Are Colleges and Universities Effectively Working with Parents to Stop Campus Sexual Assault?

Are Colleges and Universities Effectively Working with Parents to Stop Campus Sexual Assault?

Parents are finding it difficult to get colleges and universities to respond to their concerns about campus sexual assault. Although nearly all the organizations and advocates for campus rape prevention say parents need to be involved, many schools don’t facilitate it.

Keep Her Safe is finding that getting direct questions answered by colleges and universities usually isn’t easy. Many school websites do have It’s On Us videos, bystander intervention tips, links about reporting assaults, and contacts for victim services. However, if a parent wants to talk with admissions about campus sexual assault, they’re unlikely to connect with anyone prepared for the conversation.

This indicates that parents need to better organize to make an impression on administrators. Many parents are taking action by using the Keep Her Safe Parent Guide during their children’s college search, but the message that parents consider campus sexual violence a consumer issue isn’t reaching college and university administrators. Smaller Keep Her Safe chapters are organizing parents into groups to focus efforts on specific schools together. 

A local Keep Her Safe chapter consists of parents within a community working together to stop campus sexual assault. College Board statistics for 2012 indicate that 80% of 1st year public college students stay in-state. This provides parents the opportunity to target the colleges and universities in their area, where their children will likely apply. Together, they can get the attention of administrators and press them to more effectively address campus sexual assault.

Starting a Keep Her Safe Chapter Is Easy 

  1. Email Keep Her Safe at sheri@keephersafe.org to register your group and receive updates and support.
  2. Reach out to the parents of your child’s friends and invite them to join you in taking some simple steps to impact campus sexual assault.
  3. Decide which schools to target.
  4. Use the Keep Her Safe Parent Guide to research the schools and communicate to administrators that you expect any school your child attends to effectively work to stop campus sexual assault.
  5. Keep records of the schools’ responses.
  6. Share data with Keep Her Safe to help our nationwide effort to make schools accountable.

Many colleges and universities are responding to this epidemic of sexual assault because of organized pressure by the government and student advocacy groups. Keep Her Safe believes that when parents organize to stop campus sexual assault, we’ll have a powerful impact.

By

Sheri Heitker Dixon is the founder of Keep Her Safe, a non-profit organization committed to making college campuses safe from sexual assault.

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