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Security On Campus and Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment Launch Unprecedented Approach to Shattering the Silence of College Sexual Violence

May 26, 2011 Comments off

For Immediate Release

Via Security On Campus, Inc.
May 26, 2011

Washington, DC -Soon-to-be high school graduates entering college this fall may not realize there’s more to worry about than getting good grades. Many should be worrying about sexual violence.

PAVE and SOC announce the launch of the “Safe Campus, Strong Voices” Campaign to follow today’s introduction of the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination (SaVE) Act – national legislation designed to help campuses better respond to and prevent sexual violence. “Safe Campus, Strong Voices” is a nationwide campaign to raise awareness and shatter the silence of college sexual violence. To end the epidemic of campus sexual violence, students and faculty, men and women, will to work together to create safer and more supportive campuses.

According to the US Department of Justice, 1 in 4 college women will be sexually assaulted, and the majority of those sexual assaults happen fall semester to freshmen and sophomore women. An astounding 95.2% of these will never be reported. Addressing this issue is critical when thinking about the safety of everyone in that environment.

PAVE: Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment and SOC: Security On Campus, Inc. are joining together with other leading sexual assault groups for this campaign during September for National Campus Safety Awareness Month.

“Safe Campus, Strong Voices” focuses on prevention of sexual assault and raising awareness of the high level of under reporting by victims of these crimes. NPR’s recent series “Seeking Justice for Campus Rapes” reveals how most colleges are not successfully dealing with this issue. The campaign will empower students as bystanders to make changes in their campus environment, and encourage victims to seek justice.

PAVE Founder Angela Rose said “Every time I speak on a college campus, there’s a line of students who want to disclose that they have been affected by sexual assault and most have never reported. This unprecedented campaign will help build the national movement to shatter the silence of sexual violence on college campuses.”

SOC and PAVE have put together tool kits to create effective, simple-to-run campaigns in an ever-busy campus environment. The campaign provides materials, training, and ideas to bring prevention education programs to campus, to hold tabling events, and to collaborate with other groups and offices on campus throughout the month of September and beyond. On September 30, all participating groups across the country will stand in solidarity by holding simultaneous rallies. They will encourage reporting of sexual assault and a culture shift to create the safest most supportive campus community for survivors of sexual violence.

“This campaign seeks to shed light on crimes that so greatly impact the lives of far too many college students every year,” said Melissa Lucchesi, SOC’s Outreach Education Coordinator. “By speaking out and encouraging a supportive response to sexual assault survivors, students across the country will be a part of a movement that creates ripples of change in their campus community.”

Take care and STAY SAFE!

UVA Lacrosse Murder: New Charges Filed Against George Huguely in Death of Yeardley Love

January 10, 2011 Comments off

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS/WTVR/AP) George Huguely, the former University of Virginia lacrosse player being held on a first-degree murder charge for the death of Yeardley Love, has been charged with an additional five counts.

UVA Lacrosse Murder: New Charges Filed Against George Huguely in Death of Yeardley Love

Charlottesville Commonwealth’s Attorney Dave Chapman filed the new charges of felony murder, robbery, burglary, statutory burglary, and grand larceny against the 22-year-old Friday.

Huguely waived his right to appear by video at a brief hearing Monday morning when the new charges were entered into the record in Charlottesville General District Court, reports CBS affiliate WTVR.

Charlottesville police have charged Huguely with first-degree murder in the death of his ex-girlfriend and fellow classmate Yeardley Love. Huguely claims the death was an accident.

Upset over their recent break-up, Huguely allegedly broke into Love’s apartment May 3 and shook her while her head struck the wall.

Police say Huguely admitted that he saw blood dripping from 22-year-old’s nose before he pushed her back down on her bed, stole her computer which contained e-mails exchanged between the two, and fled.

Huguely has been in solitary confinement in a Charlottesville jail for the past seven months while awaiting his Jan. 21 preliminary hearing. The hearing has since been postponed to a date still to be determined.

Respectfully submitted via Crimesider (CBS)

Judge denies defense access to medical records of slain U-Va. student Yeardley Love

December 23, 2010 Comments off

A Charlottesville judge ruled Wednesday that defense attorneys cannot review years of medical records of the University of Virginia women’s lacrosse player slain in May, saying the documents contained nothing out of the ordinary or relevant to the case.

In a hearing that lasted about five minutes, General District Court Judge Robert H. Downer Jr. said attorneys for George Huguely V, who is charged with murder in the death of his ex-girlfriend Yeardley Love, could look at Love’s prescription for Adderall but nothing else in her medical records. He said that those records generally were not germane to the case but that they showed Love had not taken any non-prescribed prescription drugs and had no unusual problems with dieting.

