April 1, 2015

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) and this year’s campaign is “It’s Time to Act”. The 2015 campaign provides a platform to educate and engage your community to serve as active bystanders in preventing acts of sexual assault. We believe an important step in solving this issue is fostering a culture of responsibility for one another and building a “Got Your Back” mentality.

Now is the time to remind your students of all the great resources that are available on campus. In a recently conducted LiveSafe survey, 85% of students thought the resources that schools provide through the app were helpful for those dealing with sexual assault.

Many times students don’t know where to find their school’s resources or the information is located on different department websites. Providing an easy-to-access, always-available alternative to blind searches empowers campuses to streamline a set of tools for both bystanders as well as survivors. Students ultimately need to be aware of their options so they understand the choices available to them.

Education through mandatory sexual assault awareness courses is an increasingly common feature of new student orientation and ongoing student programming. We applaud these efforts. We are optimistic that as a new standard of care emerges, one in which students can interact with appropriate safety officials or counselors when needed, a culture of safety will evolve where communities take care of their members and individuals look out for one another.

Another finding from the recent LiveSafe user survey showed that 63% of students “were more likely to ask for help when needed” because of their access to the technology. Whether by facilitating positive communication with safety officials, or allowing students to reach out anonymously (with the option of revealing their anonymity), we are proud that we are lowering barriers to communication on campus.

For students dealing with either a friend’s experience with sexual assault, or their own, it is important that students have access to a wide range of options to identify and seek the help they need. From simple tips, to encouraging conversations, to paths to reach confidential advocates, to starting a formal process if they so choose, it is important to reinforce all the ways students can get the help they need.

Working with our campus partners, we’re proud to provide an always-available resource in students’ pockets where they can quickly identify ways to move forward, knowing they have options and empowering them to not only help themselves, but also support each other.

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