Millersville University’s Center for Health Education and Promotion (CHEP) is hoping to raise sexual violence awareness this semester through their First 6 Campaign. This campaign simultaneously occurs during the “Red Zone,” the period of time when incoming new students are at a heightened risk of becoming a victim of sexual violence.
Generally, this dangerous time period occurs from move in day and lasts until the first break of the semester. The CHEP office of MU is here to provide information that relates to high risk behavior such as drug and alcohol use, mental and physical health, body image and sexual responsibility and violence.
“The goal of CHEP is to provide information and education. We see students coming in with limited information, so we try to give them the resources they need to make informed and responsible choices,” says Jayme Trogus, Director of CHEP.
This year, CHEP placed red flags outside of the SMC to raise sexual violence awareness.
The number of flags displayed reflected the number of students on campus who could be impacted by sexual violence. The current statistic indicates that 1 in 5 women could be victims of sexual violence while they are in college, says Trogus.
Millersville currently has about 7,900 students; therefore, 1,580 flags were displayed to signify a visual representation of this number. Students were also present at times near the display to explain the importance of the bystander effect and ways you can help prevent sexual violence from occurring.
“We need to be active bystanders and begin by educating those who commit this crime, so we can stop it before it happens. We should also be educating on consent and how to ask for it,” says Trogus.
Being an active bystander involves taking care of your friends and watching out for one another. It is better to be unsure and call and report a situation then to sit back and allow something to happen. Many individuals believe that consent is lost with the first drink; however, everyone responds to alcohol differently.
It is really a matter of talking to a person and observing how responsive they are.
Statistics show that 9 out of 10 sexual assaults involve alcohol. “Alcohol and sex don’t mix. Alcohol just really complicates things,” Trogus says. “After all, if you can’t be with someone when you are sober, should you really be with them when you are intoxicated?”
Due to the personal nature of a sexual violence crime, it can be difficult to tell anyone else if you are a victim. In fact, only 5% of sexual assaults are reported to the police, says Trogus.Under Millersville University’s Title IX, all universities are required to investigate cases of sexual violence.
Although students can deny any involvement in the investigation, this ensures that the rest of campus will be protected from repeat offenders. Students can file a criminal report with the police, a judicial report with the Office of Judicial Affairs or a Title IX complaint with the Title IX officer in the Office of the President.
According to the Annual Crimes Statistics of Millersville University, there were a total of 2 on-campus forcible sexual offences reported in 2012, and a total of 4 in 2010.
However, if we reiterate the fact that less than 5% of sexual violence is reported, this number is not actually reflective of the number of assaults that occur.
“I hope that there is an increased level of awareness from this campaign. I hope students become aware and educated, even if they just have one conversation with someone,” says Trogus.
Be sure to check out these activities on campus provided by CHEP:
• Sept. 12th, 7:00-11:00pm, SMC Fitness Center. SMCtivities. Join the peer educators for activities and games during the SMCtivities festivities. Sponsored by Campus Recreation and the Center for Health Education and Promotion
• September 15, 7pm, SMC 118. Calling Men to Action Peer Education Program. This men-only program embraces the help and courage of men. Gender violence isn’t just a women’s issue.
This program seeks to motivate men to be involved in ending sexual violence. Sponsored by the Center for Health Education and Promotion.
• September 17, 11am-1pm, Montour House. Sexual Responsibility/Healthy Relationships Wellness Wednesday. Join the peer educators for interactive activities and free giveaways! Sponsored by the Center for Health Education and Promotion.
• September 17, 6-9pm, Steinman Hall at the Ware Center. The Department of Social Work will be hosting a screening of the documentary, Tricked. This screening is open to all students as well as the public and is co-sponsored by the Social Work Organization. Tricked explores modern-day slavery in the United States. Meet the pimps, the johns, the police, the parents, and the victims in this eye-opening documentary on sex trafficking. A Panel Discussion will follow the screening.
• September 22, 7pm, SMC 118. Sex Goes to the Movies Peer Education Program. Participate in this peer education program which uses popular movie clips to educate participants about risky and unsafe partying, alcohol consumption, consent, and how to avoid these risky situations.
Sponsored by the Center for Health Education and Promotion.
• September 24, 11am-1pm, 4pm-6pm, Center for Counseling and Human Development, Lyle. Free Anxiety Screening.
• September 24, 11am-1pm, September 17, 11am-1pm, Montour House. Alcohol and Other Drugs Wellness Wednesday. Join the peer educators for interactive activities and free giveaways! Sponsored by the Center for Health Education and Promotion.
• September 29, 9pm, SMC Promenade (SMC MPR rain location). Take Back the Night. Join the Millersville University community in speaking out to end sexual violence. Survivors, friends, family members and supporters are encouraged to share their story as a part of personal healing and to empower others to find their voice. Open to anyone wanting to help end violence in our community. Sponsored by the Center for Health Education and Promotion.
• September 30, 9pm, South Quad Suites-Great Room. Chasing that First High Peer Education Program. Join the peer educators for an interactive program on substance abuse and addiction. Students learn skills on how to recognize if someone has an issue with drugs and where to find help on campus. Sponsored by the Center for Health Education and Promotion.
• October 1, 10:30am-1:30pm, SMC Promenade (SMC rain location). Wellness Fair and Breast-AVille. Campus and community organizations will be providing the campus community with interactive activities and information to improve personal health and wellness. Sponsored by the Center for Health Education and Promotion, Department of Nursing, and Health Services.