My last post focused on sexual violence against women and considered how it affects their lives in general. The emphasis on risk reduction often leads to victim blaming, which can underhandedly condone sexual violence against women. This is a symptom of a rape permissive culture that considers sexual violence against women as normal and inevitable. Addressing rape culture itself as a problem to change and encouraging educational efforts directed at primary prevention will help us prevent sexual violence before it takes place.
Given the frequency of sexual violence, it is important to combine educational efforts aimed at primary prevention with providing our community with immediate crisis resources. The Rock Ethics Institute website recently launched an online crisis resource for students who have been victims of sexual violence. Today’s post features The Immediate Crisis webpage, which is specifically designed to provide students with information on seeking medical attention, support, and legal assistance in the immediate aftermath of a rape or sexual assault.
The accessible site provides links to a number of informational resources and support services at the local, state, and national levels. It is specifically designed to assist students from University Park and the commonwealth campuses locate medical and support services.
As mentioned in previous posts, over the course of a college career, as many as 1 in 4 women will be the victims of rape or sexual assault. Although women are clearly at an elevated risk, they are not the only victims of campus sexual assault. For this reason, the site provides links to resources dealing specifically with female, male, and lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgender, and queer (LBGTQ) victims of sexual assault. A link to resources for the Department of Defense community is also available on the site. Additionally, detailed information about medical options available to victims is featured prominently on the site. The goal is providing students who are in immediate crisis with comprehensive information about seeking medical care and support services on one easy to navigate website.
Thank you for taking a moment to learn about this important resource for Penn State students who have been victims of sexual violence. The Ethics and Sexual Violence Initiative at the Rock is also in the process of developing educational resources for students and bystanders. To promote understanding of the varied experiences of sexual assault, the forthcoming site differentiates between several distinct forms of sexual violence. Subjects include acquaintance and stranger rape, alcohol and substance facilitated rape, domestic and dating violence, and sexual violence against children. As well as countering common and misguided myths about sexual violence with facts, the site will include links to statistical data, intervention strategies for bystanders, and recommendations for providing support to survivors of sexual violence.
In the meantime, I have included links to a number of excellent websites dealing with issues of sexual violence ranging from activism to consent.
A website empowering college students to stop sexual violence through activism.
A groundbreaking public awareness campaign designed to change the way we respond to rape and sexual assault in our communities.
This site offers a comprehensive overview of how to navigate the highway of consent.
An organization seeking to mobilize men for creating cultures free from violence, especially men’s violence against women.