HSU Mobilizes Against Sexualized Violence - Humboldt State Now

HSU Mobilizes Against Sexualized Violence

A permanent Humboldt State University team of campus and community leaders has marshaled an array of resources to deal with sexualized violence, including a new information clearinghouse of survivor-centered responses.

HSU’s Sexual Assault Prevention Committee, made up of campus, county, police, legal and emergency officials, generated the comprehensive new Web site at www.humboldt.edu/stoprape.

“The site provides a full array of resources to survivors, family, and friends,” said University Police Lieutenant Lynne Soderberg. “Guidance runs the gamut, from medical care, evidence collection, and law enforcement, to healing and recovery, educational resources, and support services such as counseling.”

Thousands of wallet cards have been distributed to Humboldt State faculty and staff, equipping them with handy and vital information should they encounter a sexual assault survivor.

“The Sexual Assault Prevention Committee has also developed a ground-breaking curriculum to teach the skills necessary to help stem rape culture,” said Professor Maxwell Schnurer of the Departments of Communication and Critical Race Gender Sexuality Studies.

‘Acts to End Sexualized Violence’ is an annual weekend class that has taught more than 600 HSU students the skills to challenge sexism, violence and rape. This spring, HSU introduced the extended, peer education-centered ‘Acts to End Sexualized Violence II.’

“The hardest educational battle we face,” Schnurer cautioned, “is the mistaken belief that most rapes are perpetrated by someone who ‘jumps out of the bushes.’ In fact, almost 85% of rapes are committed by someone the survivor knows.”

Schnurer said the committee showcases wide participation from the University and Arcata Police Departments, HSU faculty, and University staff from residence life, housing, student affairs, and counseling and psychological services. “In addition, key decision-makers have been recruited from Athletics, and student leaders have joined us from the Women’s Resource Center and the Eric Rofes Center for Multi-cultural Queer Studies, among others,” he added.

According to the National Institute of Justice, one in five women is a survivor of sexual assault while enrolled at college; slightly more than six percent of men are survivors.

Other federal statistics estimate that one in four girls and one in seven boys will have been the victim of some form of sexualized violence by the age of 18.

Additional statistics are posted at http://www.humboldt.edu/stoprape/statistics.html.