With the school year back in session, it’s important that students are ready in all aspects. Students should know studying tips, how to time manage, how to make college friends, and most importantly, how to stay safe.
Although some people may be afraid to speak about it, sexual violence and sexual assault occurs quite often in college and university settings. Leah Marshall, a sexual violence prevention advisor at Fanshawe College, goes into different classrooms and lectures to speak about sexual violence and what to do in different situations. Marshall explains why it’s important to do these presentations.
“So we statistically know that the most sexual assaults happen on campus within the first 8 weeks of school, and so it’s really important for students to know what services and supports are available on campus and in the community. Some students aren’t from London, and might not be aware what’s available to them.”
Anyone can be a victim of sexual assault or sexual violence, but some individuals are at a higher risk. Marshall explains who experiences sexual violence more.
“There are some groups that experience sexual violence at higher rates, and so we know that university and college aged women experience sexual violence at higher rates. And so the number is 1 in 4, to 1 in 5, will experience sexual violence at some time in their academic career.”
With statistics where 20-25% of females are experiencing sexual violence, it becomes important to do presentations during the school year to prevent this from happening in the future.
Many people often think that sexual violence is sexual, where penetration occurs, when in actuality there are many things that fall under this umbrella of sexual violence. Leah Marshall explains some of the things that are considered sexual violence.
“One of the common misconceptions is that sexual violence is always physical, when in actuality, sexual violence crosses a spectrum of different things. So, that could be sexual harassment, that could be transphobia, that could be homophobia, that could be cyber sexual violence, so harassing someone online, or posting really degrading memes.”
Leah Marshall made it clear that it is never the survivors fault, and that accommodations will be made if you are a victim to sexual assault or violence. It’s important that when you see something that looks wrong, to call an RA, campus security, the police, or stepping in if it’s a safe situation. Accommodations can be made academically, whether you need more time for a test or a project. Or medically, so having someone come to an appointment or set up your appointment. And lastly, counselling accommodations, so having options given to you.
You can visit room F2010 in Fanshawe College if you have been involved in a sexual violence situation, or call them at 519-452-4465. You can always call Campus Security as well, at 519-452-4430 x4242.