New college freshman may not realize there’s more to worry about than getting good grades or choosing a major. Many should be worrying about sexual violence.
PAVE: Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment and SOC: Security on Campus, Inc. are joining together with other leading sexual assault groups for the launch of the “Safe Campus, Strong Voices” Campaign on September 1, 2011 to mark the first day of National Campus Safety Awareness Month. “Safe Campus, Strong Voices” is a nationwide campaign to raise awareness and shatter the silence of college sexual violence. To end the epidemic of sexual violence on universities, students and faculty, men and women, will to work together to create safer and more supportive campuses.
According to the US Department of Justice, 1 in 4 college women will be sexually assaulted, and the majority of those sexual assaults happen fall semester to freshmen and sophomore women. An astounding 95.2% of college rapes will never be reported (DOJ). Addressing this issue is critical when thinking about the safety of everyone in that environment.
“Safe Campus, Strong Voices” focuses on prevention of sexual assault and raising awareness of the high level of underreporting by victims of these crimes. NPR’s recent series “Seeking Justice for Campus Rapes” reveals how most colleges are not successfully dealing with this issue. The campaign will empower students as bystanders to make changes in their campus environment, and encourage victims to seek justice.
PAVE Founder Angela Rose said, “Every time I speak on a college campus, there’s a line of students who want to disclose that they have been affected by sexual assault and most have never reported. This unprecedented campaign will help build the national movement to shatter the silence of sexual violence on college campuses.”
“This campaign seeks to shed light on crimes that so greatly impact the lives of far too many college students every year. By speaking out and encouraging a supportive response to sexual assault survivors, students across the country will be a part of a movement that creates ripples of change in their campus community.” Melissa Lucchesi, SOC’s Outreach Education Coordinator.