It’s Time To Stop Sweeping Campus Sexual Assaults Under The Rug
With some of the country’s prestigious colleges and universities under federal investigation for the mismanagement and handling of campus sexual assault claims, policies, and procedures, the current administration has developed a task force and begun spearheading an aggressive campaign to bring awareness to the issue of campus sexual violence. Despite the heightened attention about campus sexual assault in the media, there still seems to be a lack of discussion, programming and available resources for survivors. As a result, many campus sexual assaults go under or unreported and most survivors suffer in silence given the fact that many campuses are not properly prepared to respond to an incident. In addition, campus administration, staff, faculty, medical personnel, clinicians and therapist still seem to be missing the mark when it comes to providing effective reporting measures, survivor support and treatment options. These factors help desensitize the issue and create more complex concerns in the management of survivors and perpetrators. It also makes it even more difficult for survivors to report assault, heal, and seek out support and/or treatment. Given this lack of preparedness, consequently, many survivors end up dropping out of school, suffering from mental health challenges or substance abuse issues.
Because sexuality affects how we think, act and even how we relate to other people, it is very important that survivors of campus sexual assault heal; however, this can only happen once the survivor feels safe and supported by campus administration, staff, faculty and the community. It’s also important for campus administration, staff, and faculty to understand the dynamics of campus sexual assault. They must realize that there is no quick fix. Sexual healing is a process that occurs overtime. It can take several months to several years for a survivor to report the assault, come to terms with it, and begin the process of healing.
The journey to healing from a campus sexual assault is best undertaken only after a survivor is in a stable and safe environment and seamless, coordinated services and a significant support system are in place. Therefore it is critical for campuses to recognize this need and step up to the plate and begin to make our campuses and communities surrounding the campuses safer. In order to address campus sexual assault, campuses must first create a culture of healthy sexuality. It takes a coordinated effort from everyone. Men must become advocates, comprehensive and culturally relevant prevention programs grounded in best practices must be established, and bold awareness campaigns, by-stander intervention techniques, and sexuality training for all campus administration, faculty and staff, community partners and members should be put in place. In addition to survivor support, there must be anonymous and confidential reporting options, aggressive investigation procedures, perpetrator accountability and perpetrator programs designed to reduce the likelihood of recidivism. Something must be done to make college and university campuses safer! It’s time to stop sweeping campus sexual assaults under the rug. Speak up! Speak out! Speak often! Speak Positively!
Dr. TaMara loves nothing more than talking about sex! At the age of 13, she told her mother she wanted to be a Sex Therapist! Her passion is deeply rooted in spreading messages about healthy sexuality. Dr. TaMara is a sexologist, sex therapist, educator and motivational speaker with more than 20 years of experience speaking, writing and teaching about sexuality. She travels the country helping individuals embrace and honor their sexuality. Dr. TaMara has published numerous books and articles. She is the owner of L.I.F.E. by Dr. TaMara Griffin Live Inspired Feel Empowered LLC-LIFE Follow her on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, http://www.drtamaragriffin.com or http://www.projectcreatesafe.com.