Urging survivors of sexual assault to seek help, take a stand and remember that such crimes impact the entire campus community, UCLA released Thursday a video that highlights information about available resources and features students reading accounts typical of survivors’ stories.
Along with the UCLA-produced video, three new informational screens on the issue are being shown on video monitors at Ackerman Union and across campus housing.
"We want students to know their rights, as well as the wide range of resources available to them at UCLA if they or someone they know are survivors of sexual violence," said Pamela Thomason, Title IX officer at UCLA. "The message is, ‘You are not alone. There are people who understand your situation waiting to help you. All you need to do is reach out in whatever way you feel most comfortable.’"
Thomason appears in the video, which features several students reading accounts typical of those victimized by sexual assault. In the video, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Janina Montero, football coach Jim Mora and gymnastics coach Valorie Kondos Field encourage students to visit the website for the Campus Assault Resources and Education Office, part of UCLA Campus and Psychological Services.
Students are also advised to download the Circle of 6 smartphone app, which enables them to select six emergency contacts that can be notified with just a few keystrokes on a smartphone in case of an emergency.
"Help us break the culture of silence," Mora asks in the video. "We’re all in this together," Kondos Field adds, followed by a variety of students emphasizing that vital message.
The information screens appearing on campus video monitors contain similar brief messages. "Know Your Rights," one urges."Federal law (Title IX) prohibits sex discrimination. UCLA has procedures in place for filing complaints of sex discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual violence." Web links to UCLA counseling and sexual harassment resources are shown.
Montero said she hoped that the placement of the screens and video in high-visibility areas where students gather on campus will provoke conversations about sexual violence and harassment.
"Conversations among students are the most effective ways to spread awareness," said Montero. "And when awareness grows, attitudes and practices begin to change."