking etiquette.bicycle

Wear a helmet at all times:  You may think you are safe without a helmet but one patch of sand or slip up and you could be down.  A helmet can make all the difference!

Be Respectful of Others (Observe the Traffic Rules):  Ride in the same direction of traffic and follow the same traffic laws as if you were driving a car.  Use hand singles to advise others of what you will be doing. Do not pass on the right and be sure to stop at red lights, stop signs and yield to pedestrians.  You are sharing the roads and must be respectful of automobiles and walkers.  If you are riding on a trail and notice walkers ahead, ring your bell (if you have one) and announce loudly, ‘coming up on your left’.  If the walkers do not move over, slow down.

Stay to the Right:  Ride as far to the right as is possible unless you are making a left-hand turn or avoiding hazards in the road.  If you must stop, do your best to move as far off the road as possible.

Ride Single File or in a Pair: When riding in a group of two or more, be sure that you do not ride more than two on the roads. According to LIVESTRONG, “no state permits riding more than two abreast on public roads”.

Equip Your Bike for Safety:  For safety purposes, your bicycle should have a bell, mirror headlight and taillight.

Regular Maintenance: As you would do with your car, keep your bike in excellent repair, checking the breaks and tires. Also, be sure to lock it when leaving it parked.

These are just a small listing of the safety measures you need to practice when riding your bicycle.  If you enjoy biking and want additional information on various websites to include the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the  National Biking Safety Network.

LiveSafe App

NOVA is excited to announce the college-wide launch of a powerful new mobile safety app! livesafeThe free LiveSafe app will improve communication between students, faculty, staff, and college police, and facilitate emergency response in distress situations. By providing access to the latest safety information, our goal is to make our already safe NOVA campuses and centers safer and more secure.

The LiveSafe app will offer a range of safety resources to NOVA students, faculty, staff, and parents, including to ability to:

•    Send your location to college police in an emergency
•    Report tips anonymously to college police
•    Let friends or family monitor you as you walk home, so you never have to walk alone.
•    Notify college police and emergency management of your safety and security concerns
•    Ask questions and/or make suggestions to the college police

Here’s how you get the app:

1.    Visit the iTunes or Google Play store, depending on your smartphone, and download the “LiveSafe” app (blue shield icon).
2.    Choose NOVA from the list of schools that appear.
3.    Fill-in your name and contact info so we can get in touch in the event of an emergency.

If you have any questions:

Call NOVA Dispatch, at 703-764-5000, if you have any questions about NOVA’s new mobile LiveSafe app. For additional information, check out www.LiveSafeMobile.com.