No More to Sexual Violence and Stalking

By on January 16, 2014

The five institutions in the Birmingham Area Consortium for Higher Education (BACHE) UAB, Miles College, Samford University, University of Montevallo, and Birmingham-Southern College, are all saying “No More” domestic violence and sexual assault. According to the NO MORE Campaign, 1 in 3 women and 1 in 5 men have experienced some form of sexual violence in their lives.

Sexual assault is a crime perpetrators use to humiliate, control, and/or harm to hurt, control, and/or dominate others. Sexual contact includes rape, incest, oral sex, child sexual abuse/molestation, harassment, exposing/flashing, forcing someone to take sexual pictures, fondling and unwanted touching above and/or under clothing, and force.

Domestic violence is a behavior pattern used to gain power and control through intimidation and fear, often using violence and threats. Signs of domestic violence may include strict control, extreme jealousy, the need for constant contact through excessive phone calls and texts, isolation from family and friends, and unexplained injuries or explanations that don’t add up.

The UAB Coordinated Community Response Team (CCRT) is striving to create a public awareness of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking in addition to educating victims on how and who to alert if the crime takes place.

To promote the No More Campaign, UAB CCRT is sponsoring a photo campaign to engage students in sharing how they will say “No More” to sexual and domestic violence. Students’ photographs will be taken and transformed into fliers that will be posted around campus. Blue frosted doughnuts will be offered to students to promote the No More symbol. The event will take place Monday, Jan. 27, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. outside of Blazer Hall and the Commons.

“We want to bring awareness about domestic violence and sexual assault not just on campus but around the city and the community. Sometimes people think that domestic violence doesn’t impact them and don’t understand how frequently it occurs,” said Chris Jones, Program Director for Student Multicultural and Diversity Programs.

The photo campaign was largely inspired by the No More Project’s signature blue symbol resembling an O and underlines the goal that zero incidents of domestic violence and sexual assault should exist. No More’s website encourages the symbol to be “used by anyone who wants to normalize the conversation about these issues and help end [them].” The blue symbol is rapidly appearing on billboards, t-shirts and social media outlets nationwide.

January is Stalking Awareness Month and it is important to note that sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking are prohibited under the Student Code of Conduct and under Title IX of the Higher Education Amendments of 1972. Stalking is a course of conduct directed at a person that would cause the victim fear. Stalking is a federal crime in the United States, the District of Colombia and U.S. Territories. According to Victims of Crime, 6.6 million people are stalked each year in the United States.

The Clery Act requires all universities with federal financial support for activities to record and disclose crimes that take place on or near campus. All universities are required to provide an Annual Security Report that lists crime statistics for the prior three years. From 2010-2013, UAB experienced three on-campus crimes of forcible sexual offenses and zero on-campus crimes of non-forcible sexual offenses.

“If I could say one thing to survivors of sexual violence, it would be it is not your fault. It is never your fault. There are caring people on campus that can provide support, safety planning, and assist survivors in determining their options,” said Debbie Morgette, Assistant Director of Student Engagement.

UAB offers a number of on-campus options for victims of sexual violence and stalking to report and/or discuss the crime including UAB Police Department, Office of Student Engagement, UAB Counseling & Wellness Center, and Women’s Center. All conversations shared with counseling are confidential, unless the information is a danger to the community. In this case, the information would be reported without identity disclosure.

“Students need to know they have reporting options. One such option is reporting information to the Office of Student Engagement. We are here to support students in a variety of different ways” said Morgette

To report a crime of sexual violence or stalking outside of UAB, victims may contact Rape Response (a 24-hour hotline) at (205) 323-7273, Birmingham Police Department at 911, or the Office of Civil Rights at (800) 421-3481.

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