Howard U. Aims to Stem Sexual Assaults

In honor of National Campus Safety Awareness Month, Howard University kicked off its yearlong “HU Stands” campaign to promote sexual assault prevention on campus.

The Office of Title IX and several campus partners hosted a campus event on Wednesday, Aug. 29, inviting students, faculty and staff to take the pledge to stand against interpersonal violence.

The Howard University Student Association and the 1867 Club served as campaign kickoff partners for the effort.

“We are committed to fostering and maintaining an academic and work environment that is free of sexual assault, sexual harassment and other forms of interpersonal violence,” said Howard President Wayne A.I. Frederick. “Sexual assault against our students will not be tolerated. It is our duty as a campus community to make Howard University a safe environment for everyone and that begins with education and prevention.”

An average of one in four undergraduate students experience sexual assault by the time they finish college, according to a nationwide survey conducted by the Office on Violence Against Women and the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

Last year, Howard University unveiled the Interim Title IX Policy on Prohibited Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Violence and Other Forms of Interpersonal Violence to the campus community.

Interpersonal Violence includes a variety of types of violence covered under Title IX law, such as sexual assault, sexual harassment, gender-based discrimination or harassment, dating and domestic violence, stalking and retaliation.

If a Howard student is the victim of sexual assault on or off campus, they have access to university resources that specialize in medical, counseling, advocacy, law enforcement, investigation, as well as residential and academic accommodations.

“Howard University takes the safety and well-being of our students very seriously and in keeping with our commitment to increase awareness and promote prevention, students will witness significant programming, trainings and opportunities for engagement from our Title IX office and the Interpersonal Violence Prevention Office this Fall,” said Candi N. Smiley, Howard University Title IX coordinator. “Our Interpersonal Violence Prevention Office has already started hosting conversations with students in their residence halls and visiting student organizations. Ultimately, we want everyone to be fully aware of their rights and the resources available to them during their time at Howard.”

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Sarafina Wright –Washington Informer Staff Writer

Sarafina Wright is a staff writer at the Washington Informer where she covers business, community events, education, health and politics. She also serves as the editor-in-chief of the WI Bridge, the Informer’s millennial publication. A native of Charlotte, North Carolina, she attended Howard University, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. A proud southern girl, her lineage can be traced to the Gullah people inhabiting the low-country of South Carolina. The history of the Gullah people and the Geechee Dialect can be found on the top floor of the National Museum of African American History and Culture. In her spare time she enjoys watching either college football or the Food Channel and experimenting with make-up. When she’s not writing professionally she can be found blogging at E-mail: Social Media Handles: Twitter: @dreamersexpress, Instagram: @Sarafinasaid, Snapchat: @Sarafinasaid

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