A Letter to the Georgia Tech Campus Community in Response to Violent Attacks on Women
November 17, 2011 § Leave a comment
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,
The Women’s Resource Center (WRC) and the Sexual Violence Task Force (SVTF) are deeply saddened and concerned about the recent violent attacks against women on our campus. We are thankful that the survivors of these attacks have chosen to report the assaults to the Georgia Tech Police, but we recognize that there are many survivors who never come forward.
We want to let you know about the supportive resources available to all students regardless of whether or not they choose to report sexual violence to the police. These resources- which include the WRC, the Office of the Dean of Students, and the Counseling Center, among others- are available to survivors, those who know survivors, and those who have been affected by knowledge of sexual violence in their community. Each of these offices can help connect students to resources on and off campus. Additionally, the WRC, in partnership with the Office of Health Promotion, offers training to anyone who would like to know more about what to do if someone they know experiences sexual violence. You can find out more about sexual violence resources and trainings on the VOICE website (www.voice.gatech.edu ).
The WRC and SVTF are active members of VOICE, a campus-wide initiative founded on the premise that everyone has the right to live and learn at Georgia Tech, free of violence or the threat of violence. This initiative seeks to empower students, faculty, and staff to confront the significant but largely hidden problem of sexual violence on campus.
Sexual violence can be experienced by both women and men, although women experience it more frequently. Sexual violence is perpetrated by strangers, by intimate partners, by family members, by friends, and by acquaintances. Risk reduction measures like walking in groups, taking self-defense classes, and being aware of your surroundings are certainly important and may help protect you from some situations. Unfortunately, while these measures reduce the risk of sexual violence they are far from foolproof. As a campus we need to come together to support survivors by knowing the resources, attending trainings that address the systemic issues of violence, and by practicing bystander intervention.
As members of the VOICE initiative, the WRC and the SVTF, have decided to use this Friday, November 18th, as open hours for students, faculty, and staff who may need support, information on resources, or to share their concerns about the recent violent attacks on women. An advocate will be available in the Women’s Resource Center (Suite 131, Smithgall Student Services/Flag Building) from 10am-4pm. Prior to Friday, if you would like to speak with someone from the WRC for support or information about sexual violence resources on campus you may call 404-385-4501 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Women’s Resource Center and the Sexual Violence Task Force