Page 1

CVPT Magazine Issue



M E N P L AY in ending sexual violence



to ask to take it to THE NEXT LEVEL FIND OUT HOW TO


Welcome G R A N D VA L L L E Y WOMEN’S CENTER (616) 331-2748 1201 Kirkhof Center 1 Campus Drive Allendale, MI 49401

In October 2010, the Grand Valley State Uni-

services to support victims and survivors. You

versity’s Women’s Center received a three-year

will also find support for healthy relationships,

$265,000 VAWA grant from the U.S. Depart-

a call to challenge current views of men and

dysfunctional & dangerous

ment of Justice, Office on Violence Against

masculinity as well as an invitation for men

things about how to be a man

Women. This grant is designed to strengthen

to participate in creating this new reality by

our response to sexual assault, stalking, dating

holding other men accountable for how they

or woman. Men are repeatedly

and domestic violence and to enhance collabo-

talk about and treat women.We hope you will

exposed to messages telling

ration among campus and community partners.

find this magazine relevant and helpful in rais-

them that a date or any sort of

Through this grant, we were able to produce

ing issues around addressing sexual violence.

this magazine. In it you will find pertinent

The Women’s Center welcomes your questions,

relationship with women is only

information about these issues, resources and

comments and concerns.

We were taught really

successful if we ‘get some,’ whether we want that or not. Women contend with mixed messages that connect their own worth to their physical appearance: they should be virginal without being prude;


page 12 1

if they want or have sex, then they are sluts.


Table of C O N V E R S AT I O N S TA R T E R S

Think you know your stuff? Check out these


quick facts and test your skills. page 14

Worried about sounding awkward when asking your partner to have sex? Check out our 8 sexy, sensual consensual tips! page 18

Jerk alert! Are you in a toxic relationship? Answer our questions to find out. page 20

Does your relationship have the right stuff? Check out if yours pops or flops. page 7

Got a question? Elle has the answer!

IN THIS ISSUE LEARN ABOUT The GVSU Counseling Center page 22 LGBTQ Victim and Survivor Resources page 18 The GVSU College Men’s Group page 10

Check out our ‘Dear Elle’ spotlight questions. page 3 HIGHLIGHTS

Resource Guide

page 25-26

Let’s Ask, interview with Kylene


page 17

Featured Activist

Nicole Husen page 6

From the Desk of the GVSU Police page 21

Don’t really know that much about domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking? No problem! Visit page 4 for a look at these issues.



Ask Elle Dear Elle: Something happened to me, and I’m not sure what to think. I wasn’t forced to have intercourse, but I was touched inappropriately by a guy friend after I said no. I felt like I couldn’t said anything because I was afraid of hurting his feelings, but I did not want him to touch me. Was this rape? This would not be considered rape, but it is considered sexual assault. Because we hear these terms used interchangeably it can be confusing. Sexual assault, or criminal sexual conduct (CSC) in legal terms, covers a range of contact and levels of force or intimidation. It is also important to note that Michigan law is gender neutral and a victim’s resistance is not a factor in assessing CSC. It is important to understand exactly what consent means in order to understand these terms. Consent means both partners are informed and have freely and willingly agreed upon a sexual activity. Consent cannot be inferred from the absence of a “no.” Moreover, consent can be withdrawn at any time. In no circumstances is consent automatic, obligated or routine. If you have given your consent once, that does not mean you have given it for all future sexual acts, including a sexual interaction with the same partner. Coercion occurs when one or more persons use force, intimidation, threat or pressure to compel a victim to perform a sexual act against their will. Feeling afraid of hurting your friend’s feelings and giving in to the pressure does not equal consent.

CIRCUMSTANCES  1. Victim is under 13 years of age.



Sexual intercourse Anal intercourse Cunnilingus Fellatio Object (anal) Object (genital)

Groin Genital area Inner thigh Buttock Breast



1st degree (felony) Penetration + any 1 of  1-10 2nd degree (felony) Contact + any 1  1-10

4. Victim is 13, 14 or 15 and assailant is related by blood or affinity. 5. Another felony is committed. 6. Multiple assailants and victim is known to be incapacitated.


