Sexual Assault Prevention on Campus
Reported by Ana Imes
On Oct. 6, Judge Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed as a Justice of the United States Supreme Court. In September, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford accused him of attempted rape while they were both high school students in the 1980s. The allegations were followed by Senate hearings and an FBI investigation, both of which seemed to have little effect on the confirmation vote.
Regardless of whether or not Kavanaugh is guilty of attempted rape, sexual violence is intolerable and survivors of sexual violence should feel safe and supported.
In order to help prevent sexual assault on campus, George Fox University (GFU) requires all students to take an online sexual assault prevention course for students and faculty, colloquially known as “HAVEN.”
According to the GFU Annual Security Report, in 2016 there were two reported instances of rape, two reported instances of dating violence, and five reported instances of stalking. According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), only 20% of female student victims (ages 18-24) of sexual violence report the incident to law enforcement.
So what can we do as students to make GFU a safe place for victims of sexual violence to come forward and report what happened to them?
There are small steps you can take within your social circles that are relatively simple. Be careful not to make jokes that normalize rape, and to speak up when others do. Encourage a culture of consent, praising and validating those who value consent in their relationships. Support your friends in establishing physical boundaries, and respect those boundaries even when they may appear silly or unnecessary.
These actions may seem arbitrary, but it is through everyday language and behavior that we can create a culture where respect and consent are valued and insensitivity and entitlement are crushed.
The most important thing you can do is to take others seriously when they mention uncomfortable or unsafe situations that they have been in. Listen to what they have to say while validating their feelings and concerns. If they want to talk to a professional for help or report any incidents to the police or school administration, help them and support them through the process.
If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault on campus, you have several reporting options. At GFU, if you contact your Resident Assistant or Assistant Area Coordinator, they will refer you to student life staff and the Title IX team.
At GFU, Brad Lau is the Title IX coordinator. If you feel uncomfortable approaching a man, there are many women on the Title IX team, including Rebecca Hernandez, Jen Macnab, Laura Hartley, and Nichole Drew. The full team, and their contacts, can be found at georgefox.edu.
If you would like to receive confidential help, you can go to the Health and Counseling Center or the Office for Spiritual Life. In an emergency, contact the Newberg-Dundee Police (911) or GFU Campus Public Safety (503-554-2090).