New Campaign Helps College Students Fight Rape Culture

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Across the country, college activists are joining forces to hold their administrations more accountable for insufficient sexual assault policies. Now, they’ll have a new online resource to help them. “Know Your IX,” a campaign to help educate college students about the rights afforded to them under federal gender equity laws, launched a new website on Tuesday to serve as a hub for sexual assault prevention activists.

The site includes information on Title IX and the Clery Act, which require colleges to combat gender-based violence and accurately report cases of sexual assault. Students who want to file a federal complaint against their administration, as increasing numbers of college activists have done over the past several months, are walked through the process. “Know Your IX” also offers resources for college students who want to get involved with campus activism, hotlines that survivors can contact to receive emergency care, and suggestions for ways that friends and allies can help support a survivor of sexual violence.

“This campaign was built by a large collective of survivor-activists and allies seeking to share the expertise of their first-hand experience with violence, the law, and activism,” the newly-launched site explains. In line with that, its front page prominently features the images of campus activists who have taken steps to stand up against the victim-blaming rape culture at their own universities.

Over the past year, a network of student activists at many prestigious universities — including YaleAmherstSwarthmoreDartmouth, and Princeton— have pressured their administrators to take sexual assault more seriously. Much of the ongoing activism has been made possible by the connections that students are making across different campuses. After Andrea Pino filed a federal complaint against the University of North Carolina for mishandling her rape case, other students started realizing they could do the same thing — and Pino starting helping organize those efforts across the country.

In an interview earlier this summer, Pino pointed out that the real momentum on combating rape culture on college campuses started happening after student activists joined forces. “It was always an individual case. That’s what kept this from becoming a movement,” Pino told Inside Higher Ed. Now it is certainly a movement — and the people who are driving it have even more resources at their disposal to keep pushing forward.

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