Each year, millions of college students will leave for college for the first time or go back to campuses across the U.S. Studies show that women ages 18-24 are at an elevated risk for sexual assault, male college- aged students are 78% more likely to be assaulted and students who identify as transgender, genderqueer and gender nonconforming are at an elevated risk of sexual assault (Rainn, 2019). It’s important that all students are able to have a safe and healthy school environment. We know that sexual violence is a difficult topic to address, which is why we want to make sure that you have the resources that you need!
Here are some helpful things that all students can do to make this next school year a safe and successful one:
Talk About it! A lot of people don't want to talk about consent, and that's understandable; but unfortunately, if we can’t talk about it, we can’t address it. Start the conversation, no matter how uncomfortable. If you need support, the RRC education team can hold a workshop for your school or group.
Know your rights and resources. Every student has the right to thrive in their education, and to access resources that support them in that endeavor. These rights are protected under Title IX and other national and statewide policies. Find out who your school Title IX coordinator is and, if needed, our advocates can help guide you along the way. You can read more about Title IX, the Clery Act and look up all coordinators for campuses in Utah here.
Learn and practice consent. We often hear that consent is simple, however, that isn’t always the case. Learn what consent is and practice holding yourself and others accountable to respecting boundaries. Planned Parenthood has a helpful model based around FRIES that explains that consent is freely given, reversible, informed, enthusiastic and specific.
Be an upstander! The “bystander effect” says that people are less likely to offer help to a victim when other people are present. It’s important that we all learn how intervene as bystanders and also stop violence from happening whenever possible. You can request an Upstander Training from the Utah Department of Health here.
Know when to ask for help. You can't do it all and there will be situations where you will need to ask for help. If in doubt contact our confidential crisis line at (801) 467-7273.
We wish everyone a safe and happy school year!