If your college or university (like so many others) is falling short in its policies and procedures in response to and in prevention of sexual assault on campus, student activism can be crucial to effecting change. Whether your campaign focuses on policy and judicial process reform, lack of crisis response and counseling support, lack of education and prevention, or any combination of injustices surrounding the handling of sexual violence, the following tips may be helpful in planning and implementing a campus activist campaign.
Sensitivity Education and Training
(For more information, visit http://www.safercampus.org/facing-obstacles-and-opposition.)
Sexual assault is a very emotional subject, and anyone involved in your campaign must be sensitive to the needs and feelings of those in your student group and the greater community. Your student group should be a safe space for everyone involved as well as a supportive environment for anyone who chooses to share their experiences with your members. Before you begin planning your movement, consider contacting your local rape crisis centers regarding training for your group members, and educate your entire group about the following basic information.
Never assume that anyone is or is not a survivor, whether or not they are involved in your group. If survivors choose to share their story with you, never pressure them for information, repeat their experiences to anyone, or urge them to be involved in your campaign in ways in which they may not be comfortable. If they give you permission to share aspects of their stories for the purposes of your movement, be very discerning about when and where this information is shared in safe spaces, never share names unless the person whose name is being shared has given explicit permission for you to do so, and avoid specifics of their experiences. Never ask anyone to disclose whether they are a sexual violence survivor.
Anyone can be a survivor of sexual assault, regardless of age, sex, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, class, religion, etc. However, perceptions of and responses to sexual assault vary between cultures, communities, and individuals. There is no “right way” for a survivor to respond to assault and survivor reactions vary immensely. Remember that only the survivor knows their specific situation and experience best, and dispensing any opinions of what they “should do” or “should have done” is victim blaming and insensitive. Be prepared to keep phone numbers and contact information for rape crisis centers and other sexual assault services on hand and to be able to direct survivors to resources that will explain how to seek medical attention, report the incident, file a disciplinary complaint, initiate a criminal investigation, obtain counseling and support, etc. Only the survivors themselves can decide which route to take, but it is extremely helpful to be able to direct your campus and community to a comprehensive list of resources and options.
Though sexual violence is a very serious issue, anti-sexual assault activism can be empowering, rewarding, and even enjoyable. Once your team is well informed and educated, you are ready to begin your campaign.
Researching Your Sexual Assault Policy and Procedures
For our full guide to campus GBV policy, check out the Know Your IX Campus Policy Toolkit.
Begin your movement by gathering as much information as possible about the sexual assault policy and procedures on your campus, both as they are and as they should be. Familiarize yourself with Title IX, the Campus SaVE Act, the Jeanne Clery Act, Department of Justice guidelines, local and state laws related to sexual violence, and sexual assault and harassment policies and procedures at a range of other schools. When examining your own institution’s performance, be sure to take into account a range of factors, which we’ve broken down for you here.
SAFER (Students Active for Ending Rape) is a national non-profit organization that specifically supports student activist efforts in sexual assault policy and procedure reform on college campuses. This organization provides trainings, teach-ins, and activist guides that will help your team assess your college’s current policy and procedures, develop goals and strategies, and implement campaign actions. Their website www.safercampus.org also offers a national sexual assault policy database in which students analyze their schools’ sexual assault policies and procedures. If your school is already listed there, you can use the available analysis as a starting point for your work. If your policy is not listed, performing this step-by-step analysis with your team will help you to understand what changes need to be made on campus.
Be sure to not only research your written policies and resources on campus, but also to reach out to a large and diverse group of survivors and people involved in sexual assault procedures on your campus about how these policies and efforts are implemented and their impact. People whom you might reach out to include: college administrators, the college/university president, faculty and staff, local attorneys and law students, local rape crisis centers and support groups, local hospitals, campus security, student councils, alumni who were involved in this issue during their time at your school, and anyone else who is or has been directly involved with sexual assault response and prevention on your campus. Be aware that the people to whom you speak may present varying opinions on the effectiveness of policies and procedures on campus, depending on their level of education/training regarding sexual assault and their degree of interest in survivors’ rights versus protecting the reputation of the college/university. Being aware of these biases will help you scope out who may or may not be allies in your movement as well as assess the level of need for additional education and training of people in key positions. Your most critical understanding of the way that your schools’ policies and procedures affect survivors will come from survivors themselves.
