SAFER uses participatory framework to organize sexual assault policies on campuses

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College and university students organizing to combat sexual violence use a multi-tiered approach to advocate for themselves, their peers, and for future generations of students. Some students use Take Back the Night marches which draw attention to sexual assault and other forms of sexual violence. Performance theatre, dance, art and film are hugely popular with college students when looking to convey stories of survivors. However educational, powerful and provocative such strategies are to those engaged in the work or to observers, they require little to no institutional support.

Gaining institutional support is central when collaboratively developing a victim/survivor centered sexual assault policy that outlines what constitutes sexual violence, sanctions for perpetrators and campus/community resources for survivors and/or those that have witnessed violence. Students Active For Ending Rape (SAFER) is an organization based in New York City that fights sexual violence and rape culture by empowering student-led campaigns to reform college sexual assault policies.

To learn more about SAFER, listen to the interview with SAFER’s Sarah Martino, Communications Coordinator and Christine Borges, Policy and Research Coordinator. [podcast]http://calcasa.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/20100728-SAFER.mp3[/podcast]

Livia Rojas, MSSW, is the Training and Resource Coordinator in the Campus Program at the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault (CALCASA) where she provides training and technical assistance to recipients of the Department of Justice (DOJ), Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) Grant to Reduce Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking on college and university campuses across the United States and territories. Livia has eleven years of working to advance human rights and student organizing through practice and research.

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