Violence prevention starts with you. Primary prevention means stopping violence BEFORE it happens. We do this by building community and creating a culture where violence is not tolerated. Through outreach and education, we are committed to ending all forms of violence on campus by focusing on the impact gender role expectations have on our everyday lives. This includes a focus on communication, boundaries, and consent. We are encouraging all students, faculty, and staff to engage in a meaningful dialogue around these issues and take steps to end violence on campus.
Started in 2014 by former Vice President Joe Biden, It's On Us is a national campaign committed to ending sexual assault on college campuses by emphasizing the part we all have to play in creating a culture of respect. It's On Us has four pillars:
1. To RECOGNIZE that non-consensual sex is sexual assault.
2. To IDENTIFY situations in which sexual assault might occur.
3. To INTERVENE in situations where consent has not or cannot be given.
4. To CREATE an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported.
WCU was awarded the It's On Us PA Grant in 2018 and 2019 to expand It's On Us initiatives on campus.
Consent is necessary for every sexual interaction. West Chester University's definition of consent is "an informed decision made freely and actively by all parties. Conduct will be considered, 'without consent,' if there is no clear consent, verbal or nonverbal, given. Because sexual misconduct is defined as sexual activity that is undertaken without consent, each participant must obtain and give consent to each sexual act." Our presentations about Situationships help students navigate relationships and have a better understanding of boundaries.
Rams Step Up! is a prosocial, peer educator led bystander intervention training offered by the Center for Women & Gender Equity. Rams Step Up! introduces students to the bystander effect, engages students in considering situations where they have seen problems, encourages students to consider barriers to helping behavior in breakout rooms, and introduces strategies for helping. Students will then practice skills in identifying harmful situations and stepping up and acting when they see a problematic event.
- Identify one bystander intervention tool and two barriers to serving as an effective helper or bystander.
- Reflect on the role of personal and systemic biases in their preparedness to engage in helping behaviors.