Gathering survivor stories is essential to assess how your school is handling reports of sexual assault. Make sure to provide a safe space for these stories to be shared, with the option of anonymity for those who choose to speak out. Be very clear with survivors about how, when, and what information can be shared with the community. Make sure to analyze your school’s sexual assault prevention efforts and response from a variety of standpoints, taking into account race, class, gender, religion, sexual orientation, culture, disability, and other factors and how these might determine individuals’ experiences with the campus culture and sexual violence.
Once you have utilized SAFER’s activist resources and thoroughly researched your college/university’s handling of sexual assault, you will need to start discussing what needs to be changed and how your group will pressure decision makers to make these changes. As you sit down to craft your list of goals/asks, begin by asking yourself what problems you are looking to solve. It helps to write out your short and long-term goals on paper. If your goals overlap with any of the goals of other student groups on campus, consider joining forces to avoid repeating previous activist work. Develop a list of necessary resources to obtain your goals, and plan out how these resources will be acquired. Break down interim goals and resource acquisition. For more information on setting goals, see our Campus Policy Toolkit.
Organizing a Timeline
Organizing your campaign goals into a timeline is crucial for campus campaigns, as the college or university’s academic schedule will determine your strategy. Break your timeline up by month, marking specific days for events, deadlines, membership and recruitment goals, fundraising campaigns, financial obligations, press and media goals, networking goals, and sexual assault policy/procedure reform objectives. Be sure to place these goals on your timeline in a reasonable and attainable way and to adjust your timeline accordingly if a goal is missed or modified.
In order to achieve your goals, you will need to influence individuals and groups who have the power to make the changes you are seeking. Power mapping is the process of deciding which decision makers to target in your campaign. Draft a list of key decision makers as well as individuals and organizations that are connected to your decision makers and research the parties’ past and present stances and actions on sexual violence issues. For example, say your sexual assault policy reform campaign is mainly looking to influence the actions of your Dean of Student Affairs and the University President, but these two decision makers are not particularly reachable or willing to accommodate your requests. Your process of escalation in your campaign’s actions should be directed at those people who can influence your main power holders and planned out accordingly in order of priority. Some influencers will have more influence on your main decision makers than others, so be sure to plan your actions according to level of influence and to brainstorm possible setbacks that may come from involvement with key individuals/groups. It may help your group to create a chart and fill in influencers in the circles as shown below with arrows connecting how these individuals and/or groups are related to one another.
When planning strategies to achieve your campaign goals, break down your long-term and short-term strategies according to your timeline and power map. Decide which decision makers and/or influencers each action will target, and what level of action is necessary. If your college’s administration is being amenable, your group may want to take a more collaborative approach. On the other hand, if you are finding that it is difficult to make yourselves heard, you may need to take on a more assertive activist style. Take your key decision makers’ personalities into account when planning strategies, and know when it is best to fight and when it is most helpful to collaborate. Remember that, regardless of your college administration’s personalities, there are systematic weaknesses surrounding the handling of sexual assault on your campus. Otherwise, your campaign would not be needed! Be on the lookout for decision makers attempting to co-opt your movement, break up your group, and/or delay responding to your movement and implementing changes. Though sometimes decision makers may seem to be collaborative, it is always crucial to keep in mind your goals and timeline. If your goals are not being met in a timely manner, you may need to escalate your actions regardless of how friendly your college’s decision makers may appear. Because of the academic calendar, your group has limited time to accomplish its goals, and college administrations are well aware that your timeline can be used to their advantage.
Possible Strategy: Divide your movement into two groups, one group working with decision makers, the other group taking on tactics such as holding protests and seeking media attention. While both groups are still working together towards common goals, the illusion of two groups may help to avoid alienating key decision makers and allow you to assign your group members to the tasks with which they feel most comfortable.
You will need to anticipate opposition when planning each campaign strategy so that you can minimize the chances of any of your team members being caught off guard. Answer the following questions with your team: 1) Who might oppose our movement? 2) What might our opposition’s argument and actions be? 3) How will we respond to opposition? For information on common arguments in opposition to anti-violence work, refer to our resources “Common Concerns of Campus Organizers” and “Dealing with Unsupportive Peers.”
Organizing Your Group – Member Recruitment and Retention
You may begin planning your movement with a small group of committed activists, but in order to gain momentum and ensure that your campaign will continue if members go abroad or graduate, you will need to focus on recruitment. When recruiting members for anti-sexual violence campaigns, it is especially important to remember to include people on whatever level they are comfortable being involved. Some activists may only be willing or able to participate on a low-level, whereas others may be more inclined to take on a large portion of the work. Given the sensitivity of this type of activism, especially for survivors, make sure to be communicative at all times about how and how much your group members wish to be involved. You will want large groups of people to be present at events such as protests/rallies and parties, whereas you may have smaller groups working on policy, giving presentations on campus, working on sexual assault response programs, etc.