7. Multiple assailants and force is used.

up to life

8. Assailant used a weapon.

3rd degree (felony) Penetration + any 1 of  11,12 or 13 4th degree (misdemeanor) Contact + any 1 of  11,12 or 13

9. Assailant causes personal injury and force is used.

up to 15 yrs

up to 2 yrs or $500.00 fine

Quiz TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE 1. In what decade did law enforcement begin to see domestic violence as a legal issue? Answer on page 21 2. What steps should you take if you are being stalked? Answer on page 5 3. How much does domestic violence cost the U.S. every year? Answer on page 14


3. Victim is 13, 14 or 15 and assailant is a member of the household.

up to 15 yrs

From your description, it seems likely that you might have experienced sexual assault. There are resources available to help you sort out this situation and get the support you need. Contact the Women’s Center at (616) 331-2748 for assistance or go to page 25 for additional resources. 3

2. Victim is 13, 14 or 15 and assailant is in a position of authority.

CVPT Magazine

10. Assailant causes personal injury and victim is incapacitated. 11. Victim is 13, 14 or 15. 12. Victim is incapacitated. 13. Force is used.

4. What is consent? Answer on page 8 5. What are the four most important things to say to a sexual assault victim/ survivor? Answer on page 18 6. What is the VAWA legislation and when was it passed? Answer on page 21 7. How much does counseling cost you at the GVSU Counseling Center? Answer on page 24


Domestic and dating violence includes, but is not limited to, behaviors or physical force that intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, terrorize, coerce, threaten, blame, hurt, injure or wound someone in order to obtain/or maintain power or control over another. Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual behavior or sexual contact obtained without consent and/or obtained through the use of force, threat of force, intimidation or coercion. Sexual assault includes sexual harassment, nonconsensual sexual contact, nonconsensual intercourse/rape and sexual exploitation.


Stalking is the willful course of conduct over time involving repeated or continuing harassment made against the expressed wishes of another person, which causes that person to feel emotional distress such as fear, harassment, intimidation or apprehension.

A victim is a person who the crime was committed against. This is a legal term and is typically used immediately following the assault.


A survivor is a term used to denote the fact that a crime was committed against a person and the person is working to reclaim the power and control that was taken away from them.


Rape is the nonconsensual penetration of any body cavity, regardless of the instrument or body part used to penetrate. Rape is a specific form of sexual assault.


Domestic and dating violence, sexual assault and stalking can happen to anyone, regardless of ethnicity, race, gender, sexual orientation or economic status. While both men and women can be assaulted, most victim/survivors are women.


Sexual Violence






Being stalked can be very scary and confusing. Here are steps you can take to protect yourself:

DID YOU K N O W. . .


Always trust your instincts. If you are in immediate danger, call 911.


If you think it is safe, communicate once to the stalker that they need to stop and that you no longer want to have contact with them.


Be sure to contact the police or visit the Women’s Center to let them know you are a victim of stalking.


Document everything! Gather all basic identity information, videos, audio, text messages, emails, etc. Also, keep an incident log on all stalking activities. See a sample at

On college campuses: college women reported being injured emotionally or psychologically from being stalked. In 15.3% of stalking incidents, the victim reported that the stalker either threatened or attempted to harm them. of stalking incidents report that the stalker forced or attempted sexual contact. In one year, more than 13% of college women indicated they had been stalked, 80.3% of victims knew or had seen their stalker before.



CVPT Magazine

A liberal education is defined as “an approach to learning that empowers individuals and prepares them to deal with complexity, diversity and change.” It also helps students in developing a sense of social responsibility. Volunteering as a sexual assault advocate at the YWCA of West Central Michigan, and being a full-time student studying both nursing and women and gender studies at GVSU have given me the opportunity to expand my liberal education. The experiences I received over the last year as an advocate at the YWCA have been challenging, rewarding and life-changing. My experiences at the YWCA, as well as at Grand Valley, have also taught me how to think differently. I was given the opportunity to make a difference in other’s lives, as well as to be there for women during one of the most painful and delicate times in their lives.

