Guest blogger Nina is a Junior at Westridge School for Girls
I learned more than an average teenager would about domestic violence and sexual assault as one of CPAF’s Youth Leadership pilot program participants. I took CPAF’s 65-hour training and volunteered last two summers at CPAF’s emergency and transitional shelters. As I’m preparing to go to college, I became increasingly aware of how prevalent sexual assault is across the country. Studies show that one in five women are sexually assaulted during college, which means that I or a friend will become a target too.
I began researching how different universities respond to sexual violence, and I wanted to share these resources with those who may also be looking for a safe campus to call their home-away-from home for the next few years.
Who to ask: These groups and organizations should be most knowledgeable on this topic.
- Student Advocacy Groups or Student Peer Counselors: Many colleges have them, and they should be able to provide the most accurate information on how the administration treats the students who are sexually assaulted, and the students who assaulted them.
- Title IX Officers/Coordinators: Since 2011, colleges are required to have a Title IX Officer/Coordinator who takes reports, investigates allegations, and adjudicates sexual assault cases. They also educate the campus community about sexual assault via prevention programs.
- Counseling/Health/Violence Prevention Center: Most colleges will have one or more of these.
What to ask: These are some basic questions students and parents can ask when visiting campuses.
- Are there any trainings during orientation that address sexual assault awareness or prevention?
- How does this school react to sexual assault cases?
- How does this campus support victims of sexual assault?
- Are there policies that hold sexual assault perpetrators accountable?
- Has this campus ever been investigated for violating Title IX?
- Can you tell me how to access your school’s Clery Report? (The Clery Act is a federal law requiring all colleges participating in federal student aid programs to disclose crime statistics and summaries of security policies every year.)
Keep in mind:
Colleges don’t want to be known for having high levels of sexual assault, so they may underreport. In these cases, do your own research (search local news reports, police logs, etc.)
Special thanks to Daren Mooko, the Title IX Coordinator at Pomona College, for his guidance.
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and CPAF’s Volunteer Coordinator Elizabeth Denny took this picture of the Clothesline Project while tabling at UCLA