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Washington State University Office for Equal Opportunity

Safety on Campus Workshop

Audio Transcript

PDF Link:  Safety on Campus

Slide 1: Title Slide

Welcome to the Safety On Campus Alive! Orientation. This is a training provided by the Health Promotion unit within WSU’s Health and Wellness Services.

 

Slide 2: Safety on Campus

We’re here to address an important issue on campus – violence. Specifically, sexual misconduct, intimate partner violence, and stalking, also known as gender-based violence. We’re going to talk about what violence looks like, what resources are available, and what we, as Cougs, can do about this.  This is the first of many conversations you’ll have at WSU about this important issue.

 

Slide 3: Statistics

Now, let’s discuss some statistics around gender-based violence. 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men will be sexually assaulted while in college. 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men will be in an abusive relationship in their lifetime. 1 in 6 women and 1 in 19 men will be stalked in their lifetime.

These forms of violence can impact anyone, regardless of sex, gender, race, ethnicity, background, and/or community. Some groups experience this at rates higher than others, but it can happen to anyone. The bottom line is that too many students on this campus are being hurt. This is a problem. When it happens, it’s never your fault, and there are people on this campus and in this community you can talk to about it.

 

Slide 4: Intimate Partner Violence

The definition we are going to use today is contained within our WSU policy. Keep in mind that there are also state and federal laws that prohibit this behavior. Intimate partner violence is defined as “violence or abusive behavior within an intimate relationship. This can also be known by terms like dating violence or domestic violence. Intimate partner violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, verbal, economic, or psychological in nature and can include actions or threats of actions that influence or harm an intimate partner.” (As per WAC 506-26-204 & EP 15).

Some examples of intimate partner violence include: physical violence or threats; jealous and controlling behavior such as telling your partner what they can wear and who they can hang out with; monitoring social media to see who they are talking to; using technology to track your partner whereabouts; asking other people to monitor or track person; and/or making all of the decisions in the relationship. I want to reiterate that if anything like this ever happens to you, it’s not okay, and there are people you can talk to.

 

Slide 5: Stalking

The definition we are going to use today is also contained within our WSU policy. Keep in mind that there are also state and federal laws that prohibit this behavior. Stalking is defined as engaging in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to fear for their safety or suffer substantial emotional distress. Note that the full definition can be found at WAC 504-26-223. (Facilitator FYI: you can find specific info on stalking here).

Sometimes stalking behaviors can appear very overt – involving force, or a stranger staring at you from your bushes. Stalking situations involving strangers do happen, but on a college campus like ours, the people involved generally know each other. It can be a friend or an acquaintance engaging in the behavior. People can stalk their partners they are currently in relationships with or used to be in a relationship with.

Often times, stalking behaviors mirror otherwise typical behaviors and interactions. Getting phone calls or texts from someone, or receiving gifts, might seem harmless (and even fun) to other people. But if someone doesn’t want these, it can feel frustrating, or even scary.

Sometimes students tell us it’s challenging to tell the difference between stalking and a healthy, everyday behavior. Even if what’s happening doesn’t break a law or violate a policy, you have every right to feel safe and supported on this campus. The bottom line is this: if someone is doing something that makes you feel unsafe in any way, that’s a problem, and there are people you can talk to.

 

Slide 6: Sexual Misconduct

The definition we are going to use today is also contained within our WSU policy. Keep in mind that there are also state and federal laws that prohibit this behavior. Sexual misconduct is any sexual activity that is lacking consent (WAC 504-26-221). This term covers a range of behaviors that can include rape. It can include any nonconsensual physical contact. This can also include watching or filming someone when they have not given permission.

It is important to note that situations involving strangers do happen, but they are rare on college campuses. Sexual misconduct most often occurs between people who know each other – same residence hall, classmates, co-workers, acquaintances. It can also happen in relationships.

The main point to remember is that any sexual activity must be consensual. Consent is a process that occurs constantly in our daily lives. We ask permission, give permission, agree, disagree, and negotiate in everything that we do. This includes our sex lives.

