The Hunting Ground: Catalyst for action to end sexual violence on campus in 2015

Written by David Lee

In 2014, sexual assault on college campuses became front-page news – in 2015 it will have an even larger profile as activists, journalists, filmmakers, government officials sexual violence prevention practitioners, and college administrators will be taking more action on this topic.

Just in the last year, stories of student activists naming the problem of campus sexual assault drew national attention. The White House established a task force, issued a report and developed the It’s on Us campaign to address the issue. The federal government released a list of colleges and universities undergoing investigation of sexual violence (starting with 55 institutions – now up to 94) and the Department of Education issued regulations on addressing sexual violence.

Yet, I expect even more attention and action in 2015. The year started with the January 2015 premiere of The Hunting Ground at the Sundance Film Festival, where it was one of the “Top 10 Buzzed About Festival Films.” This film will be released in theaters in New York and Los Angeles on February 27, and will open on other cities later. And The Hunting Ground will be shown on CNN in the fall.

I saw The Hunting Ground earlier this week – it is a compelling and moving account of the horrors of the experience of rape, the even more horrifying complacency of colleges mishandling, ignoring and minimizing sexual assault, and the flourishing powerful student movement to create change. I left the screening both saddened and energized. This film will be an important catalyst for action to support efforts toward preventing sexual violence.

To truly find ways to prevent sexual violence on college and university campuses, we must build collaboration between students, communities, and institutions, while always putting student voices first. Student activists, sexual violence prevention practitioners from local rape crisis centers, state coalitions, national organizations, faculty, parents and alumni all have important roles to play in working with college administrations. Together, we can encourage college and university administrators to take concrete action and create comprehensive plans to support survivors and create the social change necessary to end rape culture on campus.

This work will take a long-term commitment. It will require ongoing, meaningful engagement of students, prevention efforts beyond short-term presentations and on-line modules, overhaul of campuses policies and procedure, and authentic partnerships to create change. I strongly encourage you to see The Hunting Ground, invite others to see the film, and work together to create change. All of us at CALCASA and PreventConnect will continue to provide support, resources and opportunities to learn from each other to support this movement for change.

2014 California Student Summit Report on Sexual Assault by CALCASA

On April 3 & 4, 2014, CALCASA brought together fifty students to share their experiences and develop recommendation for universities, colleges, legislators, funders and other stakeholders to meet the needs of students most effectively when addressing sexual violence.

Their perspectives and experiences created a forum of discussion that enlightened many of the participants on how to best handle sexual assault cases given many setbacks victims and survivors faced when reporting. This report publishes many of the discussions, suggestions, experiences, and thoughts expressed at the Student Summit Forum.

Click below to read the report.

“A Safer Campus” by the University System of Ohio

A Safer Campus: A Guidebook on Prevention and Response to Sexual and Intimate Partner Violence and Stalking for Ohio Campuses was created by the Sexual and Intimate Partner Violence and Stalking (SIPVS) Task Force that emerged in 2008 as a focus are of the Ohio Board of Regents’ Task Force on Ohio College Campus Safety and Security.

This Guidebook addresses four interconnected areas: preparedness, prevention, response and recovery. The prevention component examines the practice of mandating primary prevention programs for incoming students, evaluation practices, the trend towards the bystander intervention model and how to establish and maintain diverse allies on a college campus.

Click below to read through the guide.

Faculty Against Rape (FAR)

Faculty Against Rape (FAR) aims to involve more faculty members on university campus with sexual assault issues. They have resources regarding school policy, information on what retaliation means in the context of the university, and information on how to involve faculty.

Click on view resource below for more information.

Prevention and Intervention of Interpersonal Violence through NCAA

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) hosts a page on Violence Prevention of Interpersonal Violence. According to the NCAA, the athletics departments in schools have a responsibility to effectively addre犀利士
ss interpersonal violence and sexual assault among their athletes, coaches, and supervisors so that they can intervene in cases like sexual assault, hazing, harassment and abuse.

Click on view resource to check the violence prevention page and read their guide on addressing Sexual Assault and Interpersonal Violence.

Students Active For Ending Rape Parents Resource

There are two resources available from Students Active for Ending Rape (SAFER) for Parents.

To those parents visiting colleges with their students and walking in their tours, SAFER has created a postcard which you can use to ask some your college guide about the safety precaution its taken against sexual assault or if they know about the protocols the school has regarding sexual violence on campus.

Also available on the site is a “Eleven Things Parents Can Do to Fight Sexual Assault on Campus”.

Visit the site by clicking on the view resource button below.

Moving Forward: Next Steps in Compliance with the VAWA Amendments to Clery

This webinar presented by the Clery Center reviews the changes established March 2013 for schools to comply with in the following year on their Annual Security Report. The main agenda of this webinar is to clarify the new change of the Clery Act, what the Campus SaVE Act means under the Violence Against Women Act, and also suggest possible avenues of collaboration between schools to comply to the new changes.

To view the webinar, click on the view resource button below.

Setting the Stage and Planning the Route: Investigating Campus Sexual Misconduct Complaints

This webinar presented by Green Dot examines how to be an effective investigator for campus sexual misconduct. It breaks down the kind of shape the mindset an investigator should take beginning an investigation on a campus sexual assault report.

To watch the webinar, click on view resource below.

Is your campus prepared for SAAM 2015?

NSVRC has launched the SAAM 2015 campaign.  The SAAM 2015 campaign provides resources on campus sexual violence prevention. Help us create communities that prevent violence and build campuses that respond well.  Everyone can play a role in creating safer campuses. Take action to prevent sexual violence.

This is a toolkit for advocates, campus personnel, students and allies. These materials can be used to engage the entire community  to take action to end sexual assault.


Higher Education: Dispelling Myths to More Effectively Respond to Campus Rape

AEquitasIn collaboration with Greet Dot , etc., Inc. and AEquitas, this web conference discusses how research shows the vast majority of sex offenders are non-stranger rapists and serial offenders. Non-stranger rapists rely on premeditated tactics and nontraditional weapons and are adept at creating, identifying, and manipulating perceived vulnerabilities in their victims. These offenders also benefit from common misconceptions and false expectations of offenders (e.g., appearance, behavior, use of weapons) that can result in failure to identify non-stranger rapists who do not meet these expectations. To more effectively identify, investigate, and prosecute non-stranger rapists on campus, prosecutors must overcome common myths and misconceptions about sexual violence, especially if judges and juries believe them. This presentation will provide a comprehensive overview of sex offenders with an emphasis on non-stranger rapists (e.g., motivations and characteristics, myths and misconceptions, serial and crossover offending) and focus on strategies for overcoming the unique challenges these offenders present on campus.

Click here to listen to the web conference – (Starts at 19:10 mark).