News & Updates - Center for Changing Our Campus Culture

News & Updates

In 1950, my grandfather’s life took an unexpected turn when he contracted polio while pursuing his dream of becoming a doctor. Confined to an iron lung for months and paralyzed from the waist down, his journey was fraught with physical and societal obstacles. Yet, he persevered, marrying my grandmother, completing his college education, and defying expectations by establishing a successful family medical practice. Growing up, I was captivated by the stories of his resilience in the face of adversity. One particular tale resonates deeply—a testament to the power of support and advocacy. Upon his return to college, wheelchair-bound and facing accessibility barriers in the buildings his classes were in, a group of football players stepped up daily, lifting him up the stairs to attend his classes. Their unwavering solidarity not only facilitated his education but also symbolized a beacon of hope in a world often indifferent to the needs of people with disabilities. Today, as we reflect on my grandfather’s journey, his story intersects with a pressing issue on college campuses: the alarming rates of sexual violence against students with disabilities. According to a study by the Association of American Universities, individuals with disabilities experience sexual violence at significantly higher […]

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Many times, when we think of the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), we imagine a war-torn veteran coming back from years of serving valiantly overseas. Our minds might even drift to the survivor of a car accident, afraid to get back in the driver’s seat and complete necessary travel. Rarely do we consider another silent population of those diagnosed with PTSD— survivors of sexual assault and violence. PTSD is a mental health condition that can develop after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. It affects individuals from all walks of life, including survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, and other forms of violence. Understanding PTSD and its effects is essential for creating a supportive environment for survivors and fostering healing and resilience. June is National PTSD Awareness Month, so we must start by acknowledging that women are twice as likely to develop PTSD than their male counterparts. In consideration of the fact that one in five women are sexually assaulted while attending college, it is without precedent to say it’s a larger issue than many people realize, including survivors. Over 90% of sexual assault victims don’t report the assault’s occurrence. Yet, 81% of women reported short or […]

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In recent years, the conversation around sexual assault and sexual violence has been significantly shaped by the evolving role of technology. While digital platforms have emerged as powerful tools for advocacy and support, they have also introduced new avenues for perpetuating violence against victims. Technology, mainly social media and messaging apps, has facilitated unprecedented levels of awareness and mobilization against sexual violence. Social campaigns like #MeToo have shown the potential of digital platforms to give voice to survivors, creating communities of support and solidarity across the globe. These platforms not only help in breaking the silence but also in educating the public on the nuance of consent and the pervasive nature of sexual violence. Nevertheless, the same technological advances have also given rise to new forms of gender-based violence. Deepfakes and non-consensual image sharing are among the most alarming trends. Deepfakes, as the Inter-American Development Bank reported, involve using artificial intelligence to create or alter video content to present realistic but entirely fabricated images or actions of individuals. This type of technology has been weaponized to create pornographic content featuring faces of unsuspecting women and girls, leading to psychological trauma, social stigma, and a myriad of other devastating consequences for […]

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When we think of November, we often associate it with Thanksgiving and the beginning of the holiday season. But there’s another significant observance we should remember: it’s Native American Heritage Month. This is a time when we honor the vibrant cultures, rich histories, and meaningful contributions of our Native American brethren. Yet, amid the celebration, it’s also crucial to shed light on a heart-wrenching issue that many in these communities face – sexual assault. Imagine this: According to the U.S. Department of Justice, more than half of Native American women have experienced sexual violence in their lifetime. That’s over twice the rate compared to other races. These aren’t just numbers; they’re people, with families, dreams, and lives that are being devastated. Even more troubling is the fact that over 95% of these cases involve non-native offenders. This means justice is often elusive due to the complex legal status of tribal lands and jurisdictional issues, leaving many victims feeling helpless and unheard. The alarming rates of sexual assault are deeply intertwined with other challenges Native American communities face: poverty, substance abuse, limited access to healthcare, and scarce resources for victim support. These aren’t separate issues; they’re all parts of a complex […]

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In society, behind the closed doors of countless homes, a silent battle rages on—the fight against domestic violence. Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM), observed annually in October, is a poignant reminder that this pervasive issue demands our attention, empathy, and action. It is a time to raise awareness, educate communities, and empower survivors as we strive to create a society free from violence and abuse. This blog post will delve into the significance of DVAM and explore ways to contribute to the important cause. Often hidden from public view, domestic violence refers to a pattern of abusive behaviors one partner uses to gain power and control over another in an intimate relationship. It transcends boundaries of age, gender, race, and socio-economic status, affecting individuals across all walks of life. It encompasses physical, emotional, sexual, and financial abuse, leaving deep scars that may last a lifetime. Recognizing the complexity of this issue is essential to comprehending the urgency of raising awareness and supporting survivors. The most effective ways to demonstrate impact is through numbers. According to the World Health Organization, globally, an estimated 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men experience physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner […]

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | Friday, October 28, 2022 The Justice Department joins law enforcement agencies, victim service providers, survivors, victims, advocates and communities nationwide in recognizing the month of October as National Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). Domestic violence is serious and prevalent, and its impact does not stay within the home; it ripples out into workplaces, schools and entire communities. DVAM is a time to show support for those who are experiencing or have experienced domestic violence, and to give gratitude to first responders and victim service providers. DVAM encourages communities to bolster prevention efforts, improve responses to meet survivors’ needs, promote best practices and expand access to justice to all communities, especially for those who are underserved and marginalized. The Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) is announcing nearly $70 million in fiscal year 2022 grant funding, including 39 awards totaling $29,916,258 under OVW’s Improving Criminal Justice Responses (ICJR) to Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking Grant Program. The funding supports partnerships between victim service providers and the criminal justice system to implement effective and trauma-informed responses that protect survivors. The ICJR Program provides resources, training and service coordination for law enforcement, victim advocates, court personnel, […]

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