Biden, Duncan Introduce Plan to Prevent Sexual Assault On Campuses

“Our first goal is prevention through education. Information is always the best way to combat sexual violence. Our larger goal is to raise awareness to an issue that should have no place in society and especially in our schools.” Biden goes on to speak about the severity of our nation’s problem with sexual assault, and the distorted views that have led to a universal mentality of victim blaming. He speaks about our nation’s need to address sexual assault on college campuses, a place that rape and assault is so often covered up in an attempt to save-face and pretend like sexual violence is not a problem. “Students across the country deserve the safest possible environment in which to learn,” said Vice President Biden.  “That’s why we’re taking new steps to help our nation’s schools, universities and colleges end the cycle of sexual violence on campus.” Biden’s speech is a long time coming, as sexual assault is the number one violennt crime on college campuses; for those who have been fighting for years to get our administration to pay attention, it is a small but significant step in the fight against sexual abuse.  The letter, which addresses some of the widespread institutional downfalls, requires schools: to support victims of sexual assault by not punishing them for underage drinking and drugs (if involved) thereby recognizing rape and sexual assault as a far more serious crime than an alcohol-related misdemeanor; to inform survivors of their rights to a full investigation, providing advisement of the outcome should a review take place; and to investigate all reported sexual assaults in a timely manner. He...

April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month

The goal of SAAM (Sexual Assault Awareness Month) is to raise public awareness about sexual violence and to educate communities and individuals on how to prevent sexual violence. What can you do to help? For starters, educate yourself on the reality of sexual assault in our society today. Here’s a quick review to help: Definitions: Sexual assault: Forced sexual intercourse, including vaginal, anal, or oral penetration. Penetration may be by a body part or an object. Acquaintance assault: involves coercive sexual activities that occur against a person’s will by means of force, violence, duress, or fear of bodily injury. These sexual activities are imposed upon them by someone they know (a friend, date, acquaintance, etc.). Incest: sexual contact between persons who are so closely related that their marriage is illegal (e.g., parents and children, uncles/aunts and nieces/nephews, etc.). This usually takes the form of an older family member sexually abusing a child or adolescent. Consent: Consent occurs when both partners freely and willingly participate in sexual activities. The legal definition of rape includes any sexual contact without consent. Consent cannot be legally given, in most states, if a person is: – Under 17 – Mentally incapacitated – Drunk or high – Coerced – Forced Additionally, the absence of “no” does not mean “yes.” So, even if a person does not fight back or explicitly say “no,” they still are not necessarily giving consent. ________________________________________ Statistics: •1 in 4 females will be the victim of sexual abuse by the time they graduate from college. •1 in 4 teenage girls who have been in relationships reveal they have been pressured to perform oral sex...

The New York Times on Sexting

This is a great article about the life-altering consequences of sexting on one teenage girl and the reality of how technology has changed our world ….not always for the better. Written by Jan Hoffman for The New York Times, it’s a must-read. Check it out and pass it...