When developing flyers, brochures, advertisements, and tabling/canvassing, make sure your pitch is engaging and motivating. It helps to develop and practice a brief enthusiastic verbal script to use when recruiting members on campus. Make every effort to strive for diversity when recruiting members, as sexual violence is an issue that affects the entire community, and everyone should be encouraged to be involved in prevention and advocacy. Recruitment is ongoing, but will probably be concentrated mostly at the beginning of each semester.
In addition to recruiting members, you will need to focus on member motivation, retention and developing leadership. Get to know your group members by holding periodic one-on-one sessions with each person and asking them about their talents and interests. This will allow you to gather and give feedback as well as to apply your members’ interests to your campaign when possible. Make sure to delegate tasks and responsibility and to hold members accountable for their assignments. Group events, parties, and retreats are great ways to get to know your team and to go over goals and strategic planning. Publicize your regular meetings on community calendars and distribute meeting minutes to your e-list. It is also beneficial to contact sexual violence experts to hold skill building trainings for your group and for interested non-members.
Through the one-on-ones, you can find out early on who is interested in leadership and invite them to shadow current leaders and learn about their responsibilities. Developing new leadership is essential to college activist campaigns because member turnover is very high as students graduate and study abroad. Leadership should always be passed on before the academic year ends so that the old leadership can monitor and coach the new leaders.
Beyond reaching out to potential student activists, you should also network as much as possible with potential allies on campus and beyond. Anti-sexual assault activists and experts are accessible on every college campus and in every community if you know where to look. At the start of your campaign, begin developing a comprehensive list of sexual assault related organizations in your area and beyond. This information should be available online, through your college/university’s community and health centers, through the local hospitals, and in the list at the bottom of this page.
Reach out to relevant experts, alumni, university administrators, faculty and staff, other campus groups, activist organizations, trustees, and anyone who may be able to help your efforts. Research the activist work that similar student groups are doing on other college campuses and schedule phone calls with these student activists to discuss how their work might be useful to you either as allies or for strategy ideas.
Other student groups and offices on your own campus can also be helpful for joint actions or to co-sponsor events. For example, for sexual assault-related events and initiatives, you might look to health/wellness offices and groups, the public safety office, feminist groups, the women’s center, sexual health and pro-choice groups, other progressive activist organizations, fraternities and sororities, etc. for event co-sponsorship opportunities.
You should regularly expand your list of contacts, and you should check in with key experts periodically to ask questions, share your group’s successes, or to thank them for any help they have given you. Maintaining communication with networking contacts is crucial, as you never know when or how someone may be helpful to your campaign.
Though you do want to network as much as possible, be mindful of sharing too much information with the general community. Keeping the community in the loop regarding your meetings and events is essential, but do not share strategy and sensitive information unless you are certain that you are sharing this information with a trustworthy, discrete person who needs it to assist you with your campaign. While you will want to be inclusive, you will not want too much of your strategy making its way to people who may oppose your movement. Discuss with your group what information should and should not be shared with the general community.
Many activist organizations need almost no funding—but some need financial resources to support their work. Before fundraising, first establish a detailed budget with an itemized list of all of the resources you expect to need for the academic year. You can then take this list to your student activities/student services representatives and ask how to gather funds for your group, if you choose to do so. You may be able to gather all of the funding you need through student services. However, be mindful of how these funds can be used. Policy reform campaigns often require very little money, and if you anticipate having trouble utilizing university funds to protest the school’s administration and policies, you may want to consider raising your funds elsewhere or focusing your student services funding on prevention efforts and events while utilizing other funding for your more confrontational activist efforts.
Funding and fundraising help can sometimes be attained from supportive non-profit organizations and local rape crisis centers. Local businesses may also be willing to donate to your cause in return for your help with advertising. In addition, you may be able to utilize your networking contact list to obtain help with raising money. If you do find that you need to raise more money, fundraising methods include raffles, open mic nights, bake sales, and selling group apparel. Look to other successful student fundraising efforts on your campus for ideas.
You’ve developed your strategies and fundraised, and now you’d like to host an event. Whether you are preparing a rally/protest, survivor speak-out, party, presentation, or lecture, you will need to plan meticulously to present a professional, well-coordinated event. Use the contact list you built while networking to contact speakers and allies who you may want to invite or ask for help. You’ll also want to invite relevant decision makers to your event. Make sure to reserve seats for important people who are invited, and to choose an appropriately sized and accessible location.