Why am I doing this? … I realize that it is because if the tables were turned, I would want someone to advocate for me.


As most of us know, sexual assault is a rather taboo topic in our society. Many people prefer not to discuss or even think about it happening since they may not experience it or see it firsthand. They hold the philosophy, “If I don’t see it, it can’t hurt me.” This train of thought is damaging to the individual and society. Many people cringed when I told them about my volunteer work. They often said, “I could never do that, it would be too hard for me.” Statements like that make me think, “Hard for you? What about the victim/survivor of the assault?” While it makes me feel like I have made a difference by being a part of the process, I am not doing this for me; I am doing this for the survivor. Trust me,

there are cases and stories that are hard to sit through and I might think, “Why am I doing this?” But then I realize if the tables were turned, I would want someone to advocate for me. Volunteering as a sexual assault advocate was a great experience for me. It changed my life in many ways. I plan to continue to be a volunteer. These experiences helped to shape and change my career outlook. It takes a strong person to be able to handle many of the situations involved with the program. If you think this would be a good fit, I urge you to find a way to help. If this is not a good fit, volunteer your time to another worthy cause. Sharing your time and talent can make a huge difference in someone’s life.

Making Sense of

A Liberal Education

Nicole majored in Nursing and minored in Women and Gender Studies at GVSU and graduated in 2012. Husen is currently working as a labor and delivery nurse at IU HealthMethodist in Indianapolis.


KNOWING YOUR R E L AT I O N S H I P H A S THE RIGHT STUFF Hopefully, you and your significant other are treating each other respectfully. Not sure if that’s the case? Are you wondering what makes a solid relationship? Worried that your relationship might be unhealthy? Take a step back from the dizzying sensation of being swept off your feet and think about whether your relationship has these qualities: SUPPORT: Your partner


should support you during the bad times and the good times. In a healthy relationship, your significant other is there with a shoulder to cry on when you find out your parents are getting divorced, and they are there to celebrate with you when you get that scholarship you applied for.

In a healthy relationship, every one needs to make compromises. That does not mean you should feel like you are losing out on being yourself. When you started going out, you both had your own lives, and that should not change. Neither of you should have to pretend to like something you don’t, or give up seeing your friends, or drop any activities you love.

FAIRNESS: Having give-and-


It is important to be able to speak honestly and openly with your partner. It is also important to ask questions if you do not understand what your partner is saying. Never keep a feeling bottled up because you are afraid it is not what your partner wants to hear. 7

take in a relationship is important. Do you take turns choosing which new movie to see? As a couple, do you hang out with your partner’s friends as often as you hang out with yours? Things get bad really fast when a relationship turns into a power struggle, with one person fighting to get their way all the time. MUTUAL RESPECT: Respect

in a relationship means each partner values who the other is and understands — and would never challenge — the other person’s boundaries or beliefs. reclaim

TRUST: You are talking with

someone from class, and your partner walks by. Do they completely lose their cool or keep walking because they know you would never cheat on them? It’s OK to get a little jealous sometimes — jealousy is a natural emotion. But how a person reacts when they feel jealous is what matters. There is no way you can have a healthy relationship if you don’t trust each other.

HONESTY: Have you ever

caught your partner in a major lie? For example, they told you that they had to work on Friday night, but it turned out they went to the movies with their friends? The next time they say they have to work, you will have trouble believing them and your trust will be on shaky ground.

Remember, a relationship has to have the “right stuff” to be healthy and actually work. If this list makes you realize some things are lacking, then it is time to work on your relationship or move on. Do not settle for anything less! CVPT Magazine


Sexy& Sensual Consensual Tips ŒŽ‘’“

When it comes to having sex, the more you communicate, the better the sex and your relationship will be. True and clear consent is key to a healthy sexual relationship. Check out these eight exciting ways to get things rolling in the bedroom: ΠBefore you do anything, make sure you clearly ask. Consent

I’m dying to you right now. May I?

must be present when engaging in any sexual activities.

I really like you and I am ready to . Would you be interested in taking that step in our relationship? Do you want to have sex?

