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Sexual Violence Prevention: A Guide to Being an Activist

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Tulane chapter.

Content Warning: Topic of Sexual Assault Will be Discussed in Article

Over the past few weeks, Tulane University’s campus has felt a little eerie, as there has been an increased awareness of the institution’s lack of action against sexual assault perpetrators who remain in roles of power. From the Instagram account @boysbeware that listed assaulter names, to a 500-person protest, and even a whole undergraduate student government senate meeting dedicated to sexual assault awareness and holding the administration accountable, Tulane student body is more active than ever in raising awareness about this not so new issue on campus.

Although it’s inviting to see so many efforts to change the sexual assault culture on campus, it’s equally important to be taking care of yourself before jumping into the deep end of this work, so you can most effectively make an authentic change on campus.

Here are a few things to consider before getting involved:

Know Yourself

  • Being aware of your comfort level around the issue of sexual assault before committing yourself to the topic is vital to having a successful outcome in your work and activism.
  • If you feel that hearing stories about sexual assault will impact your mental health, know that you are not obligated to be directly involved. If you are a survivor of sexual violence, do not feel pressured to share your story if you are not ready.
  • There are so many other ways of showing support and advocating against sexual violence. To list a few examples, being an ally could mean checking in with a friend if you see them leaving the bar with someone, spreading the word about upcoming events on campus about activism against sexual violence, or even simply encouraging and practicing positive sex talk and consent within your own relationships.

0wn your time commitment

  • Are you comfortable hearing stories holding specific details of sexual assault accounts? Is this a triggering topic for your wellbeing and mental health? Do you have time in your schedule to get involved? How much time are you willing to devote to activism against sexual assault on campus? Where does this work align on your priority list?
  • It’s necessary to acknowledge that a large aspect of being a student at Tulane is pursuing a degree in hopes of furthering your professional career. With that, it’s vital to properly assess what amount of time you are willing to devote to this work before beginning your involvement.

Speak Your Truth, let others be heard

  • If you are ready to face the prominent issue on campus, speak your truth and be proud of your commitment to being a change-maker!
  • As you enter the room, I challenge you to look around. Are your efforts to make change representative of different cultural identities that make up the student body? Are minority voices present and being heard equitably?
  • Often times when working with a big group to create institutional change, majority voices and identities can easily take over the spotlight and overshadow minority opinions and involvement.
  • Acknowledging that Tulane is a predominately white school having a long history of systematic racism, be aware of the other voices in the room and make space for all groups to be involved.

Resources & Final Thoughts

In these times of injustice, it’s important to remember your grounding. Know that putting your wellbeing first before possibly getting overwhelmed with this movement is completely okay. Additionally, recognizing you are in a healthy state of mind to support the efforts against sexual misconduct is inspiring and can save lives on campus. Wherever you may fit, our civic duty to educate ourselves and teach others about sexual violence prevention never ends.

Campbell Ray

Tulane '25

Campbell is a freshman at Tulane University interested in studying Business and Political Economy. When not in class, Campbell loves running, rock climbing, and singing Taylor Swift!