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The University of Iowa is committed to making the campus safe, including from sexual violence. While the of forcible sexual assaults reported on the UI campus declined from 20 in to nine so far in , UI officials believe such assaults are universally under-reported and say a single incident is one too many. How to help Everyone has a role to play in making sexual violence history. Here are a few suggestions for how you can make a difference. See information for employees. Campus leaders say strategies, policies, and research behind combating this problem continue to evolve and that the university has made ificant strides to raise awareness, educate students and employees, centralize and simplify the reporting process, and promptly investigate and alert the public when incidents occur.

If we can mobilize bystanders, we can prevent sexual violence. UI officials say a first step in the process of preventing sexual violence is gathering data to help shape successful strategies. That was the goal of a UI-funded survey of sexual harassment conducted last year of undergraduate students by the UI Council on the Status of Women.

The survey, a follow-up to one conducted in , sought to measure the degree to which undergraduate students are affected by sexual misconduct, including sexual harassment and sexual assault. Released this month, the survey show that nearly 30 percent of respondents reported at least one experience of direct pressure for sex. Additionally, reports of sexual misconduct were higher in than across five out of six comparable measures. And despite other UI data suggesting strong learning outcomes from the course, respondents indicated that the current version of the online sexual safety education program required for first-year students, nformed.

At the same time, the survey also showed that a majority of students are aware of UI policies and examples of sexual misconduct, including what affirmative consent means. This outcome supports the post-test data from the course. Loman says the council, working with partners on campus, is already putting some of the lessons learned from the survey to work.

Among other things, the campus is working to raise awareness among potential bystanders to sexual misconduct and give them tools to make a positive difference in those situations. Additionally, the council is recommending the university formally undertake regular assessment of sexual misconduct and unwelcome pressure through similar surveys in the future. The university uses a of approaches to make the campus aware of laws, policies, and expectations regarding sexual misconduct that go beyond just telling students to walk in pairs and carry an alarm whistle.

The UI actively promotes conversation-changing programs like consent education and bystander training. Campus education aims to achieve three goals: prevent misconduct, promote help-seeking behavior, and ensure prompt and effective responses when misconduct occurs.

And students are educated in three phases. The pre-orientation phase includes educating students before they come to campus through a required online course focusing on consent, risk reduction, and the importance of active bystanders. The orientation phase includes providing information and bystander skill building as they arrive on campus. And the post-orientation phase includes education activities reaching students throughout their academic career. Particular emphasis is being placed on bystander education, which DiCarlo says expands the conversation about sexual assault beyond the negative messages that consist of telling men not to rape and women not to get raped.

She says such messages alienate the vast majority of men, blame victims for being assaulted, and perpetuate the fallacy that all rapists are men and all victims are women. Bystander education has been picking up steam nationally as the recommended prevention education strategy, most recently by its inclusion in the federal reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. College campuses will soon be required to have bystander education programs in place. Interventions include direct confrontation but often are subtler and simply aim to interrupt a chain of events or get in the way of an opportunity for assault to occur.

Even the language used to talk about the problem of sexual violence and sexual misconduct is broadening. In , the Violence Against Women Act will require colleges and universities to begin reporting incidences of domestic violence, dating violence and stalking, as well as of sexual assaults, burglaries and other crimes for which reporting is currently required under the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act or Clery Act for short.

DiCarlo says this is a good thing because those kinds of ly unreported behaviors can involve or lead to sexual violence. DiCarlo facilitated a policy review last year that added stalking language to five UI policies. Since , for instance:. View it as such. Sexual misconduct can devastate victims, and the university has worked hard to make it as easy as possible for someone harmed to get the help and support they need to move forward after an incident has occurred.

This includes removing real and perceived barriers to counseling, health care, and administrative and law enforcement services. The site includes information about university policies governing sexual misconduct, including judicial and grievance procedures; victim resources; options for victims that include information for contacting an advocate to making a criminal complaint.

And because talking about a violent incident with strangers can be uncomfortable, the UI encourages people to take advantage of campus and community advocates. Advocates can confidentially answer questions, provide information about options, and help with safety planning. Victims have a right to include an advocate in meetings with university administrators, law enforcement, medical personnel, and in court proceedings.

One advocacy resource is the Rape Victim Advocacy Program , or RVAP, which staffs a hour victim advocacy hotline, where survivors can get counseling and support. Additionally, the Office of the Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator can assist with arranging academic and housing accommodations for victims and help protect survivors from retaliation. Because sexual violence is also a health issue, the UI has eight dedicated Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners SANE specially trained to provide comprehensive care to sexual assault victims, including conducting forensic exams and providing expert testimony if a case goes to trial.

The processes are separate but can be pursued concurrently more at osmrc. Timely warnings are ed to faculty, staff, and students, and posted to the Iowa Now news website, for incidents ranging from criminal homicide, certain sex offenses, and aggravated assault to motor vehicle theft, robbery, burglary, and arson.

By contrast, The Clery Act requires universities to issue Emergency Notifications at the UI, these come in the form of Hawk Alerts when there is confirmation that a dangerous situation or ificant emergency exists that poses an imminent threat to the campus such as an armed intruder, an explosion, or an approaching tornado.

In the past month, for example, the UI issued three Timely Warnings for three unrelated cases. Some examples of current or forthcoming work include:. Additionally, the university is digging deeply into the existing research to find how to make sure messages about the issue reach—and, most important, have the desired effect upon—the people who most need to hear them: those at risk of becoming victims, those at risk of becoming perpetrators, and those who may find themselves in a position to intervene and prevent an incident from occurring.

In the meantime, DiCarlo encourages students, faculty, and staff to make use of all the resources available on campus, including advocates, violence prevention training, and educational resources. RVAP director Karla Miller agrees and said in an article earlier this year that coordination and resources on campus continue to expand and improve. In my work with our younger students, I have a real sense of hope. Making campus safe for all Making campus safe for all Making campus safe for all.

UI outlines strategies for addressing sexual violence. By: Stephen Pradarelli Related: University of Iowa sexual misconduct response. News About:. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Chief Diversity Office. Council on the Status of Women.

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Making campus safe for all