Special forum: sexual assault by: Elaijah Gibbs-Jones

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The Chancellor’s Special Forum on Sexual Assault was held on Oct. 17, 2017 in the Academic Classroom Building (ACB).

The forum discussed the variety of ways students, faculty, and staff can become more aware of sexual assault incidents on campus. The event also served as an informational session on how to be an active bystander.

The program began with a discussion led by Linda Mangum, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University’s Title IX coordinator, on Title IX and its importance to the campus.

Mangum began by clarifying what clear consent is and what it is not. She also explained the various types of sexual harassment in N.C. A&T’s terms of Title IX student-on-student and faculty-on-student policies. The different types of harassment were described as rape, sexual assault, sexual battery, sexual coercion, dating and domestic violence, and stalking.

Throughout the forum, Aggies were provided with facts to improve their awareness of the issue of sexual assault on college campuses.

“When sexual assault happens, most of the time, the assaulter is someone the victim knows. The percent that common perpetrators are classmates is 37 percent and acquaintances of the victim, and 26 percent of the time that the perpetrator is identified as a friend of the victim,” Mangum said.

“I am happy that our school is starting to have the conversation about sexual assault, because it is definitely a problem on college campuses. I will say that judging by the comments I heard from many athletes at the event, we have a lot of work to do,” said Amara Johnson, sophomore Journalism and Mass Communications student.

After the discussion on Title IX ended, students were instructed to attend two different breakout sessions.

Female students were sent to room 107 of ACB to hold a conversation on sexual assault, intimate partner violence, safe resources like the LiveSafe app, and bystander intervention.

Meanwhile in room 101 of ACB, the male students held a dialogue on clear consent, respect, and prevention.

During the males discussion of consent, students asked questions, such as, “If the person says yes with clear consent one day and the next day they decide to withdraw, how is that suppose to work?”

Additionally, the male students’ discussion was led by Jerry Blakemore, a counseling services employee from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Within their program, male students held a conversation that included one student showcasing his personally created contract specifically for when a female would like to engage in sexual activity with him.

Similarly, the female conversation was led by Tiesha Hinton, N.C. A&T Counseling Services’ Prevention Coordinator. During the female discussion, students were given in-depth ways to help other female Aggies.

Additionally, Hinton explained to students that there are resources for everyone to receive aid regarding any issues they are dealing with.

As counseling services was present at the program, Hinton was sure to provide details about where Counseling Services is located and their purpose for the campus.

Sexual assault also includes crimes of domestic violence, which involve intimate relationships with partner violence.

Hinton stated that domestic violence has patterns, and one should remain aware of events that occur so students can take necessary precautions.

Students then proceeded to volunteer different types of domestic violence, which include mental, physical, emotional, and financial.

“A lot of times if students find themselves in unfortunate situations, such as discovering their friend has been sexually assaulted, they don’t know what to do. So, we need these forums for students to learn what the steps are in terms of how to report, be supportive and a resource for their peers. It is not just the responsibility of one person, but it is the responsibility of the entire community to reduce sexual assault,” said Hinton.

“If you see something, say something.” Visit Counseling Services in Murphy Hall Suite 109 with any questions, comments, or concerns.

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