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RA Training

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Lauren Donais

on 30 June 2014

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Transcript of RA Training

Initiate a dialogue on sexual misconduct
Identify what role you have, both individually and as a part of a community, for interrupting sexual misconduct
Identify resources for responding to sexual misconduct
Lauren Donais, MA
Violence Against Women Prevention Program
UConn Women's Center
Examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:
WC/VAWPP Herstory:
Women's Center
Established in 1972
Services include:
Advocacy and short-term crisis intervention counseling
Ongoing support/discussion groups
Volunteer/internship opportunities
VAWPP - established in 1980
Awareness programming (e.g., Take Back the Night, Clothesline Project, Red Flag Campaign)
Is this sexual harassment?
How does the University define sexual harassment?

"...any unsolicited and unwanted sexual advance, or any other conduct of a sexual nature whereby:
submission to these actions is made explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment, performance appraisal, or evaluation of academic performance; or
these actions have the effect of interfering with an individual's performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or offensive environment."
Is sexual harassment really a problem?
Sexual harassment is common on college campuses
More than one-third of college students encounter sexual harassment during their first year.
A majority of students experience non-contact forms of harassment - from sexual remarks to electronic messages.
Nearly one-third experience some form of physical harassment, such as being touched, grabbed, or forced to do something sexual.
(Drawing the Line: Sexual Harassment on Campus American Association of University Women Educational Foundation, 2005)
Is sexual harassment really a problem?
Men and women are equally likely to be harassed, but in different ways and with different responses.
Male and female students are nearly equally likely to be sexually harassed on campus.
Female students are more likely to be the target of sexual jokes, comments, gestures, or looks.
Male students are more likely to be called homophobic slurs.
Female students are more likely to be upset by sexual harassment and to feel embarrassed, angry, less confident and afraid.
Female students are more likely to change their behavior in some way as a result of the experience.
(Drawing the Line: Sexual Harassment on Campus American Association of University Women Educational Foundation, 2005)
Is sexual harassment really a problem?
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students are more likely to be harassed.
LGBT students are more likely than heterosexual students to experience sexual harassment; be upset by experiences with harassment; and feel self-conscious, angry, less confident, afraid, or disappointed with their college experience.
They are also more likely to worry about graduating from college and having a successful career as a result of sexual harassment
(Drawing the Line: Sexual Harassment on Campus American Association of University Women Educational Foundation, 2005)
Is sexual harassment really a problem?
More than half of harassers think their actions are funny.
A majority of students who admit to harassing another student say they did so because they thought it was funny.
About one-third thought the person wanted sexual attention.
Another third believed that it was just a part of school and "almost everyone did it."
Less than one fifth wanted a date with the person.
(Drawing the Line: Sexual Harassment on Campus American Association of University Women Educational Foundation, 2005)
Did you know??
Third parties who overhear comments or witness sexual harassment may also file complaints.
A couple weeks before finals, one of your residents starts working part-time as a Skyy Vodka promotional model. Her first assignment is to start promoting on campus before most people leave for the summer. You walk by her door two days before finals and spot this poster:
Strongly agree


Not sure


Strongly disagree

Unwelcome sexual advances
Requests or attempts to extort sexual favors
Sexual violence
Inappropriate touching
Suggestive comments
Spreading sexual rumors
Public display of pornographic or suggestive calendars, posters or signs
Acts that do not necessarily involve conduct of a sexual nature but are based on sex or sex-stereotyping and which may include physical aggression, intimidation or hostility are considered gender-harassment and are similarly prohibited.

