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Social Media & SAAM

Sexual assault can seem like an issue too big for any one of us to effectively address, but there is a role for each of us to play and the opportunity to impact our campus, our community and subsequently create a ripple of social change. Sexual assault awareness month (SAAM) is a great opportunity to raise your voice for change. One of our favorite quotes states: “We don’t have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.” – Howard Zinn

This month, in recognition of SAAM, will you consider doing something small? Something that’s important to you. Challenge rape culture, share a One Student resource with a class, sign the One Student pledge, participate in campus and community SAAM events. Use your social network to raise awareness. One Student created a logo for SAAM (pic below). Make it your profile pic, tweet it, add it to Instagram. In other words– get people talking, because through dialogue, change begins. One sexual assault is too many and One Student can make a difference. Will you be the One? Tag @OneStudentOrg or #OneStudent in any SAAM pics and you could win one of several sexually empowered items from our swag bag.

One-Student-SAAM 2014

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Rape is Everyone’s Issue

What We Can Learn From The Largest International Study On Rape That’s Been Conducted So Far

By Tara Culp-Ressler on September 10, 2013 at 1:18 pm

rape india

United Nations researchers just published a sweeping study on the roots of sexual violence, spanning six countries and two years. The survey, which they say represents the world’s largest scientific project into the subject so far, aimed to investigate the “under-researched” area of male-perpetrated rape. On average, about one in four men included in the study said they had raped someone at some point in their lives. One in ten had raped someone who wasn’t their romantic partner.

The UN study surveyed over 10,000 men from Bangladesh, China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Sri Lanka.  The researchers caution that some regional attitudes about sexuality in Southeastern Asia may contribute to the results that they gathered across those six countries. Still, though, there are some big takeaways from their findings. Here’s what the new research can tell us about the landscape of sexual violence as a whole:

Many people have the wrong idea about what “rape” actually is. The researchers intentionally didn’t use the word “rape” in any of their questionnaires about Asian men’s sexual histories. Instead, they asked men whether they had ever “forced a woman who was not your wife or girlfriend at the time to have sex,” or if they had ever “had sex with a woman who was too drunk or drugged to indicate whether she wanted it.” That likely helped researchers gather more accurate information about the nonconsensual sexual acts that men had engaged in. Since many people don’t learn the lines of consent, many sexually active adults may not understand when they’re violating someone else — and they may not believe they have actually raped someone. “Rape doesn’t just involve someone with a gun to a woman’s head,”  Michele Decker, a public health professor who co-wrote the commentary that accompanied the new study, pointed out to CBS News. “People tend to think of rape as something someone else would do.”

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Defeating Violence Against Women, One Step at a Time

Defeating Violence Against Women, One Step at a Time
By Jessica Spohn

545475_121668167990416_1032257954_n The main message of the One Student campaign is that we can each do things to make a difference; ordinary people living everyday lives can individually help stop violence and fight for equality. But isn’t it hard? Isn’t it a fight for politicians and CEOs to voice, and not college students or minimum-wage workers? Isn’t it scary to be the only one standing up in a sea of bystanders?

Yes and no.

In November, universities around the country participated in One Student Day on their campuses to raise awareness for sexual assault prevention and to promote bystander intervention. New Mexico State University (where I am studying) had the first event in the Southern NM area—in the whole state—for One Student Day. At this event 200 students, faculty, and staff made a commitment to create a change in our rape culture by taking the One Student pledge. We screened the film You Are the One later in the day. Word-of-mouth spread the importance of the message and helped dismiss taboos that surround sexual or intimate partner violence situation in order to get students talking. It may not have been a huge gathering of people, but the success of the event opened up opportunities for further impact through advocating for policy changes on campus.

All it took was an idea.

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Courage and Mental Health

By: Andrea Atherton

“I actually have it myself” said Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas at the BACCHUS area 6 conference in March. She was discussing her brother who had been diagnosed with bipolar II disorder. Her announcement was so subtle, I’m sure some of the audience missed it. I am ashamed to admit that my first thought after she made that announcement was “oh man, how can she just say that to a room full of people – a room full of strangers?” My second thought, however, was “why not?” Why should someone not have the courage to stand in front of a room full of strangers and say “you know what? I have a mental health issue, I am struggling, and it’s ok.”

I, too, am struggling. I have mentioned it to some of the people in my life. Sometimes they believe me, sometimes they don’t. I guess in my little town, suffering from PTSD is just something you don’t admit to, or maybe something you just hear about in movies. My question is why are mental health issues kept quiet? I would think that most people I meet have someone in their family who is affected by a mental health issue.

Mental health victims are often treated as though they somehow brought their problems on themselves. A psychology professor of mine once said that “If everyone who is taking anti-depressants were able to glow, we wouldn’t need lights.” I wonder what would happen if everyone who knew someone who was suffering from a mental illness were to glow? When we think about mental illness, we often have a certain disorder in mind such as schizophrenia or depression. While according to the CDC one in ten adults are on antidepressants, depression is not the only widespread mental health issue. Simply look around. One in ten people is on some sort of antidepressant – that number is not even counting those who suffer from substance abuse, eating disorders, or a traumatic childhood experience. If so very many people in the world are suffering, if this is such a human issue, why are we all being so quiet?

People who are suffering are the victims – not the perpetrators. In order to remove the stigma surrounding these issues, we need understanding. Not just understanding that sufferers are victims, but understanding that mental health is part of the human condition, and that this can happen to anyone. We need to take people seriously when they talk about mental health problems. We need to take action and give them resources. And sometimes, maybe we just need to have the courage to say “I actually have it myself.”

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  • If you are a survivor of sexual assault seeking assistance, please contact your
    Campus or Community Rape Crisis Center, Campus Advocate or Counseling Center
    or contact one of these National resources:

    Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN)
    1-800-656-HOPE (4673)

    National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC)

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