News & Updates - Center for Changing Our Campus Culture

News & Updates

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 […]

Continue Reading

by

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 […]

Continue Reading

by

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 […]

Continue Reading

by

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, […]

Continue Reading

by

For members of the LGBTQ community—especially those who identify as transgender— the rate of victimization from interpersonal crime and intimate partner violence (IPV) is staggering and alarming. More than 24 percent of undergraduate students identifying as transgender, genderqueer, questioning, or not listed (TGQN) experienced nonconsensual sexual contact. In 2015, the Association of American Universities found that one in four transgender students have experienced sexual assault since enrolling in college. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), lesbian, gay, and bisexual people experience violence at rates much higher than straight people. For instance, among rape victims, 48 percent of bisexual women reported being raped between the ages of 11 and 17 compared to 28 percent of their heterosexual female counterparts. A 2021 study from the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law found that transgender people are over four times more likely than cisgender people to experience violent victimization, including rape, sexual assault, and aggravated or simple assault. And these crimes are more prevalent in trans people ages 16 and above. This suggests college administrators, faculty, and staff should be particularly diligent in gathering resources and supporting trans victims of interpersonal crimes. In the article “College Sexual Assault and […]

Continue Reading

by

During the month of April, colleges and universities will host educational and awareness-raising events and activities to observe Sexual Assault Awareness Month. In their 2016 article “How Prevalent is Sexual Assault on College Campuses?” authors Lisa Fedina, Jennifer Holmes, and Bethany Backes write that women; first -and-second-year students; sorority members; racial, ethnic, and sexual minorities; and students with a history of sexual victimization have a higher prevalence of being sexually assaulted. For their study based on 15 years-worth of data, the authors concluded school administrations should have an understanding of the prevalence and types of sexual victimization occurring on their campuses. College administrators can’t monitor every campus activity. Maintaining a healthy, respectful, and inclusive campus environment is often predicated on the choices and maturity of students. College administrators are responsible for establishing a campus culture that values the safety of every student—and for holding students and faculty who jeopardize that safety accountable. When institutions prioritize creating a culture of sexual assault prevention and awareness for everyone, the risk for sexual assault is diminished. Fedina, Holmes, and Backes suggest that there are cultural and contextual differences between small private liberal arts schools, large public universities, community colleges, and trade schools, but […]

Continue Reading

by

Teen dating violence affects millions of young people in this country every year. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), teen dating violence can include physical violence, sexual violence, psychological aggression, and stalking. This form of intimate partner violence can be perpetrated in person, by technology, or online. The pernicious effects of dating violence can have a lifelong impact on the victim’s health, self-esteem, and ability to form healthy relationships.  College administrators and staff have to understand some victims of teen dating violence may bring the trauma of the experience with them to college. Attitudes on appropriate dating and interpersonal relationships are formed early. A 2009 study of sixth graders found that 25 percent believed it was acceptable for a boyfriend to hit his girlfriend. This sobering statistic suggests we must change the narrative and correct this dangerous and destructive way of thinking before young people become hard-wired to believe teen dating violence is acceptable. There are countless studies on the adolescent brain and how young people process information and social dynamics. According to Liz Claiborne, Inc.’s College Dating Violence and Abuse Poll (2011), 70 percent of respondents who experienced teen dating violence viewed their relationships as healthy when […]

Continue Reading

by

January! A new year. Time for annual resolutions and promises to do and be better. But January is also Stalking Awareness Month. And one of those resolutions must be to support people, especially women on college campuses who are stalked and harassed. Women need to be heard and feel safe. They need access to the resources that can help them regain control of their lives. Colleges must also take allegations of stalking seriously and discipline the perpetrators of these acts and when necessary, support the criminal justice system’s prosecution of these individuals. According to Victim Connect Resource Center, “stalking is a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.” https://victimconnect.org/learn/types-of-crime/stalking/ It is a pattern of behavior that can be overwhelming and leave its victims isolated, and in extreme cases, too terrified to leave their homes. In worst cases, stalking victims have been killed by their stalkers. If you have not been stalked, you might know someone who has been victimized by stalking. In the United States, 1 out of 6 women have been subjected to the fear inducing acts of a stalker. While stalking behavior is not limited to men, (1 […]

Continue Reading

by

Many communities and campuses across the country commemorate the strength and spirit of its Native Americans and their invaluable contributions to the country in November. College campuses often lead the way on celebrating the diversity, endurance, rich histories and stories of the people whose identities and sacrifices are woven into the tapestry of America’s narrative. For our collective memory and safety, it is vital that our institutions of higher learning create a climate where Indigenous traditions and cultures are not lost or diminished. When we honor the legacy of Native Americans, we ensure their resilience is not forgotten. When we honor their legacy, we ensure their safety is prioritize. And when we honor their legacy, we must also remember the role of Indigenous women in the early tribes. Native American women had an equal role beside the men in Native society before Europeans arrived on these shores over 500 years ago. These women also had agency over their own bodies and sexuality. Native American society forbade rape. For instance, the Powhatan tribe banished a man from the tribe for raping a woman. Historians believe European men judged Indigenous women they encountered by Eurocentric Christian values and mores. Native women fought […]

Continue Reading

by
Post Image

About one in ten men experience domestic violence in their lifetime. Although that number is much lower than the approximately one in four women who experience domestic violence, it is nevertheless a reality we should acknowledge and address during Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM). We may not immediately thing of college-aged students when we discuss domestic violence. However, the definition of domestic violence shared by the Office on Women’s Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services broadens the understanding of the term to encompass intimate partner violence, which includes “physical, sexual, or emotional abuse by a current or former intimate partner.” The United Nations refers to domestic violence as domestic abuse or intimate partner violence, describing it as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner. Thinking about domestic violence in this way makes it quite clear that many college students are at risk, including men. Of the men who are domestic violence survivors, more than half (56%) experienced violence before the age of 25—a period when many young adults are navigating life on a college campuses. How domestic violence impacts male college students […]

Continue Reading

by