This April, the national Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) campaign will focus on campus sexual violence prevention. The goal of SAAM 2015 is to support campuses in creating a culture of prevention and effective, trauma-informed response. Everyone has a role to play in creating safer campuses. It’s time to act to create learning environments where all are engaged in prevention.
What is Sexual Violence?
Sexual violence occurs when someone is forced or coerced into unwanted sexual activity without agreeing or consenting. Reasons someone might not be able to consent include:
• Being underage
• Having an illness or disability
• Incapacitation due to alcohol or other drugs
Consent initially can be given and later be withdrawn. Sexual violence is a crime that comes in many forms, including forced intercourse, sexual contact or touching, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, and exposure or voyeurism.
Consent is understood as an affirmative agreement to engage in various sexual or nonsexual activities. Consent is an enthusiastic, clearly communicated and ongoing yes. One can’t rely on past sexual interactions and should never assume consent. The absence of “no” is not a “yes.” When sex is consensual, it means everyone involved has agreed to what they are doing and has given their permission. Non consensual sex is rape. A person who is substantially impaired cannot give consent.
Sexual violence is never the victim’s fault. It does not matter what the victim is wearing or doing, whether the victim has been drinking, or what type of relationship the victim has with the person who is sexually abusing them. For more information about the Jacksonville Women’s Center and Rape Recovery Team, click here.
If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, please call the Hubbard House 24-hour domestic violence hotline at 904-354-3114 or 800-500-1119. Hubbard House can help.
By: Jordan Bebout