Campus sexual assault is an issue of national concern, with a number of colleges currently under investigation for their handling of reports of abuse and alleged violation of Title IX. And with data showing that one in five women is a survivor of sexual violence while in college, institutions of higher learning must help educate students about prevention and intervention.
The University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) remains in the forefront of offering innovative and effective sexual assault and healthy dating relationship programs and trainings for its nearly 14,000 students. Funding for many of these initiatives has been provided by HopeLine from Verizon, including sponsorship of the launch of Haven, a required online training for all incoming freshmen and transfer students that provides realistic scenarios about prevention and bystander intervention, to Red Flag Campaigns that raise awareness about the warning signs of unhealthy relationships, to Campus Conversations conducted by Men Can Stop Rape.
UMBC’s latest effort is the release of a new video called "What is Consent?", which is airing on the campus-wide i-net system. The film was produced by UMBC’s Division of Student Affairs and portrays male and female students tackling the difficult topic of sexual assault and consent through simple, yet very direct, questions and statements. The video's straightforward language is big on content and brings clarity to an issue that is often perceived as murky, especially in the college environment.
Through expanded resources, services, reach and impact, UMBC is cultivating an environment where students feel safe and secure and where they can learn the fundamental principles of healthy relationships that will extend over a lifetime.
To learn more about the prevalence and prevention of sexual assault among college students, the Washington Post and the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation recently conducted a poll of more than 1,000 people nationwide. Click here to learn more: