It’s working! UT students are becoming more aware of campus sexual assault policies and resources. Students also report a better understanding of victim/survivor rights.
UT administrators have been working to increase awareness of and response to sexual assault. The Center for Health Education and Wellness has launched initiatives to improve dialogue about the issue. These include the Volunteers Speak UP! program and the consent campaign.
The center’s annual health and wellness surveyed full-time undergraduate students regarding various campus safety and wellness initiatives.
Eighty-one percent of participants said they were aware that UT has a policy regarding their rights if they are sexually assaulted, a twenty percent increase from the year before.
The survey also found that sixty-six percent of students were aware that UT has campus resources for victims, survivors, and bystanders of sexual assault, a seven percent increase from 2013.
“Awareness is the first step in creating real change. We want our community to report, serve as active bystanders, and have the important conversations around consent. None of that can happen until we are aware,” said Ashley Blamey, director of the Center for Health Education and Wellness.
A Few Resources for You to Know
The Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence website provides information about where to get help if you are a survivor of sexual assault, university policies and procedures regarding sexual misconduct and relationship violence, and information regarding consent.
If you observe a behavior that is unacceptable and could be potentially damaging to another person’s health or well-being, including sexual assault, you can make the choice to be an active bystander and take steps that can make a difference. Learn more about being an active bystander and about Volunteers Speak UP! on the Center for Health Education and Wellness website.
As always, if a situation develops that could endanger the livelihood of you or another student, contact 974-HELP.