Sexual Violence: Awareness and Prevention
Focusing on risk can help us be aware and be as safe as possible, but we also have the opportunity to take an active role in prevention. Bystander intervention, or being an active bystander, is one of the most powerful ways to help stop sexual violence crimes.
BYSTANDERS comprise the most people in the spectrum of sexual violence, greatly outnumbering the number of victims and perpetrators.
Effective bystanders do two things:
- Recognize risk
- Take action
During new student orientation, MIAD Mentors train new students in Bystander Intervention.
- Silent Stare
- “I” Statements
- We’re Friends, Right?
- Bring it Home
- Group Intervention
- Cut and Divide
- Take a Picture
“This is MIAD. This is not what we are about.”
“Could you please clarify what you said? I’m not sure I understood that correctly.”
“That didn’t necessarily offend me, but it may have offended someone else.”
“I didn’t expect that from you.”
“We’ve always been able to work things out in the past.”
“Could you please explain to me what is going on from your perspective/as you see it?”
“Right now this is a small issue, let’s work together so it doesn’t become ‘x’.”
“Hey now, take it back, you didn’t really mean that did you?”
Steps for Intervention
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Think before acting.
- Stay calm. Enlist help if you can.
- Intervene when safe and appropriate.
- Be conscious of your delivery style.
- Negotiate solutions/negate further conflict
Resources at MIAD
Don’t keep information to yourself. Let us know if you intervened in a risky situation, if you are concerned for a friend, come to us if you are in a difficult situation and are not sure how to resolve it – we are your support!
- MIAD Security is here to help you. Turn to them for help.
- Keith Kotowitcz, Director of Security & Safety
- Wil Talib, Security Lieutenant
- Security Desk – 414-847-3300
- Your Mentor, RA and Faculty can assist you in getting proper resources.
- Jennifer Crandall, Associate Dean of Students. RL95, 414-847-3344
- Marianne Honrath, Director of Residential Living and Student Engagement, RL45H, 414-847-3246
- Tony Nowak, Dean of Students, RL45C, 414-847-3240
- Sara Thor, Student Accessibility Coordinator, RL100B, 414-847-3347
Reducing your risk of sexual violence
Here are some helpful risk reduction tips:
Awareness-An important step in reducing your risk of sexual violence or other potentially violent or unsafe situations is to be aware of your surroundings. (Is the neighborhood safe that you are in? Who is around you? Are you alone or with others? Are you tuned in to music, so can not hear potential danger?) A heightened awareness will help you better identify and avoid instances of potential unsafe situations.
There is a rapid sense of trust in a new environment such as college, and the tendency to see everyone that you meet as a new friend. It’s a social expectation that you go out and get connected. You may feel pressure to assume trust in relationships where trust hasn’t developed. As you know, trust takes time.
Street smart-Be safe, don’t walk alone, especially at night. Do not explore parts of the city alone, etc. Be smart, be safe, go in a group.
Politeness/Awkward: “I’m one of you, be cool, don’t disrupt the party.” Don’t consent to sexual acts to be polite or to avoid feeling awkward. Stand up for yourself and trust your instincts.
Alcohol & Drugs are a game-changer for consent. Alcohol/drugs will impair your judgment. Always be aware of how much you are drinking. Be careful when at parties. Don’t take open drinks or anything that you don’t know where it came from or what it is. Remember, there is never consent when alcohol or drugs are involved!
Isolation – In all forms of sexual violence, isolation is a tool used to take control. For example, in relationship violence, an aggressor will cut off their partner from their friends and family.
MIAD is a community where we support each other. If you see a friend in a risky situation, step up and help your friend avoid a potentially bad outcome.
To learn more about how to reduce your risk, contact one of MIAD’s student advocates:
MIAD does not tolerate harassment of any kind.
What is Harassment?
- Any unwelcome verbal or physical conduct based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, genetic information, veteran status, or disability, when:
- Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with the individual’s work or educational performance;
- Such conduct creates or has the intention of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive working and/or learning environment
Cyber bullying, bullying, hate speech and stalking are some forms of harassment.
What is Stalking?
- Stalking is defined as a pattern of repeated and unwanted attention, harassment, contact, or any other course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.
What is hate speech?
- Hate speech is speech that offends, threatens, or insults groups based on race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, or other traits.
What is bullying?
- Bullying is the use of superior strength or influence to intimidate (someone), typically to force the person to do what one wants. Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time.
What is cyberbullying?
- Cyberbullying is bullying that takes place using electronic technology. Examples of cyberbullying include mean text messages or emails, rumors sent by email or posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing pictures, videos, websites or fake profiles.
MIAD’s definition of consent for sexual contact
MIAD applies a “yes means yes” standard of consent. Yes means yes requires that spoken consent must be given for sexual interaction to be consensual.
In some cases, however, consent may never be given, such as when an individual is asleep or unconscious, or when an individual’s judgment is impaired by drugs or alcohol. Respect a person changing their mind, if the “yes” turns into “no”…you must treat it as a NO to consent.
Just to be clear, consent is a clearly communicated YES, not the absence of No.
What is a non-consensual sexual act? Any intentional sexual touching, however slight, by your person or with any object, by a man or woman upon a man or woman, that is without consent and/or by force.
Students are informed of the Yes means yes standard for consent in new student orientation and via Let’s Talk education campaign conducted throughout the year. The information is also in the Student Handbook, and in MIAD’s Sexual Misconduct Policy. Ignorance of the policy will not be considered a defense for potential violations and it is the student’s responsibility to ensure they understand their responsibilities under the policy.
Questions regarding this policy, contact Tony Nowak, Dean of Students.
MIAD’s Sexual Misconduct Policy
Relationship Violence & Abuse
Relationship violence is defined as violence committed by a person who is or has been in a social relationship of a romantic or intimate nature with the victim
Relationship violence can be physical, verbal or emotional
If you, or someone you care about, is in an abusive relationship, there are resources available.
24-Hour Domestic Violence Hotline: 414-933-2722
Sojourner Family Peace Center www.familypeacecenter.org
Sexual violence is the term MIAD uses when referring to violent/aggressive behavior that is based on gender. There are three forms of sexual violence that most impact college students: Sexual Assault, Relationship Violence and Stalking.
What is Sexual Assault?
Any sexual contact made without consent. Sexual assault includes, but is not necessarily limited to, physical assaults of a sexual nature, such as rape, sexual battery, domestic violence, dating violence, stalking or attempts to commit these acts.
What is stalking?
Stalking is defined as a pattern of repeated and unwanted attention, harassment, contact, or any other course of conduct directed at a specific person that would cause a reasonable person to feel fear.
For complete information on MIAD’s policies regarding sexual violence and sexual assault, refer to MIAD’s Sexual Misconduct Policy and Procedures