Just how you planned your campaign timeline, create a step-by-step event schedule broken up into ten-minute sections with goals and delegated tasks. Someone should be responsible for organizing needed materials in advance, such as A/V equipment, seating, and media set-up and accommodations. Anticipate possible problems and have backup plans (extra batteries, rain location, etc.)
Some ideas for events include:
Sexual Violence Community Forums - Consider hosting one or more sexual assault community forums with your college administration, relevant staff, and campus safety officials. Publicize the event as an open forum for the community to discuss sexual violence at your school and ask questions about how reported assaults are handled. Plan challenging questions to ask in advance and distribute them to group members. It may be helpful to invite the media and televise the event if possible. If your group has prepared reform demands, you may want to present some of these demands at the end of the forum and share with the larger community how to get involved and stay in the loop on the progress of your campaign’s actions.
Tabling Events, Awareness Displays, and Wearable Merchandise – Schools will often let your group reserve tables or space in your campus center or in other high-traffic areas to publicize your work, hold bake-sales, sell merchandise, etc. If your school allows it, reserving a table or area on campus can in itself be turned into an event to raise awareness about sexual and relationship violence and/or also help you gain support for your campaign.
In The Clothesline Project, survivors of violence and allies are invited to decorate a t-shirt speaking out against sexual violence and hang it amongst other t-shirts. Their website offers resources detailing how to build and implement your own Clothesline Project event on campus.
Surviving In Numbers is a sexual assault awareness project launched in April 2013, coinciding with Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Through this project, several colleges in Massachusetts displayed posters on campus in which survivors anonymously shared their experiences through numbers (how many people they told about their experiences, how old they were, etc.). The project is also in blog form for anonymous submissions of survivor stories.
Other tabling events include having your group members distribute literature about your cause and sell or distribute merchandise in support of your cause. Wearable merchandise can serve as an especially effective form of protest when worn by members of the campus community. For example, in November 2012, Amherst College alumni stepped out of the university president’s Q&A session about recent allegations of mishandling of sexual assault on campus to be met by student protestors gathered outside wearing t-shirts that stated “Amherst – sweeping sexual assault under the rug since 1821.”
Organized Protests and Rallies – If your campus community is such that you are able to mobilize large numbers of people, large-scale protests and rallies can be effective ways to gather attention for your cause. But even if you cannot draw a large crowd, a committed group of activists can still gain attention and support with organized protests and rallies, especially if you choose to invite media. Create motivating signs and posters and write chants to repeat with your organized demonstrators. One person should volunteer to lead these chants with a megaphone. Ask campus activists, survivors, and experts to prepare speeches to deliver to your gathered crowd. You may want to march around campus while chanting and then stop at a central, visible location for speeches, or you may want to hold your protest at a strategic location (outside admissions, the President’s house, etc). Be aware that you may need to reserve certain spaces on campus in order to use them for your event, and always weigh the pros and cons of choosing controversial locations and inviting media.
Take Back The Night is a national movement in which events are organized to raise awareness of sexual violence. Many colleges and universities host organized Take Back The Night events that include activities such as an organized march around campus, a survivor speak-out, and a candlelight vigil. Consider mobilizing your team to host a Take Back The Night event to share survivor stories and raise awareness for your cause.
Small-Scale Protests – Sometimes the most effective protests are small and unexpected. Organize groups of activists to arrive at events that prospective students attend, alumni gather, or in which your main power holders will be speaking to a large audience or the media. Depending on the nature of the event, you can organize pointed questions to ask during Q&A sessions, hold signs with powerful messaging, or even develop chants to gain attention. Though protests can be extremely effective, always utilize these methods when your demands are not being met by other means, as these actions can anger administrators and should not be taken lightly. Also be aware of your school’s rules regarding when and where you can hold student actions. Breaking the rules can do harm to your cause, and all activist actions should be taken with extreme care and thought as to how they will affect your messaging and your relationships with influencers.
