Sexual violence impedes student well-being at university campuses across the nation. According to RAINN, university students are at an elevated risk of rape and sexual assault — the statistics state that a whopping 11.2% of all college students will experience rape or sexual violence. This is a startling number of students whose basic liberties are violated in the educational setting, where safety should be the number one priority.
During Sexual Assault Awareness Month (#SAAM), NC State students and faculty can play an active role in ending the violence. Events this month equip participants with skills they need to recognize and prevent violence, and elevate and validate the experiences of survivors. Take Back the Night drew a crowd of well over 100 supporters last week, and there will be numerous additional opportunities this month to get involved in ending sexual violence.
The student’s role in ending sexual violence is one of being prepared and empowered. The following are some practical ways students can empower themselves—and each other—to make our communities safer for everyone.
Know On- and Off-Campus Resources
Be prepared when somebody expresses that they are a survivor of rape or sexual assault. On campus, students can utilize the resources of the Counseling Center and Women’s Health in the Student Health Center. Survivors of sexual violence can always contact NC State’s 24-hour helpline at 919-515-4444. If a survivor seeks to press charges against their perpetrator, the Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) Center at The Solace Center in Raleigh provides safe and secure evidence collection services. Survivors of sexual violence can also contact InterAct’s 24-hour helpline at 919-828-3005.
Get Trained to Be an Active Bystander by The Movement Peer Educators
The Movement is a team of peer educators who are trained specifically in teaching methods of being an active bystander. The Movement will host special SAAM workshops in the Women’s Center (Talley Student Union, Suite 5210) this month, such as Supporting Survivors 101 from 7:00-8:00 p.m. on April 17, 2019 and Consent 101 from 12:00-1:00 p.m. on April 23, 2019. At workshops, students equip themselves with the skills needed to take a strong stance against sexual violence.
Participate in Sexual Assault Awareness Month Events
Participation in Sexual Assault Awareness Month is community-healing work. Sitting in class, there is a notable chance that survivors are present. Students should consider participating in #SAAM events, such as the keynote address, “Surviving College as a Survivor” on April 11, 2019 or “The Power Of Music: Supporting Male Survivors” on April 24, 2019. For a full calendar of events, see go.ncsu.edu/saam.
Rape and sexual violence can affect anyone of any race, class, sexual orientation or gender identity. This month, realize that everyone has a role in ending the violence.
If you or someone you know is experiencing relationship violence, sexual violence or stalking and are in need of advocacy services, the Women’s Center has advocates available from 9:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. Monday‑Friday in Talley Student Union, Suite 5210. After hours, please call the 24/7 Sexual Assault Helpline at 919-515-4444 to be connected with an advocate. For more information, please see go.ncsu.edu/supportsurvivors.