The new regulations for colleges represent “the most significant change in campus-sexual-assault policy in 20 years,” says one expert.
Campus SaVE, which SAFER endorsed when it was first introduced and which we stand by today, is now official!
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'Yes means yes' if officially law in California!
Do you want to end sexual violence on your campus? Students Active for Ending Rape (SAFER) wants to hear what’s happening at colleges and universities in NYC. Join SAFER and students from around NYC at Planned Parenthood’s SoHo office for a one hour discussion about how well you think your school is responding to sexual assault and the current climate on your campus.
Your perspective will help us provide the best possible support and resources for students nationwide, as well as let the nation know what NYC students are experiencing on their campuses. You’ll also get to meet and hear from other students passionate about this issue. Whether you’ve been organizing for months or you’re interested in getting started, we want to hear from you! Light refreshments to be provided. *RSVP REQUIRED FOR SECURITY REASONS
September 19, 2014 at 11:06am
Take the pledge and make a personal commitment to help keep women and men safe from sexual assault.
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden plan to announce a campus sexual assault awareness campaign from the White House Friday, with a special focus on engaging men in the fight against a largely hidden problem.
White House officials say the campaign, called “It’s On Us,” will challenge everyone on campuses to see sexual assault as their personal responsibility to prevent, but will particularly target male students. Presidential aides point to research shows that men are often reluctant to speak out against violence against women because they believe other men accept it, and that Obama and Biden hope to set an example by speaking out to help change social norms.
Columbia student will carry her mattress until her rapist exits school
September 2, 2014
While most students at Columbia University will spend the first day of classes carrying backpacks and books, Emma Sulkowicz will start her semester on Tuesday with a far heavier burden. The senior plans on carrying an extra-long, twin-size mattress across the quad and through each New York City building – to every class, every day – until the man she says raped her moves off campus.
“I was raped in my own bed,” Sulkowicz told me the other day, as she was gearing up to head back to school in this, the year American colleges are finally, supposedly, ready to do something about sexual assault. “I could have taken my pillow, but I want people to see how it weighs down a person to be ignored by the school administration and harassed by police.”
Sulkowicz is one of three women who made complaints to Columbia against the same fellow senior, who was found “not responsible” in all three cases. She also filed a police report, but Sulkowicz was treated abysmally – by the cops, and by a Columbia disciplinary panel so uneducated about the scourge of campus violence that one panelist asked how it was possible to be anally raped without lubrication.
So Sulkowicz joined a federal complaint in April over Columbia’s mishandling of sexual misconduct cases, and she will hoist that mattress on her shoulders as part savvy activism, part performance art. “The administration can end the piece, by expelling him,” she says, “or he can, by leaving campus.”
As painful as I know the constant reminder of attending school with her rapist must be, I’m glad she won’t be the only one forced to remember. I hope the rapist drops out immediately…or better yet, I hope he faces the justice he deserves.
With the start of school underway, however, the biggest paradigm shift on rape and sexual consent in decades may just now be emerging in California, where “yes means yes” – a model for reform that feminists like me have been pushing for years – could soon become law.
Late last week, the first state bill to require colleges to adopt an “affirmative consent” model in their sexual assault policies passed the California senate unanimously. The legislation, which is headed to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk for approval by the end of this month (his office declined to comment), effectively requires the presence of a “yes” rather than the absence of a “no” – or else withholds funding from the nation’s largest state school system.
The legislation additionally clarifies that affirmative consent means both parties must be awake, conscious and not incapacitated from alcohol or drugs – and that past sexual encounters or a romantic relationship doesn’t imply consent. The California bill also, importantly, specifies that “lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent, nor does silence mean consent”.
It seems like a no-brainer to only have sex with conscious and enthusiastic partners, but detractors say the standard “micromanages” sexuality. The truth is that a “yes means yes” policy “helps to create a shared responsibility, instead of the responsibility falling on women to say ‘no’,” says Tracey Vitchers, chair of the board at Safer (Students Active for Ending Rape). Anti-violence activists are clearly excited about the bill, which – if all goes well – could be adopted by more states with large public university systems.
Last week, a Stanford student told Bloomberg that women need to protect themselves from rape by staying sober, etc., since many people lock their bikes to prevent them from being stolen and apparently that is the same thing.
So who is the type of person who thinks women should find a U-lock for their bodies?
Here’s what turns up when you Google the guy and take a peek at his Stanford Daily writer profile. As Alexandra at Feministing wrote, “No comment necessary.”
Let’s play out the scenario for the one in millions chance that someone in the presence of someone who wants to assault her is wearing the nail polish, coyly gets her finger into the drink, and spots the color change. Then what? How does it end? If this person is willing to go to such lengths to harm her, they won’t be phased by her setting her drink down. So let’s say she gets away or finds help. Does she call the police to report the activity of her fingernails? What happens when the next person this predator wants to harm opts for her favorite OPI shade that weekend?
How does it end?
It doesn’t; not with nail polish, anyway.
(…)This product does nothing to dismantle a culture of violence against women that demands we constantly become ever more vigilant against those who would do us harm. Undercover Colors, like so many other products, treats rape as an individual incident rather than a systemic and pervasive problem. Despite the never ending stream of prevention products, the statistics haven’t improved.
Unfortunately, This Magical Anti-Rape Nail Polish Won’t Save Us