Director of Title IX
Drug and Alcohol Education Prevention
Sexual Assault and Violence Education (SAVE)
The Sexual Assault and Violence Education (SAVE) Task Force is composed of student representatives, staff, faculty, and administrators representing various campus divisions, departments, and disciplines. Every task force member is committed to cultivating a vibrant campus life in which all members of the Worcester State community feel welcomed, included, respected, empowered, and valued. Through campus-wide programming, training, and resources, the task force helps to provide a safe, healthy, and supportive campus climate, free of sexual and relational violence.
For more information, interested community members should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s on Us to Stop Sexual Assault – Massachusetts University System
Follow @wsusave on Instagram for up-to-date campus resources and programming.
- Campus wide pocket resource cards
- Everfi Sexual Violence Prevention
- Online programming- First Year Students and Athletes
- Orientation Programming- Title IX and consent training
- First Year Programming- It IS My Place sexual violence prevention and bystander intervention theatre program
- We Speak Up bystander intervention programming
- Domestic Violence Awareness Month campaigns
- Sexual Assault Awareness Month campaigns
- I ASK and Got Consent campaigns
- One Love healthy relationship workshops
- Title IX trainings
- Sexual Assault Education and Prevention workshops
- Trauma Informed Approach workshops
- WGSS Annual Candace Allen Memorial Lecture
- RAD Basic Self Defense Class
- RAD Advanced Self Defense Class
- RAD Keychain Options Self Defense Class
- RAD Weapons Defense Self Defense Class
The SAVE resource guide is a quick reference of on and off campus resources available to support survivors of sexual and relational violence. The resource guide is also located in multiple locations and restrooms throughout campus and is available in English and Spanish.
If you have been assaulted, prompt medical and emotional care can make a difference. You have options, from reporting the incident to accessing on or off campus supports.
Please review our What Should I Do If I’m Assaulted? resources.
The impact of sexual violence, relational violence, gender-based discrimination or harassment, stalking, or retaliation may significantly impact how a person feels about themself and those around them. Individual responses may differ and may occur immediately following an event but also may occur much later when triggered by a different event. Some common reactions include:
- Isolation or withdrawal from previous activities or friends
- Increased feelings of sadness, worry, or fear
- Difficulty concentrating
- Missing class or assignments
- Difficulty sleeping or eating
- Physical ailments (stomachaches/headaches)
- Guilt, self-blame, or shame
- Flashbacks or re-experiencing the event in your mind
- Increase in substance abuse or negative coping
- Thank them for sharing with you
- Ask if they feel safe
- Encourage medical care and follow-up care
- Encourage counseling and emotional support
- Remind them it is not their fault
- Be empathetic and open minded
- Resist asking “why” questions or investigating what happened
- Allow them to make what choices they feel are best
- Ask what they may need from you
- Remind them of confidential resources
- Offer to help connect them to supports, resources, and reporting options
- Remind them they have a choice to make a Title IX or criminal report
- Respect their privacy
- Ensure they know they are not alone
- Balance being there and giving them their own space
- Monitor your own feelings and need for support
Review the Friends and Family Toolkit from RAINN for additional strategies on how to help.
Consent requires a voluntary agreement demonstrated by words or actions by a person with sufficient mental capacity to make a conscious choice to do something proposed by another, free of duress.
- “No” means “No”
- Silence is not “yes”
- Consent can be withdrawn at any time
- “Yes” yesterday is not automatically “yes” today
- “Yes” to this action is not “yes” to that action
- Consent is not automatic within a relationship, partnership, or marriage
- Consent cannot be given by individuals who are underage, intoxicated or incapacitated by drugs or alcohol, or asleep or unconscious.
- Freely given
Consent Is Not
- Given by what someone wears
- Pressured or threatened
- Disengaged or unresponsive
Dealing with “No”
- Sometimes your partner will be unsure, pull away or say “no,” and that is okay.
- Reassure them that you are glad they can be honest with you. For example, “That is okay; maybe we could do that some other time.” (@NSVRC 2019)
- Go back to an activity or an experience that you both enjoy and remember those parts of your relationship that you value.
- You may find that you have a reaction to your partner’s decision. If you find that you are struggling with a “no” or becoming angry with your partner, seek out support.
Normalize Consent / I Ask
- Being aware of and practicing consent in our everyday interactions is an important part of normalizing consent in the intimate aspects of our relationships.
- Normalizing consent shows respect for your partner(s) and empowers you to feel confident in yourself and your boundaries.
- Begin to “Ask” in all aspects of your life.
- I Ask:
- Can I take your picture?
- Can I add you on snapchat?
- Can I post this online?
- Can I have your number?
