Resources on Campus to Combat Sexual Violence
Sexual violence is a topic that we often stray from speaking about, trying to avoid the difficult conversation that can accompany it. While many may feel as though they will never find themselves in these harming situations, the statistics blatantly show otherwise. According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), 23.1 percent of female and 5.4 percent of male undergraduate students experience some sort of sexual violence or assault, including rape. At UAlbany, this is roughly 3,000 women and 700 men. The time of year when this is most likely to happen: August through November, the first few months of the semester.
The statistics don’t lie: sexual violence is an incredibly important topic to discuss on college campuses. And after a powerful piece about rape culture on college campuses in the September issue of Glamour, and following the mandatory informational session on it at orientation, we decided to break down some of the most important things to know about sexual violence and how you can stay safe.
There are many different conducts that fall under sexual misconduct. Among them are dating violence, intimate partner violence, stalking, sexual harassment, rape, sexual assault and sexual exploitation. Each one of these is prohibited and should be reported if occurred. If you’re engaging in some sort of sexual act, you must receive an affirmative, clear “yes” from the other person involved before continuing. Without this clear line of consent, you are not welcome to move further. “No means no” is outdated, as often times in certain states of intoxication or otherwise, one of the partners involved may not be able to say “no.” Thus, “yes means yes” is more fitting, as an affirmative “yes” ensures that both parties are clear and okay with the situation.
What if you endure one of the misconducts mentioned above? Thankfully, UAlbany has an excellent resource for all: The Advocacy Center for Sexual Violence. Located in Indian Quad, the center welcomes students by providing support, advocacy and a listening, judgement free ear. Students may go to the center to report an instance or to simply talk with one of the trained, expert counselors. They will guide you through the process and ensure that you feel safe once again no matter what form of sexual assault or violence you have endured.
Unfortunately, sexual violence does occur on college campuses, and far too often, it goes unnoticed. The Advocacy Center for Sexual Violence is an amazing resource here on campus to help and inform all of the dangers they may face. Remember: if you find yourself in one of these situations, there is help. You are most certainly never alone.