Non-Event Campaign Actions
Events such as presentations, panel discussions, film screenings, speak-outs, and rallies/protests are important aspects of your campaign, but you probably will also want to engage your community and pressure your college/university’s administration in non-event actions. Your campaign will likely include meetings with decision-makers, presenting reform proposals/demands, outreach to media, and writing articles, open letters, and petitions, among other activist efforts. Some ideas for non-event actions include:
Meeting With Decision Makers – Chances are you will want to meet with decision makers during the course of your campaign. It is very important to plan these meetings very carefully. Keep your group relatively small and plan who will say what and when they will say it. Make every effort to prevent being silenced or talked over in the meetings, while still being polite and professional. If you are presenting reform proposals/demands, write these out clearly on paper that can be handed to decision makers. Make your proposals as specific as possible. For example, instead of stating that better counseling and response services are needed, explicitly state that 24-hour counseling is needed on campus, safe 24-hour transportation to a hospital or campus facility that offers a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE nurse), etc. The more specific you can be about how these reforms can be implemented, the better. You cannot expect to make quantum leaps during these meetings; the point is to keep a line of dialogue open and to clearly present your list of reform proposals. Your group should promptly follow up (in writing) on any promises made by decision makers during these meetings. Frame these follow-up letters as “thank you” emails in which you reiterate your proposals, solidify your timeline for next meetings, and restate any plans and promises made during your meetings. You may also choose to publicize your proposals in the form of an open letter or petition that the campus and community can sign in support of your work.
Writing Op-Eds and Letters to the Editor – Work with your team to craft editorials that highlight the weaknesses in your school’s handling of sexual violence. Submit these articles to your campus and community media, feminist blog sites, and possibly national media. Make sure to carefully fact check your articles and be upfront about your level of objectivity and investment in the movement. Bringing your movement to the media can provide an excellent tool to gain exposure and to influence your school’s power holders into action, but it also opens your movement up to opposition. For information on handling the media, see our “Harnessing The Media” resource.
Create Your Own Media – Many student groups have had success in publicizing their movement using media forms they created or implemented themselves. This includes anti-sexual violence blogs, Facebook and Twitter, campaign websites, and starting sexual violence publications. Blog sites such as Tumblr.com offer opportunities for anonymous submissions and can be used to gather and publicize campus survivor stories. Some successful examples of ways in which student activists and colleges/universities have shared survivor stories using created media include:
- It Happens Here at Amherst College is a sexual violence magazine/website featuring news, essays, and anonymous testimony from community members about their experiences with sexual assault and relationship violence. Middlebury College and Oxford University in the UK also have It Happens Here projects.
- Harvard’s Office of Sexual Assault Prevention and Response has a similar magazine called Saturday Night at Harvard, in which members of the university’s community anonymously share their experiences with sexual violence.
- Occidental has anonymous survivor stories shared directly on the website for their anti-sexual violence student activist group, the Oxy Sexual Assault Coalition (OSAC).
The more well-publicized the prevalence of sexual violence and your school’s shortcomings surrounding sexual assault become, the more pressure decision makers have to uphold the school’s and their own reputations and to make changes according to your proposals. Escalate the level of publicity and media outreach as needed during your campaign, and as your group decides is beneficial.
Posters, Flyers, and Chalk – Never underestimate the power of posters on a college campus, especially in areas which prospective students tour routinely. Develop powerful messaging for your posters, flyers, and chalking that will be noticed and read by students, the community, and prospective students and parents. Gather your team to distribute flyers to prospective students outside events and near tour groups. For posters and chalking, it is best to develop brief motivating messaging accompanied by meeting times and group contact/website information. Flyers and brochures can include more in-depth information about your campaign and resources. Make sure to follow up after chalking or hanging posters to replace any posters that have been removed or chalk that has been erased. Hanging posters, chalking, and passing out flyers can be especially powerful at prospective student events, on parents’ weekend, and on alumni weekends. However, be very cautious about whether doing so will further your goals—sometimes it’s worth alienating administrators, but negative responses from key influencers can also hinder your movement. Weigh the pros and cons of all actions before deciding to implement them.
Contact Alumni Allies – Begin by reaching out to alumni who were involved in anti-violence movements on campus in the past. Young alumni are especially helpful to contact as allies, as they are recently familiar with your campus culture. Alumni have considerable sway with college administrations, and alumni letters of concern, petitions, and promises not to donate are taken very seriously. Some examples of alumni actions include:
- At Yale in 2010, alumni bought ad space in the school newspaper to print a petition demanding the school take action against a fraternity filmed chanting “No means yes, yes means anal” around campus—along with the names of hundreds of alumni signatories.
- In April 2013, a group of young alumni from UNC Chapel Hill organized a letter voicing their frustrations with the handling of sexual assault on campus and its effect on the reputation of their alma mater.