- Can I come over?
- Can I kiss you?
- Is this ok?
- Do you want to stop or take a break?
Relational violence is a pattern of behaviors by one partner that is used to gain or maintain power and control over another. It also refers to domestic, dating, and intimate partner violence (IPV). Such behavior can be directed against a current spouse, family member, person with whom a child is shared, cohabitant (such as a roommate), or romantic or intimate partner.
- 1 in 3 women, 1 in 4 men, and 1 in 2 transgender and non-binary individuals will be in an abusive relationship in their lifetime.
- Women between the ages of 18 and 24 are most commonly abused by an intimate partner.
- Relational abuse occurs in all relationships of all genders, all races, all religions, and all sexualities, and even occurs within friendships and familial relationships.
Know the Signs
All of our relationships exist on a continuum from healthy to unhealthy to abusive. Learn the red flags and warning signs below. Where does your relationship fall?
- 10 Signs of a Healthy Relationship
- 10 Signs of an Unhealthy Relationship
- Learn more: Learn to Love Better: One Love Foundation
Types of Abuse
Relational abuse is not always physical. Understanding the various ways that abuse appears and intersects can prepare you to respond to situations safely for yourself and others:
Learn more about the types of abuse.
What to Do
- Recognize that your partner’s behavior is not okay
- Know that you deserve a healthy relationship
- Know that it is not your fault
- Tell someone you trust
- Create a safety plan
- Seek professional support from an advocate or counselor
- Report it to a confidential resource, University Police, or the Title IX Coordinator
- Consider a no trespass order or no contact order on campus, or a restraining order in court
- Seek academic or housing supportive measures on campus through the Title IX Coordinator
- Consider criminal charges or a Title IX investigation
- Review resources for confidential resources, reporting options, and emotional, online, and hotline support.
How to Help a Friend
If you think your friend or family member is in an abusive or unhealthy relationship it can be difficult to know what to do. One of the most important things you can do is to start a conversation. See the tips below and review additional tips from the One Love Foundation.
- Express concern, be supportive, listen patiently
- Keep the conversation friendly
- Try not to judge, place blame, or be preachy
- Help them recognize it’s not their fault
- Focus on the unhealthy behaviors that are occurring
- Talk with them about supports and resources
- Allow them to make their own decisions
- Expect, and be open to, more conversations
- Seek support for yourself
Creating a safety plan is an important part of physical and emotional safety. During an unsafe, abusive, or violent situation it can be difficult to think clearly or logically. Proactively preparing a safety plan can help to plan for crises. Plans consist of practical options and supports before, during, or after an unsafe, violent, or abusive situation.
RAVE Guardian App
The Rave Guardian app is one of the best ways to improve not only your personal safety on the Worcester State campus but also that of your fellow guardians within your own private safety network. This app can also put you in direct contact with University Police in an emergency.
Review the Rave Guardian app features.
Note: This app is separate from the Rave Alert software used to notify the campus community of incidents such as inclement weather closings or delays.
Create a personalized safety plan.
According to The Association of American Universities Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct*:
- About 1 in 4 women (23.6%), 1 in 17 men (5.8%), 1 in 3 transgender, genderqueer, nonconforming, questioning students (27.8%), 1 in 4 bisexual students (25.3%), and 1 in 7 gay/lesbian students (13.7%) experienced nonconsensual sexual contact since entering college.
- American Indian/Alaskan Native students experience the most nonconsensual sexual contact (15.1%) among the racial/ethnic groups examined.
- Of Asian/Pacific Islander women, 23% experienced some form of contact sexual violence, 10% experienced completed or attempted rape, and 21% had non-contact unwanted sexual experiences during their lifetime. See CDC: 2010-2012 NISVS Summary Report (2017).
- In a study of 935 undergraduate women, a significantly higher percentage of African American women (36%) compared with White women (26%) reported unwanted sexual experience.**
- First-year students and sophomores are significantly more likely to experience sexual assault when compared with juniors, seniors, and graduate students.**
- More than 50% of college sexual assaults occur in either August, September, October, or November (RAINN).
- 75–90% of sexual assaults are perpetrated by a non-stranger (National Institute of Justice).
- Less than 5% of sexual assaults are reported (National Institute of Justice).
Learn More: RAINN
*Cantor, D., Fisher, B., Chibnall, S., Townsend, R., Lee, H., Bruce, C., Thomas, G. (2015). Report on the AAU Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct. Rockville, MD: Westat.
**Gross, A., Winslett, A., Roberts, M., Gohm, C. (2006). An examination of sexual violence against college women. Violence Against Women, 12, 288–300.
Director of Title IX
Drug and Alcohol Education Prevention