Many survivors of sexual assault or rape do not seek help due to rampant misconceptions and stigma regarding victimization and crimes of sexual assault. These survivors are our friends, our siblings and even ourselves. As three Masters of Social Work students, we feel that social work is about promoting social justice and empowering those who are vulnerable and oppressed. Everyone is somehow impacted by sexual assault, whether they are survivors, or friends and family members of survivors, and we encourage everyone to speak out, and change the wider attitudes towards rape culture, sexual violence and begin a new conversation.
As one of us knows too well, being a survivor can be a painful, shameful and dehumanizing experience. It is our hope that by increasing awareness and educating on this issue, we can change the way sexual violence is perceived and handled.
Facts About Sexual Assault
Every 107 seconds someone in the United States is sexually assaulted.
“The Red Zone” is a time within the first few weeks of each semester, where freshman students are at a much higher risk of being sexual assaulted.
Please note, this does not discount the risk for all students throughout the rest of the academic year.
According to CSUN’s Notice of Non-Discrimination on the Basis of Sex, sexual assault is “a form of sexual violence and is an attempt, coupled with the ability, to commit a violent injury on the person of another because of that person’s gender or sex.”
What is affirmative consent?
Affirmative consent is specifically and verbally saying “yes” to any sexual activity. Affirmative consent needs to be ongoing throughout the sexual activity, regardless of a one night hook-up or a long term-relationship.
What is not consent?
Silence is not consent. Lack of protest is not consent. Lack of resistance is not consent. Being drunk or high is not consent. Being unconscious or asleep is not consent. Being in a relationship with someone is not consent.
YOU CAN TAKE BACK YOUR CONSENT AT ANY TIME.
Who is a victim?
Men, women and children of all sexual orientations, races, ethnicities, ages, shapes and sizes.
So, what does this mean for you?
As of Fall 2015, CSUN will be implementing mandatory sexual assault prevention and outreach programs that are “victim-centered.” All CSUN students, including transfer students, will be required to take this training. This comprehensive prevention and outreach program will continue to support CSUN’s “victim-centered” stance, in regards to eliminating any room for fault on behalf of the victim. The training provides students accurate information about consent, so all students will be empowered to make informed decisions about sex.
Remember, it’s on us to raise awareness for our campus about sexual assault and affirmative consent. Let’s spread the word! Get educated and have meaningful conversations with people around you about consent and rape culture.
For more information regarding this issue nationwide, check out www.itsonus.org or on campus contact Project D.A.T.E. at (818) 677-7723 or firstname.lastname@example.org.