On November 17th, Cara Bell, and Wanda Swam came and spoke in our Sex and Society class. Cara Bell serves as the Associate Director for Student Accountability, Community Standards, and Academic Integrity at Vanderbilt University. Wanda Swan is a prevention educator and victim resource specialist within the Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center. The reason they talked to us is to let us all know that there are resources on campus to get help or information if students ever are sexual assaulted. These two ladies are trying to expand safety not only at Vanderbilt University but also throughout the country.
Project Safe has been a resource ever since 1999 to discuss violence on campus. “The Project Safe Center is committed to preventing all types of power-based personal violence(sexual violence, intimate partner violence, stalking, and identity-based targeting) and assisting those affected by power-based personal violence” (Handout sheet they handed out). This Project Safe Center is trying to do whatever they can to help, they can help you get a stay away order between students who are making some sort of gesture towards you that does not make you feel safe. The center is located in the women’s center and students can walk in at any time or students can call their hotline (615-322-SAFE) at anytime. This center is trying to tell students to get involved! Stand up, don’t stand by.
Some ways to get involved at Vanderbilt are the Green Dot program, VU PETSA Training, and R.A.D. Self Defense Program. The Green Dot at Vanderbilt is a method violence prevention that capitalizes on the power of peer and cultural influence across all levels of the socio-ecological model. It aims to decrease power-based personal violence on campus by utilizing education, resources, and staff to increase awareness. A green dot symbolizes a to end perpetration or personal violence. A red dot means to make a difference and when you add a green dot will increase community safety. Green dots are divided into two categories: proactive and reactive. Proactive means people can make actions to prevent violence from happening and reactive means people can make actions to intervene in a red dot situation. An example of proactive green dots: Tell your friends and others about the green dot program. An example of reactive green dots: If I suspect that my friend is in an abusive relationship, I ask her/ him and provide information about resources available. (http://www.vanderbilt.edu/greendot/green-dots-strategy/green-dots/)
VU PETSA Training stands for Vanderbilt University Personal Empowerment Through Self Awareness. It is a sequence of videos online that aim to that deal with personal violence like sexual assault, stalking, bullying, etc and these videos are designed to be educational and help one another out in these type of situations. Many students, including myself had to watch these videos to understand the message, to support someone in a situation like this, and approach violence prevention on campus.
Also the R.A.D. Self Defense stands for Rape Aggression Defense System for Women. It is a program for self defense tactics and techniques that provides awareness, prevention, risk reduction and to know the basics of hands-on defense training. This program is growing across the countries being taught at many colleges and universities. The basic self-defense program is offered at Vanderbilt and the community free of charge.
Cara Bell and Wanda Swam just wanted to let us know that there are resources here at Vanderbilt University and it is are option for us to take advantage of it or not, even if it is just talking to an advocate about a problem or whether you want to file a complaint. The Project Center is becoming more aware of to students as these type of innocents occur.
Last year a rape occurrence happened on campus with some football guys and a female student. Ever since that event Vanderbilt has locked down on more and more resources on campus and offered to the students. What other resources could the Project Safe Center offer to the community and students? How do we end sexual assault and personal violence?
The handout Bill, our class got about “Campus Accountability and Safety Act” relates to the presentation between Cara Bell and Wanda Swam and our class. “To amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 and the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act to combat campus sexual violence and for other purposes” (Class Handout) This Bill relates to Project Safe because it discussion the policies and law enforcements with sexual assault and personal violence. This Bill discusses the penalties with these type of acts. On page 14, it says “ Each institution of higher education that receives funds or any other form of financial assistance under any Federal program, including participation in an Federally funded or guaranteed student loan program, shall establish a campus security policy”. Vanderbilt falls under this situation because of innocents in the past. So overall students do need to be aware and realize what is available on campus about sexual assault and personal violence because it will only get worse if you do not get help. Go to the Project Safe Center if you are ever put in these type of situations! Stand up, don’t stand by.