 

Slide 7: Consent

Our university has a definition of consent that can be found in our Standards of Conduct for Students. The codes are not in place to “police” what you do. Rather, they are the expectations that all of us have of each other as members of this campus community.

The definition for consent is straightforward. It says that consent must be clear, knowing, and voluntary. It also says that consent must be demonstrated through actual words or conduct, and that it can be given and taken away at any time.

  • Clear communication means you must look and listen to how your partner is responding with their body language and words. If you aren’t confident someone wants to be doing something as much as you do, ask.
  • Voluntary means all parties have the opportunity to decide what they do or do not want to do, when and with whom. This decision is free from any force, coercion, or pressure from another person.
  • Knowing is where we talk about frame of mind. Everyone involved is in a frame of mind to know what they are agreeing to do. They are in a state where they can make an informed decision.

When all of these conditions are met, you can feel confident knowing that everyone is consenting to what is happening.

Yet, there are circumstances when people can’t give consent. Such as, when they are not given a choice. Specific examples include: When they are silent or passive – because the absence of “no” doesn’t imply “yes.” Or, when they are being forced or pressured.

Another circumstance when someone can’t give consent is when they are incapacitated. This means they lack the capacity to understand what they are consenting to. Examples of incapacitation include: When someone is asleep or unconscious. Sleeping people cannot give consent. When drugs or alcohol are involved, someone is considered incapacitated when they can’t understand what’s happening around them. They’ve lost the ability to make a rational decision. That line is different for everyone. Simply put, the use of alcohol or drugs introduces risk that isn’t there when people are completely sober.

When we talk about consent, people have a lot of questions. Especially when it comes to alcohol. For today, I want you to remember that consent is a process, because sex is a process. Regardless of how you do it, there are multiple steps involved in any sexual activity. And without consent, it’s sexual misconduct. It’s a problem. It’s not your fault. And there are people you can talk to.

 

Slide 8: Confidential Resources

Since we know gender-based violence is happening, we need to talk about what resources are available.  Our hope is that you will never need to access these resources, but in case you or someone you know needs support, we want you to know what’s available.

There are resources on- and off- campus that provide confidential support services. Exceptions to confidentiality, by law, include instances of imminent harm, child abuse, and elder abuse.  Additionally, aggregate, non-identifying information is provided for inclusion in Clery statistics.  All other information stays private.

The following confidential resources are all located in the Washington building on the Pullman campus.

 

Slide 9: Other University Resources

There are also resources on campus where students can go if they want to see a response happen. These resources include:

While these resources aren’t confidential, they will handle your information with care.

They are required to share information with the Title IX Coordinator. The Title IX Coordinator is responsible for ensuring that students receive information about resources and response options.

University employees, like your professors and RA’s, are required to share information about situations involving sexual harassment with the Title IX Coordinator, also.

Even with these reporting requirements that people have, we want you to remember this: You can decide who you want to talk with about your concerns; at no point will you be required to speak with someone against your wishes.  The University’s main objective is to provide support and care for you.

We also want to you to know that you can be a resource, too. Nobody likes to think that this will happen to anyone they care about, but it’s likely one of your friends will come to you for help while you are here at WSU. If they are impacted by violence, tell them: It isn’t their fault. Ask how you can support them. Don’t assume you know the answer to this question. Let them know there are people they can talk to. If they don’t want to talk to anyone, that’s okay too.

 

Slide 10: Mandatory Programs

We covered a lot of information in a short amount of time, and there are still so many topics to discuss.

Think of this workshop as part one of the conversation. Pullman campus students also have other opportunities to learn more about this important issue. For example, all incoming students will attend a workshop focused specifically around preventing violence before it happens. It’s called Green Dot.

For everyone who is under 21, there is a part three and four. Students will attend a workshop called Booze, Sex, and Reality Checks. This workshop is focused specifically around decision making about sex when alcohol is involved. Afterwards there is an online survey. These are mandatory programs that all incoming students must attend.

 

Slide 11: Thank you