As many of you know, our goal within Sacred Purpose is to educate not only ourselves but our members and communities about issues that the American college student faces. One of the most important topics is Sexual Assault and Misconduct prevention on college campuses today. Sexual assaults are most likely to happen between the months of August and October and are not limited to women. It is important to note men are victims of sexual assault as well.
Suffice it to say: we must do more, and it starts with us.
I’ve heard it said once before. “Silence is complicity. Silence—you’re an accessory.” Strong, but fair words about the culpability of bystanders who do nothing.
But what can or should we do as Greek men, exactly? How do we combat the systemic bias towards sexual assault reporting? The answer may seem easy, but it will take work.
- Engage in prevention programing.
- Partner with groups on campus and show solidarity with these issues. Your chapter might not be the problem, but your chapter can be a part of the solution.
- Help your campus partners design and implement customized programing for Fraternities and Sororities.
- Participate in training on how to effectively respond when a friend or family member discloses an incident of sexual misconduct.
Hold your university to account and get the education and training YOU need to be a better advocate for sexual assault prevention. Things like:
- Providing bystander intervention training
- Ongoing education starting your freshman year and continuing through graduate school
- Making information regarding on-campus efforts to stem intimate partner violence available to all students
- Engaging men in conversations regarding sexual assault
Your ability to help in any capacity is about sending a strong message to your campus community about your commitment to helping prevent sexual assault and misconduct.
Bystander Intervention Tips
- Talk to your friends honestly and openly about sexual assault.
- Don’t be a bystander – if you see something, intervene in any way you can.
- Trust your gut. If something looks like it might be a bad situation it probably is.
- Be direct. Ask someone who looks like they may need help if they’re okay.
- Get someone to help you if you see something – enlist a friend, RA, bartender, or host to help step in.
- Keep an eye on someone who has had too much to drink.
- If you see someone who is too intoxicated to consent, enlist their friends to help them leave safely.
- Recognize the potential danger of someone who talks about planning to target another person at a party.
- Be aware if someone is deliberately trying to intoxicate, isolate, or corner someone else.
- Get in the way by creating a distraction, drawing attention to the situation, or separating them.
- Understand that if someone does not or cannot consent to sex, it’s rape.
- Never blame the victim.
If you are a victim, a survivor or helping someone in that situation go to http://www.notalone.gov to get the resources and information you need. You can also call theNational Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE.