This September, national non-profits Clery Center for Security On Campus and Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment (PAVE) are partnering with other organizations and institutions for the Safe Campus, Strong Voices campaign, an initiative for National Campus Safety Awareness Month. Safe Campus, Strong Voices engages campus communities in increasing awareness and engagement around campus safety issues such as sexual assault, dating violence, hazing, stalking, and high-risk drinking. It empowers students as bystanders to make changes in their campus environment and encourages victims to seek the support they deserve.
“The first few weeks of college are critical,” says Amy Guthrie, Program Coordinator for the Clery Center. “National Campus Safety Awareness Month is an opportunity to start dialogue about campus safety early in the school year, a time when we typically see an increase in crime.”
PAVE founder Angela Rose travels nationally telling her own survivor story, encouraging students to get involved and find support within their community. “Every time I speak on a college campus, there’s a line of students who want to disclose that they have been affected by sexual assault and most have never reported,” says Rose.
Institutions implementing the Safe Campus, Strong Voices campaign receive resources that help them implement National Campus Safety Awareness Month programming on their campuses. Collaborators such as the Stalking Resource Center, ResponseAbility, the Gordie Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, Hollaback!, Stop the Silence, Students Active for Ending Rape, HazingPrevention.org, Break the Cycle, and the National Partnership to End Interpersonal Violence Across the Lifespan contributed insight and information to help benefit institutions.
On September 25, 2013, institutions can also participate in a national day of action in which students will make a pact to work to end sexual assault at their institutions. The pact, created through a partnership between the Clery Center and collaborative documentary teams at 5 institutions (Rowan University, Western State Colorado University, Northern Illinois University, Framingham State University, and California State University: Northridge), recognizes the importance of bystanders in preventing sexual violence.
“It’s important that institutions set expectations about what is acceptable on campus and engage students in campus safety and prevention,” says Abigail Boyer, Director of Communications and Outreach for the Clery Center. “This campaign highlights the incredible impact that students have on the campus environment and it is amazing to see so many institutions joining us for this initiative.”
Siena Heights University is committed to creating a safer and more supportive campus for all campus community members.