Is this sexual harassment?
You overhear one of your fellow RAs tell a sexually explicit joke to a group of her female residents. They all laugh and seem to be unfazed.
Strongly agree
Not sure
Strongly disagree
What else might I run in to as an RA?
Dating violence
As many as 53% of college students have experience at least one incident of dating violence
(National Center for Victims of Crime)
1 in 12 women and 1 in 45 men have been stalked at some point in their lifetime
(National Institute for Justice)
Sexual assault
Approximately 1 in 5 undergraduate women experience attempted or completed sexual assault in their college career.
16% of males are sexually abused by the age of 18
(U.S. Centers for Disease Control)
Scenario 1
Two of your residents, Shannon and Kevin were casually hooking up consensually before Shannon studied abroad. After returning to UConn the following semester, Shannon was on her way to class when all of a sudden she felt someone sneak up behind her and grab her butt. Before she could even turn around to see who it was, she heard Kevin whisper "Damn, I've missed this butt."
Scenario 2
Omari breaks up with Derek days after their three year anniversary. Two weeks later Derek runs in to Omari at Huskies. Derek notices that a mutual friend is cozying up to Omari. Later that night, Derek, feeling jealous and angry, texts a naked picture of Omari to every contact in his phone. Omari had sent the picture to Derek weeks before they broke up.
Scenario 3
"I was at a party and a friend and I were talking most of the night. We ended up in his room where we started kissing. He wanted to have sex and I didn't. I told him no several times, but he continued to pursue. He kept trying for so long and I felt I couldn't get away. Finally, I just asked him to use a condom. Immediately after sex I left. I somewhere blame myself because I could have tried harder to fend him off. At the time I felt the easiest way out was just to let him continue. If I had shouted, someone would have helped, but because he was a mutual friend, I wanted to avoid a scene."
How to support a resident who has been victimized by sexual assault:

Believe her/him.
Listen and protect the survivor's privacy by not sharing the conversation with others.
Reinforce that the rape was NOT the survivor's fault.
Encourage the survivor to get medical attention and emotional support from the available resources.
Encourage the survivor to preserve evidence by not showering before the post-rape exam and placing each article of clothing worn during the assault in its own paper bag.
Be there emotionally for her/him.

How to support a resident who has been victimized by dating violence:
Lend a listening ear
Tell your resident that you care and are willing to listen. Don't force the issue, but allow your resident to confide in you at her/his own pace. Never blame your resident for what is happening or underestimate her/his fear of potential danger. Focus on supporting your resident's right to make her/his own decisions.
Focus on her/his strengths
Your resident has probably continually been told by the abusive person that s/he is a bad person, a bad partner, and/or a bad friend. Your resident may believe s/he can't do anything right and that there really is something wrong with her/him. Give her/him emotional support. Help her/him examine her/his strengths and skills. Emphasize that s/he deserves a life that is free from violence of any kind.
If your resident decides to end the relationship...
Help her/him make a plan to be safe. S/he may want to call the Women's Center or the local domestic violence program/hotline to help create a "safety plan." Either one can help her/him look at her/his options. Victims of dating violence may face greater risk when they try to end the abusive relationship. If the abusive person feels s/he has lost control, s/he may become very dangerous.
Consent is an understandable exchange of affirmative words or actions, which indicate a willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon sexual activity.
Consent must be informed, freely and actively given. It is the responsibility of the initiator to obtain clear and affirmative responses at each stage of sexual involvement. The lack of a negative response is not consent. An individual who is incapacitated by alcohol and/or other drugs both voluntarily or involuntarily consumed may not give consent. Past consent of sexual activity does not imply ongoing future consent.
Parable of the River
Most University employees are required to contact Community Standards, the Office of Diversity & Equity or the Title IX Coordinator when someone discloses they have been sexually assaulted.
Please see complete list of Community Response Team members on handout.
Save the Dates
Tuesday, September 10: Healthy Relationship Speed Friending 7:00PM - 9:00PM, Shippee Pit

Monday, September 23 - Friday, September 27: Red Flag Campaign

Monday, October 21 - Friday, October 25: Clothesline Project
11:00AM - 2:00PM each day, Fairfield Way

Tuesday, November 19: GIRL RISING Documentary Screening, TBD
Programming Ideas
The Red Zone - time period when there are high incidents of sexual assaults; August 26 - Thanksgiving Break
October - Domestic Violence Awareness Month
January - Stalking Awareness Month
April - Sexual Assault Awareness Month
Thank you!
What will YOU do?
As a leader of the UCONN community how are you contributing to an environment where people feel free and safe to say yes and no in a way that is respected and protected?
Change language, attitudes, beliefs
Stop using sexist language
Create a climate of respect
Promote effective sexual communication
Support rape survivors
Speak up about sexist behaviors and jokes
Be empowered bystanders
One of your residents recounts a night out sophomore year. They are currently a senior.
Fact vs. Fiction
What have we been taught?
Full transcript