Under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), colleges and universities are required to report domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, beyond crime categories the Clery Act already mandates; adopt certain student discipline procedures, such as for notifying purported victims of their rights; and adopt certain institutional policies to address and prevent campus sexual violence, such as to train in particular respects pertinent institutional personnel.
Domestic violence includes asserted violent misdemeanor and felony offenses
committed by the victim’s current or former spouse, current or former cohabitant,
person similarly situated under domestic or family violence law, or anyone else
protected under domestic or family violence law.
Dating violence means violence by a person who has been in a romantic or
intimate relationship with the victim. Whether there was such relationship will be
determined by its length, type, and frequency of interaction.
Stalking means a course of conduct directed at a specific person that would
cause a reasonable person to fear for her, his, or others’ safety, or to suffer
substantial emotional distress.
How to to be in a healthy relationship
Setting boundaries about your personal space and lifestyle are a must. A good partner will want to see you grow and support you in a positive way. Setting boundaries creates the tone to your relationship. Building any relationship takes time.
Listen to your partner with respect and be a good listener. Talk to your partner and be clear about what you want. You will not always agree and that is okay but BE CLEAR. Truly mean what you are saying.
Be yourself don’t try to be someone else. The right person will accept you for who you are.
Love and treat others the way you want to be treated; this may be cliche but sometimes we need a reminder to be kind and respect one another.
Sometimes being honest can be a challenge, unless you don’t mind being blunt. Even when being honest can make you feel uncomfortable or make you feel like you don’t want to hurt the other persons feelings, be honest about things in a relationship. Be clear on what you need from your partner so they can decide what they need in a relationship. Remember that it is okay to disagree. We are all different with different opinions and personalities.
Talk About Sexual Health
Sex is nothing new and for centuries it has been looked at as a shameful part of humanity, but sex is meant to be. Talk about it and be CLEAR on your desires for sex or your desires to not be sexually active. Be Straight up because YOUR ConSenT is a MUST. No means NO and yes means YES.
Cary yourself with the upmost respected platform. Having a good attitude through school, in a relationship, at home, and around your peers is so important. Be your attitude on the inside and out.
Below are ideas you can use to raise awareness on your campus:
Start the #beautifulpeoplecampaign on campus by sharing stories and statics on social media. For more information visit https://visionsofwomen.org/the-campaign/
Stop the Cycle event created by Visions of Women LU: Find an unused bicycle. You can ask a local recreation center for a bike if you don’t have one. Tell the lender about the importance of what the bike will be used for to raise awareness towards domestic violence. Make sure you decorate the bike purple to signify domestic violence awareness. Throughout the month you may choose to move the location of the bike and share domestic violence statistics and use hashtag signs. You can also get people to take a picture of the bike and post it. Make this a movement. Make this meaningful by encouraging students to post and use your hashtag. You can even make this a discussion before the month is over with a panel or group discussions on healthy and unhealthy relationships. Tag your school and have fun with this. Make this conversation comfortable by getting the campus involved and showing school spirit and talking about the importance of school safety.
Turn your campus purple. Get students, and staff to support domestic violence awareness month by wearing purple for a day and take a campus group picture with everyone in their purple during the day to show support in your community.
Hold a candle light visual and remember the lives of those who have lost their lives due to domestic violence. You can even choose to have a speaker to tell about their experience going through domestic violence.
Have open discussion topics about healthy and unhealthy relationships with everyone so they can talk about their differences and experiences. This is also a good time to talk about campus safety.
Have a panel with your Campus President, Title XI coordinator, school campus police officers, and local domestic violence advocates to strike the conversation about domestic violence and sexual assault education, safety, and resources. This is a great time for students to ask questions and address concerns they may have.
Here are the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence Statistics for Campuses:
- 25% of female students experience sexual assault over the course of their college career.
- 53% of victims of domestic violence were abused by a current or former boyfriend or girlfriend.
- 21% of college students report having experienced dating violence by a current partner.
- 32% of college students experienced dating violence by a previous partner.
- 13% of college women report they were forced to have sex by a dating partner.
- 60% of acquaintance rapes on college campuses occur in casual or steady dating relationships.
- 13% of college women report they have been stalked – nearly half of those were by a current or ex-boyfriend.
Visit the Clery center at https://clerycenter.org/policy-resources/vawa/ for more information on Compliance Requirements of the VAWA amendments to the Clery Act.