Baylor begins semester with sexual assault training

Baylor requires all new students to complete a sexual assault training highlighting the importance of the Title IX office and the available resources for assistance. Photo credit: Liesje Powers

Baylor started off the school year introducing incoming freshmen to the It’s On Us campaign to prevent sexual assault.

While stories and statistics about sexual assault and discrimination from universities across the nation appear in the news on a regular basis, Baylor is working to prevent the proliferation of these issues on campus.

It’s On Us is a national campaign designed to educate people about sexual assault and provide resources to victims of sexual violence. The Title IX office at Baylor employed the It’s On Us campaign in an effort to spread awareness across campus of sexual abuse.

“We have customized everything we do by combining best practices by colleagues, Department of Education guidance, what we know about our students through reports, conversations, cases and overall experiences,” Title IX Coordinator Patty Crawford wrote in an email to the Lariat.

One in five women and one in 16 men are sexually assaulted during their time in college, according to the National Sexual Resource Center.

The administrators at Baylor wanted to provide a safe and encouraging environment where peers stand up for each other and are not afraid to report abuse if they encounter it. The intention of the It’s On Us campaign is to do just that.

The Title IX office speaks with students on a daily basis and sees firsthand the effects that sexual assault can have on a person.

“Students should feel empowered to have healthy relationships of their own and to be empowered to act simply and safely to intervene and help end violence,” Crawford said. “Not because we have a problem specifically at Baylor, but because we love and care for our neighbor.”

Every fall for the past three years, Baylor has hosted an event for the incoming freshman class to introduce the students to the It’s On Us challenge. This sets a precedent that the university does not shy away from these issues.

San Antonio junior Nicole Young, a community leader, attended the event with the residents in her hall of freshman women.

“I think the residents really enjoyed [the event]. It wasn’t very heavy, but the message was still communicated,” Young said.

As part of the It’s On Us event, a Baylor graduate told her story of being assaulted and how she was able to overcome what she experienced.

“The most impactful part was that a girl volunteered to share her story, and it made it all real,” Young said. “At the end of her testimony, she shared that she still kept God in the center of her life, that God is good, and he is always good.”

The It’s On Us campaign empowers students to make a difference on their campus and prevent sexual assault. It unites campuses across the country for the common cause of creating a safe environment for students.

Sexual assault on college campuses is an issue that less frequently goes under the radar. Title IX representatives at Baylor inform students of the dangers of sexual assault and provides practical ways to prevent it in the future.