Michigan State University aims to curb sexual assaults with prevention training
Within the first weeks after students return to schools across the country, 50% of sexual assaults on campus will take place.
EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - In the next few weeks, schools across the nation will welcome thousands of students back to campus. Michigan State University is one of those getting ready for a full campus.
Within those first weeks, after students return to schools across the country, 50% of sexual assaults on campus will take place. A new study reveals new information on how to prevent sexual assaults on college campuses. That’s why prevention training is not just important - it’s required.
Matea Caluk is the assistant director at the Prevention Outreach and Education Department at Michigan State University. She said it’s mandatory for first and second-year students to take live training courses. The past two years have been held on Zoom, but this year it will be in-person.
MSU is one of the universities a part of the It’s On Us campaign, the country’s largest sexual assault prevention program nonprofit. The campaign has been looking at what programs are actually working and engaging young men in meaningful conversations versus what’s not working.
“Our findings were really interesting, to say the least. First and foremost, we found that young men really aren’t aware of the scope of the problem of sexual assault on campus. Despite the fact that 1 in 5 women and 1 in 13 men will experience sexual violence at some point during their college career,” said Tracey Vitchers, executive director of It’s On Us.
They found that most men did not know that this was a campus issue in the first place. They also found that young men felt that the education they were getting was inadequate.
“There was a student at MSU who was a part of the study who said that essentially you could just skip through the online program and still pass the quiz at the end of it,” said Vitchers.
That’s concerning to experts who told News 10 that peer-to-peer intervention is essential to keeping campus safe.
“And unfortunately, because the men around them don’t know what to say or what to do if their teammate or roommate is potentially engaging in sexually violent conduct, they don’t do anything about it,” said Vitchers.
However, MSU is trying to encourage conversations among men. This year they are offering a new program directly addressing masculinity and gender-based violence. Experts hope this will help continue the conversation and give men the confidence to speak out.
“So often times we know that when students come to college and even staff members and other people, there’s sometimes not an open conversation to talk about boundaries and kind of how to have a healthy relationship,” Caluk said. “And kind of that it’s OK to get resources and seek help, so we’re really trying to break down those barriers.”
More information can be found on Michigan State University’s official website here.
Resources for survivors of abuse can be found here.
The Michigan Sexual Assault Hotline offers anonymous assistance and support without judgment. It can be reached at 855-864-2374.
- Lansing police investigate shooting at Quality Dairy
- Former McLaren Hospital makes headway on new youth shelter
- Jackson lead service line project on Michigan Avenue to begin later this month
- Michigan man charged with maintaining a drug house after raid finds guns, drugs
Copyright 2022 WILX. All rights reserved.
Subscribe to our News 10 newsletter and receive the latest local news and weather straight to your email every morning.