CONTENT WARNING: This article contains mention of sexual assault.
If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, there is help available. At TCU, call the 24/7 confidential counseling helpline at 817-257-7233 or contact Confidential Advocate Ms. Leah Carnahan at [email protected] or 817-257-5225. You can also call the national sexual assault hotline at 1-800-656-4673.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and, as young people, it can feel like this is an issue that is so much bigger than us. While it seems like we can’t do much about it, we are actually in the midst of situations where there is a large risk of sexual assault, and as bystanders, we have the power to change the course of the situation. Outside of these situations, we can also start by talking with our peers about the culture on our campus and how it might contribute to statistics of sexual assault. To help you get started, here are three student-focused organizations to help educate yourself and others on how you can support survivors of sexual assault:
1. It’s On Us
It’s On Us is a national organization that was started by the Obama-Biden administration in September 2014. Its mission is to call others into the conversation about sexual assault awareness and show people why it really is on us to stop sexual assault, especially on college campuses. There are chapters at universities all over the U.S., including one right here at TCU (which you can follow on Instagram). Both the national organization and our chapter host monthly events where you can educate yourself on bystander intervention, how to have conversations around sexual assault, how to report an incident, and much more. Follow It’s On Us nationals on Instagram or visit their website for more information.
The Every Voice Coalition approaches sexual assault awareness through empowering survivors and advocates to support legislation that protects and supports survivors. The Every Voice Bill, which ensures, among other things, access to free medical care and confidential advising services for survivors, was signed into law in Massachusetts in January 2021. Currently, this legislation is not being pursued in Texas. Visit their website or follow them on Instagram for more information.
3. Know Your IX
The final program that you should know about is Know Your IX. This organization, started in 2013, aims to educate students on their rights under Title IX and empower them to make a change. They also advocate for better protections for survivors at the campus, state, and federal levels, as well as support student activists. Follow Know Your IX on Instagram or visit their website to learn more.
While it may seem like we as college students are helpless in the fight against sexual assault, we are actually on the frontlines. The resources in this article are a great way to get involved and educate yourself, because together, we can stop sexual assault