Copper Mountain College (CMC) hosted their Fall Kick-Off at the start of September and Partners Against Violence got to share more about our services with students and officially launch our The Red Zone campaign!
"The Red Zone" (mid-August to late November) is the time frame in which college students are at a higher risk of becoming victims of sexual assault. We are bringing our Red Zone campaign to local universities and colleges to spread awareness and ultimately try to help prevent sexual assault.
"We had 35 people take our pledge," said Gena, a Community Outreach Specialist for Partners Against Violence. "We even got our picture with the campus mascot, SPIKE, and he got his own bracelet and a pledge card!"
The Red Zone
Right now, college students are at a higher risk of sexual assault than any other time of the year. That’s because the time spanning the start of the fall semester through Thanksgiving break is when more than 50 percent of all college sexual assaults are statistically found to occur. It is known as The Red Zone.
Partners Against Violence, formerly known as San Bernardino Sexual Assault Services, is working with many colleges and universities in the Inland Empire and East Riverside County to bring awareness of the Red Zone.
“We have created a series of Red Zone awareness and prevention infographics that will be posted on their social media from September 13th through September 19th,” said Gena Pliss, Community Outreach Specialist for the non-profit. “Topics include campus safety, tips for staying safe when going out, consent, and Title IX.”
Along with the statistic above, researchers have also found that freshmen in particular reported the highest rates of unwanted sexual contact. According to The Every Voice Coalition, research has attributed the contributing factors for the uptick to “psychological pressures or the use (or threat) of physical force” and “more socializing, less work, more free time and heavier drinking” often in addition to or in place of Greek rush or unfamiliarity with new surroundings. That being said, a survivior’s socialization or substance use should never nullify, devalue or invalidate cases of sexual violence.
Additionally, statistics for this year are expected to have an uptick as Sophomores are also new to campuses due to closures in the 2020-2021 school year. This fall, with the addition of both freshman and sophomore students, who may not have yet undergone any college experiences and/or may not receive sexual misconduct training, there is reason to believe that the population of those at risk will double.
Partners Against Violence is sharing these facts, tips, and resources on their social media platforms (@partnersagainstviolence) and website (www.partnersagainstviolence.org). They have also created a pledge that students (and their supporters) are encouraged to participate in to take a stand against sexual violence during the Red Zone, and all year. The pledge asks students to honor and respect campus mates, maintain healthy conversations, practice consent, not be a bystander, and opens the floor for self-defined pledges.
At a recent on campus event, some students and faculty at Copper Mountain College in Joshua Tree filled in the blanks with such pledges as speaking up, being a listening ear, believing survivors, promoting awareness, and staying alert.
“Those who have taken the pledge have received a Red Bracelet as a visual of their commitment to preventing sexual violence,” said Pliss.
If you would like more information on how you can make the pledge and receive a bracelet, or information about the services offered in your area, please visit email firstname.lastname@example.org.