- A similar alumni petition was also recently developed in April 2013 at Swarthmore College. Alumni contacts may also be willing to attend off-campus alumni events and raise awareness of your movement by networking and presenting concerns to relevant decision makers.
Inform and Involve Parents– Parents pay a good bulk of the tuition and fees on campus, and have a great deal of influence in prospective students’ decisions to attend your college or university. Much like alumni, parents can be mobilized to sign petitions, write letters, and speak out at parent events and parents’ weekend. Parents and alumni can also join together in support of your work. For example, in May 2013, an organization of parents and alumni of Occidental College known as the Oxy Community Against Sexual Assault (OCASA) wrote an open letter protesting the handling of sexual assault on campus.
Achieving Your Goals
Campus sexual violence and harassment is extremely common, as is a lack of response and prevention efforts. The successes that you achieve during your campaign will not necessarily be exactly what you had hoped for, but this does not mean that you should settle and give up. When you achieve your campaign goals or make progress, be sure to publicize your achievements and celebrate. Host a party, distribute a press release to the media, and thank everyone individually who made your success possible. Do not accept small successes as the only success possible, and be sure to highlight the work that is left to be done while publicizing the positive reforms that have been made. And remember, even achieving all of your goals does not mean that your group’s work on campus is finished. Campus sexual assault prevention, policies, and response procedures are always in need of oversight and revision. So celebrate your success, draft a new list of goals, and start the process over!
Resources and Organizations to Help With Your Campaign
American Association of University Women – AAUW is an organization dedicated to empowering women on college campuses through research, advocacy, education, and support for young women leaders. The organization offers a sexual assault online resource library including toolkits for addressing campus sexual violence, information on campus sexual assault and Title IX, and a variety of other resources for campus survivors and allies.
Clery Center For Security on Campus – The Clery Center is a non-profit dedicated to preventing violence, substance abuse, and other crimes on US college and university campuses and to assisting victims of those crimes through policy, education, training, and advocacy.
The Clothesline Project – The Clothesline Project is a program in which survivors of violence against women and allies are invited to decorate a t-shirt speaking out against violence, then hang the t-shirt on a clothesline in a public area. The website includes resources for hosting your own Clothesline Project event on your campus.
Generation Progress (Formerly Campus Progress) – This national organization works with and for young people to promote and support progressive activism on a variety of issues. The organization offers resources, trainings, support, grants, and conferences for student activists.
Men Can Stop Rape – This national non-profit works to redefine masculinity in prevention of violence. The organization offers trainings and presentations that can be brought to your campus.
National Sexual Violence Resource Center – The NSVRC offers a variety of resources, online classes, organization listings, and publications regarding sexual violence on college campuses and beyond.
National Women’s Law Center – NWLC is a national law center dedicated to the equality and advancement of women. Their website offers information on Title IX and sexual harassment, as well as resources and actions on numerous issues affecting women and girls.
RAINN – As the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, RAINN operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE and offers an abundance of information and resources regarding sexual assault and abuse. In addition, your campus group can contact the RAINN Speakers Bureau to invite a survivor to speak at your campus events.
SAFER (Students Active for Ending Rape) – This national non-profit organization specializes in empowering students to challenge their universities to reform their response to sexual assault. Their website offers a free online library of organizing resources for activists, and the organization offers trainings and mentorship for student groups organizing for change.
Take Back The Night – This organization seeks to end sexual assault and relationship violence through awareness events and initiatives. Take Back the Night events typically include aspects such as a march, a survivor speak-out, and a candlelight vigil, among other planned activities. The TBTN website provides guidebooks and resources for organizing your own Take Back The Night event or Shine Your Light walk on campus.
V-Day – V-Day is a global campaign to end violence against women and girls, and offers a variety of college and community campaigns and events, including the Vagina Monologues.
Victim Rights Law Center – Based in Massachusetts, VRLC is the first law center dedicated to serving sexual assault victims. The center serves Massachusetts and Multnomah County, Oregon, but offers training and assistance nationally to advocates and attorneys.
Local Rape Crisis Centers – Local rape crisis centers are often able to provide event support, trainings, speakers, and other resources for student campaigns. Visit their websites and call to learn about how they may be able to partner with your efforts.
This resource was influenced in part by material taken from training workshops, curriculum, and tools developed by Students Active For Ending Rape (SAFER) and Generation Progress. Visit www.safercampus.org for more information on SAFER’s Activist Resource Center and Teach-in Trainings. For more information on how Generation Progress can help with your campaign, visit http://genprogress.org