Awareness / Rape

Let Your Voice Be Heard: Students & Survivors Listening Sessions

A few days ago, the US Department of Justice posted “White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault Invites Participation in Public Listening Sessions,” to encourage students, advocates, university leaders, law enforcement professionals, and VAWA grantees to participate in an upcoming White House Public Listening Session. The White House Task Force hopes that participants will provide ideas for preventative and responsive measures to sexual assault on college campuses. In the post, it says:

“In particular, we would like your opinions on:

  • Institutional policies and protocols to address sexual assault
  • Responding to diverse, underserved or historically marginalized victims
  • Prevention programs
  • Crisis intervention and advocacy services
  • Complaint and grievance procedures
  • Investigation protocols
  • Adjudicatory procedures
  • Disciplinary sanctions
  • Training and orientation modules for students, staff, and faculty
  • Evaluating and measuring the success of prevention and response efforts
  • Sharing information with the public
  • Making enforcement activities transparent and accessible
  • Promoting greater coordination and consistency among federal agencies
  • Maximizing the Federal Government’s effectiveness in combatting campus rape and sexual assault” (Source)

The listening sessions will occur throughout the month of February, with three listening sessions open to students and survivors. I highly encourage you to register for the sessions or email your comments to OVW.SATaskForce@usdoj.gov by February 28, 2014. This is an incredible opportunity to share your thoughts on this issue that unfortunately affects every campus.

While it does not explicitly say so, this listening session is sure to combat rape culture in itself. This listening session is crucial to the empowerment and justice survivors and students deserve; for rape culture is so often a tool to keep survivors from compassionate ears. This is your time to be heard.

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