Each week there is at the very least one story that highlights a person that has been sexually violated in some way. Whether it is in another country, or in our own backyard. This week we had the story of two ex football players from Vanderbilt, who were actually tried and convicted. Let’s hope they get a deserving sentence! For more on that check out the story here.
This story and similar ones that I stumble upon each week were echoed on Tumblr (also known as a black hole for me.)
It seems like Vanderbilt was fairly proactive, which is great, but that is more of a gem in a sea of crap. The way schools handle sexual assaults has been a big point of contention for me, but seeing this photo just drove it home. If someone cheats on exam or paper, there is usually little leniency for the perpetrator, but if someone is sexually assaulted, the administrations conjure up excuses, move heaven and earth, hell too? in order to justify the actions that took place. Just let this sink in for a bit.
We had another great round table this Tuesday, where we had Sexual Assault Services (SAS) come and talk with us about the Red Flag Campaign, and the services that are provided throughout the college.
People had some great questions about consent, and raised some great points about how culturally there is a great impact on how we interact with one another sexually. There was a lot of focus on how “no” is not usually the stopping point, but the beginning of a negotiation, and how problematic that becomes, especially when people get worn down, and feel as though there is no other option.
All of these questions and topics were answered and further clarified by the wonderful people who came to visit from SAS. They did a great job of hosting our round table, and I know I walked away with more knowledge under my belt.
One of the biggest things I took away from this round table, is how fortunate we all are to have the support network created by SAS. Most institutions do not go to the lengths that these folks do in order to ensure that people get the help they need.
So here are some of things these amazing people do:
Provide support whether you are in a situation yourself, or trying to be there for family or friends who are in abusive relationships, sexual assaults, stalking
All services are confidential
Always on call ( cell #, so you can text as well)
They can meet off-campus
They will go to appointments, court, exams, etc.
They provide support when people need it the most, and are helping to ensure that survivors are aware of all of their options. We are quite fortunate to have this level of involvement, and people who invest so much time to make sure that survivors get help, and know that they are not alone.
SAS is under the NOVA Cares services here at NOVA. Here is there email: firstname.lastname@example.org and phone: 703-338-0834
Tomorrow one of our amazing police officers will be leading a training session with a member of SAVE to help bring awareness and provide safety tips to situations surrounding Sexual Assault, domestic violence, and stalking. A few weeks ago we had a great round table discussion about this, and this is being extended through this training and awareness program. Everyone is encouraged to attend, and become informed.
Here are some of the topics that will be discussed:
How to avoid sexual assaults, domestic, violence, and stalking
What to do if you are a victim
What to do if someone you know is a victim
Police guidance on relevant topics (i.e. emergency protective orders, police reporting, options, and more)
Resources in your community
I encourage you to come on out to the event it will be held on the Tyler Building in room 112.