Defense attorneys had sought the records in an attempt to prove Love died of cardiac arrhythmia causing insufficient blood flow to the head rather than blunt force trauma inflicted by Huguely. The state medical examiner had ruled that Love died of blunt force trauma to the head.

According to a police affidavit, Huguely, 22, admitted that he had been “involved in an altercation” in which “he shook Love and her head repeatedly hit the wall.”

A defense expert disputed the medical examiner’s finding at a hearing last week. He said his working hypothesis was that Love’s vascular system suffered from a lack of oxygen that contributed to her death. Witnesses testified that Love, 22, had a blood alcohol content of 0.14 and that amphetamine in her body indicated that she had taken Adderall.

The judge’s ruling, though, seems to undercut that hypothesis as a defense for Huguely. Commenting on the records he had reviewed, Downer said there was nothing “remotely embarrassing or unusual for a woman who is a student athlete.” The defense expert testified that cardiac arrhythmia probably occurred after the blunt force injuries that Love suffered.

Huguely, of Chevy Chase, remains jailed until a preliminary hearing in January.

Respectfully submitted via The Washington Post,  Matt Zapotosky, Washington Post Staff Writer

 

Fight Back; Dealing With Sexual Harassment On College Campuses…

August 16, 2010 Comments off

Fight Back; Dealing With Sexual Harassment On College Campuses…

Every 21 hours a college female is raped. Fifteen percent of all college women are sexually victimized during their time at school (U.S. Department of Justice study). Seven out of every ten college women will experience some form of sexual harassment (Planned Parenthood study) before graduation, but relatively few will report the incident. Unfortunately, in today’s world, learning about how to stay safe is just as, if not more, important than learning about history and math. Here are some steps you can take to avoid becoming just another statistic.

Get the Facts

The U.S. government defines “sexual harassment” as “unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature.” Deliberately loosely written, this definition includes anything from inappropriate comments to unwelcome touching to sexual assault. Sexual harassment can occur on any campus at any time and can happen to any person regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, or social/economic background. Harassment can take the form of verbal, nonverbal, or physical confrontation. The act is about power rather than sexual gratification, and those who allow sexual harassment to continue have their right to live in a positive, comfortable environment taken away.

Speak Out

Ignoring the situation only gives the harasser permission to continue. If you feel like someone is going beyond your comfort zone, tell him or her in a direct, assertive way. Specify exactly what makes you feel uncomfortable, and state that if the behavior continues, action will be sought. Documenting this statement in either letter or e-mail form (complete with dates and times) will provide proof that the conduct in question was recognized and that you asked for it to stop. Telling friends and colleagues will alert those around you, and telling professors and campus security will help prevent the action in the future. Should harassment become more severe, alert campus authorities, file an official complaint, file charges and seek help through your school’s crisis prevention center.  File a report with the city/town police department as well.

Speaking up against sexual harassment is the only effective way to protect yourself and your community from potential danger.

Take care and STAY SAFE!

Could Yeardley Love and Other Victims Have Been Saved?…

July 13, 2010 Comments off

Could Yeardley Love  and Other Victims Have Been Saved?…

Since the brutal murder of UVA lacrosse player, Yeardley Love, the media, Advocates and Experts have been questioning, “Could Yeardley Love have been saved?”  Many of us wonder and ask why George Huguely hadn’t been stopped before.  He was witnessed strangling Love at a party, attacked a fellow teammate while they slept for supposedly kissing Love.  Why didn’t anyone (friends, family members, team mates, coaches, Professors, team doctors and assistants) intervene?

In my expert opinion ABSOLUTELY!

The alleged mount of evidence from previous abuse by Hugely would not have given Yeardley Love an Order of Protection since VA doesn’t offer this to individuals in dating relationships where violence is present; but there seems to have been mountains of altercations, abuse and assaults to put him  in prison long before he took Love’s life.

If only someone would have assisted Yeardley, extended a hand to her in Advocacy.  Yeardley was let down by everyone in my opinion across the board.  This is why I am working so damn hard to bring much needed education and awareness to our young people (specifically females) and referring males to other resources.

Once abuse in any form starts….it DOES NOT STOP/END, it only escalates.  Students, parents, university administration, professors, coaches, etc. MUST be educated as well.  They must be proactive, learn how to recognize abuse and step up to the plate in advocacy to assist and help a victim of abuse.

