By Rebecca Jung
College women are four to five times more likely to be raped while in college than at any other time in their life. What is Baylor doing to combat this? The Do Something! Campaign.
The Do Something! Campaign is a sexual assault prevention campaign that will be hosted the week after Labor Day for Freshman girls. The campaign is sponsored by the Sexual Assault Advisory Board.
“I believe that if the Baylor community is empowered with the right information we can all act together to stop sexual assault in the student body,” said Dr. Cheryl Wooten, staff psychologist at the Baylor Counseling Center. “There is a predictable pattern for the majority of the assaults we see on campus.”
Research compiled by the Baylor Counseling Center indicates that 28 to 33 percent of female freshman students will experience sexual assault within their first academic year of college. Wooten said this is why the program is being launched within the dorms at Baylor.
“Assaults tend to happen on campuses where there are stereotypical gender roles,” Wooten said. “If they are strictly defined where men have more power in relationships, there will be an increase in number of sexual assaults.”
North Russell Residence Hall was the first dorm to host the new program.
“The meeting was relaxed we did anonymous questions,” Bronx, New York junior Amanda Plummer, a North Russell Community Leader said. “I guess a lot of girls don’t know as much as we think that they do. I wish this program had been here when I was a freshman.”
During training to be Community Leader, scenarios are presented with this topic in mind.
“As CL’s we are well equipped to deal with it,” Plummer said.
Sexual assault prevention training is not only vital for staff and community leaders, but students as well whether assaults are occurring frequently on the campus or not.
“These programs are critical,” Megan Erhardt, RAINN Spokesperson, said. “Risks have to be discussed and students have to be made aware of the resources available to them. College students are at the highest risk and it’s often someone they know.”
Wooten said there have been cases on campus where females have been drugged and then assaulted, some women think that just by bringing their own refreshments to parties that they are safe, but all it takes is a second for someone to turn their head to talk to someone to leave them vulnerable. Exact records of numbers of sexual assaults with alcohol on Baylor’s campus are unavailable.
“I think as a community if we all agree to be watching, could we catch some of these guys? I think so,” said Wooten.
By law a woman cannot consent to sex if she is intoxicated. This is because those who are intoxicated are not considered able to offer consent.
According to Rainn.org, “Alcohol remains the most commonly used chemical in crimes of sexual assault, but there are also substances being used by perpetrators including: Rohypnol, GHB, GBL, etc.”
The Rape And Incest National Network, deals with victims of sexual violence as well as works for better legislation of sexual offenses.
“As law enforcement cracks down on date rape drugs there has been a rise on the use of prescription drugs in rapes,” Erhardt said.
The program was designed to help prevent students from being assaulted, but the counseling center has options for victims. “There’s a whole committee of us that want to help. I don’t want anyone that’s been assaulted to have to go through that on their own,” Wooten said.
The Baylor Counseling Center has a group therapy session starting in the end of September geared specifically for victims of sexual violence. There is no cost for this group.
“The do something campaign is built around the desire to empower students and because of the knowledge that the counseling center has compiled we have an idea of what actions lead to a possibility of sexual assault. With that in mind it’s our duty to crack down on that because we can stop it, and we can do something about it,” Houston Sophomore, Lawren Kinghorn, a sophomore class senator, said.