Grant Helps Butler Continue Sexual Assault Prevention Efforts
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Butler is the recipient of a $5,000 Model Campus Grant from the Indiana State Department of Health’s Indiana Campus Sexual Assault Prevention Project (INCSAPP). The money will allow the University to develop a comprehensive approach to sexual assault prevention through the use of social marketing, data collection, coalition building, bystander intervention, policy analysis and male involvement.
The University was already doing work in many of these areas before receiving the grant. Much of that is due to the fact the University has a full-time Coordinator of Health Education and Outreach Programs, Sarah Barnes. She is responsible for P.A.W.S. (Peers Advocating Wellness for Students), G.E.A.R. (Greeks as Educators, Advocates and Resources), and Butler’s Victim Advocate Program, a program that offers support for victims of sexual assault, interpersonal violence and harassment. Barnes also oversees several educational programs including the Red Cup Culture, a program for all freshmen about alcohol responsibility.
“The grant will allow us to sustain these programs but also develop some new programs,” said Barnes.
Some of these programs include a social marketing campaign called “Be Aware Because You Care,” that encourages students to step in when they see a situation that puts another student at risk for being sexually assaulted, and “Consent is Sexy,” an initiative that stresses the need for sex to be consensual.
Barnes will also work on strengthening Butler’s Sexual Assault Task Force, which was created in 2008, as well as collect data through focus groups and a Healthy Relationships survey.
Male involvement is another component of the grant. While Butler males have been involved in prevention of sexual assault for several years through P.A.W.S., G.E.A.R. and other educational programs, overall numbers have been low. Barnes hopes a new men’s group called the Butler Men’s Coalition can help.
Formed this fall by students David Moore-Beitler and Zach Wright, the group will address sexual violence prevention and the promotion of character, respect and wellness. Moore-Beitler said that while Butler offers male students many opportunities for community engagement, the University did not have a place where men could just talk, listen and learn.
“Our plan is not to preach to students and tell them one way is right, one way is wrong,” said Moore-Beitler. “Our goal is to inform, and to encourage our male peers to make decisions they are comfortable with.”
Barnes says until every student knows what sexual assault is, there is still work to do. “Butler students are interested in this topic and in learning more,” she said. “I look forward to working with students like David and Zach, P.A.W.S. and others to continue the conversation.”
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