Time is of the essence and if we don’t start by educating our young people more and more will be dying at the hands of their assailants.

Maureen Dowd published an interesting article in the New York Times discussing how youth at Landon Private School  (Hugely attended Landon) as young as 14 are exhibiting similar behavior and what is/isn’t being done about it.

It was set up like a fantasy football league draft. The height, weight and performance statistics of the draftees were offered to decide who would make the cut and who would emerge as the No. 1 pick.

But the players in this predatory game were not famous N.F.L. stars. They were unwitting girls about to start high school.

A group of soon-to-be freshmen boys at Landon, an elite private grade school and high school for boys in the wealthy Washington suburb of Montgomery County, Md., was drafting local girls.

One team was called “The Southside Slampigs,” and one boy dubbed his team with crude street slang for drug-addicted prostitutes.

The young woman who was the “top pick” was described by one of the boys in a team profile he put up online as “sweet, outgoing, friendly, willing to get down and dirty and [expletive] party. Coming in at 90 pounds, 5’2 and a bra size 34d.” She would be a special asset to the team, he noted, because her mother “is quite the cougar herself.”

Before they got caught last summer, the boys had planned an “opening day party,” complete with T-shirts, where the mission was to invite the drafted girls and, unbeknownst to them, score points by trying to rack up as many sexual encounters with the young women as possible.

“They evidently got points for first, second and third base,” said one outraged father of a drafted girl. “They were going to have parties and tally up the points, and money was going to be exchanged at the end of the season.” He said that the boys would also have earned points for “schmoozing with the parents.”

His daughter, he said, “was very upset about it. She thought these guys were her friends. This is the way we teach boys to treat women, young ladies? You have enough to worry about as a 14- or 15-year-old girl without having to worry about guys who are doing it as sport.”

Another parent was equally appalled: “I think the girls felt like they were getting targeted, that this was some big game. Talk about using people. It doesn’t get much worse than that.”

Landon is where the sons of many prominent members of the community are sent to learn “the code of character,” where “a Landon man” is part of a “true Brotherhood” and is known for his good word, respect and honesty. The school’s Web site boasts about the Landon Civility Code; boys are expected to “work together to eliminate all forms of disrespect” and “respect one another and our surroundings in our decorum, appearance, and interactions.”

The Washington suburban community of private school parents has also been reeling this spring from the tragedy involving former Landon student George Huguely V, a scion of the family that owned the lumber business that helped build the nation’s capital.

Huguely, who was a University of Virginia lacrosse player, was charged in the brutal death of his sometime girlfriend, Yeardley Love, a lacrosse player on the university’s women’s team who also hailed from Maryland.

The lovely young woman’s door was kicked in and her head was smashed over and over into the wall.

The awful crime, chronicled on the cover of People with the headline “Could She Have Been Saved?,” raised haunting questions about why Huguely had not already been reported to authorities, even though other lacrosse players had seen him choke Love at a party and his circle knew that the athlete had attacked a sleeping teammate whom he suspected had kissed Love. Huguely had also been so out-of-control drunk, angry and racially abusive with a policewoman in 2008 that she had to Taser him.

In The Washington Post, the sports columnist Sally Jenkins wrote about the swagger of young male athletes and the culture of silence that protects their thuggish locker-room behavior.

“His teammates and friends, the ones who watched him smash up windows and bottles and heard him rant about Love,” she wrote. “Why didn’t they turn him in? … Why did they not treat Yeardley Love as their teammate, too?”

Some of the parents of girls drafted for the Landon sex teams think that the punishment for those culpable should have been greater, and the notification to parents should have been more thorough. Was the macho culture of silence in play?

Jean Erstling, Landon’s director of communications, said she was “aware of the incident” but that “student records including disciplinary infractions are confidential.”

She said that “Landon has an extensive ethics and character education program which includes as its key tenets respect and honesty. Civility toward women is definitely part of that education program.”

Time for a curriculum overhaul. Young men everywhere must be taught, beyond platitudes, that young women are not prey.

I couldn’t agree more with Maureen all school curriculum needs MAJOR overhaul as well as educating our parents and our girls what they should additionally be asking universities and colleges of interest regarding crime stats, reporting policy and procedures.  There is much more to choosing higher education than just “why should I major in” or the look of the dorm and campus. And, they MUST DO THEIR OWN RESEARCH.  Do not just take a representative’s word for it.  Inquire at the city/town/county law departments; google schools, Security On Campus, Inc.; know and become familiar with The Clery Act Compliance.

DO NOT BECOME A STATISTIC!

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