Ž  If your partner is not interested, do not pressure him or her into feeling like they have to.

Respect your partner’s comfort zone. Explore what they are

comfortable doing. I understand if you’re not ready to have sex, is it OK if we try something else instead? Is there anything you would like to try? How far do you think you would be comfortable going?

Communicate what turns you on the most. It is easy to pleasure

someone when you know exactly what they like and it can be a huge turn-on. It makes me hot when you . Would you like to do that?

 In return, ask what turns them

on. Nothing is sexier than your

partner taking an interest in what makes you hot.

‘ Always ask before trying something new or kinky! Make sure

your partner is comfortable with the idea. Does sound like something you would like to try? I would like to try , but only if you would too.

I love it when you . Can you do that again?

 Be specific and state exactly

what you want to do and ask if your partner would enjoy it too. Be clear so that there are no awkward or uncomfortable surprises during sex. I’m dying to you right now. May I? It would really turn me on if we ______. Can we?

“ Even if your partner consented to an act in the past, your partner still has the right to change his or her mind.

If your partner says stop, then that means NO. I’m uncomfortable means NO. That hurts means NO. I don’t want to do this anymore means NO.

’ Consent is an ongoing pattern

of communication. Make sure your partner is still into the sex and check in along the way. Do you like that? How does this feel? What do you want to do next? Are you as into this as I am?

What do you enjoy the most? That sounds hot; can I do that to you? Do you like it when I ? I want it to feel good to you.

Following these simple tips shows that you respect your partner, and it also promotes some sexy communication that will make the bedroom a hot place to be. Do not be afraid to switch it up. Use consent in the bedroom in your own fun and sexy way.



MEN A vast majority of prevention efforts are risk-reduction and self-defense tactics directed at women. However, there are groups taking a new direction by shifting the responsibility away from women by promoting healthy, non-violent masculinity. Although the reality is the majority of violent acts against women are committed by men, the majority of men are not violent. Many groups are mobilizing men to use their strength for creating cultures free from violence. Men’s groups take the responsibility to understand the complex ways that stereotypical notions of race, gender and sexual orientation can restrict definitions of masculinity, and how creating broader, more equitable definitions benefit both themselves and others. Check out these pages to learn more.


Jeff Smith is the director at the Grand Rapids Institute for Information Democracy. He has been involved in pro-feminist, anti-violence work for 25 years.

W H Y S E X U A L A S S A U LT IS A MEN’S ISSUE According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, someone is sexually assaulted in the U.S. every 2 minutes. The bulk of those victims are women and children. However, the primary perpetrators of such acts are men. So what is it about our culture and the way men are socialized that leads them to commit sexual assaults? There is no single factor that determines why men are the primary perpetrators of sexual assaults. Some of the predominant factors are male privilege, gender socialization from institutional structures and how the media normalizes the objectification of women. Research tells us that women are objectified in the media to sell products, increase television ratings, increase sales of video games or to sell tickets at the box office. The objectification is so frequent that it is seen as the societal norm. Women are presented as objects for male pleasure, always available, always tempting and ready to be consumed. Remember the Super Bowl ads from February? Women were either objects of male fantasy or presented as cold bitches who didn’t want to have any fun. Additionally, U.S. media outlets not only tend to ignore male violence against women, they misinform the public on this critical issue. Sexual assault is under-reported for several reasons. First, many women will not report it to law enforcement, since they believe the legal system will stigmatize and vilify them. Second, newsrooms rarely present information in a systemic way, thus, they tend to report on individual cases of sexual assault instead of a broader view. Newsrooms also treat sexual assault as a crime story and not a public health issue and do not ask the question of why men rape and sexually assault women. reclaim

CVPT Magazine

However, media is only one mechanism that determines how men are socialized to see women. Most major U.S. institutions also socialize men in very narrow gender roles, often affirming the messages of the media about the status of women in society. Women do not make equal pay for equal work. Women still hold a disproportionately small amount of leadership positions. The legal system still unjustly favors men over women and there has been a 30-year backlash against the feminist gains of the 1960s and ’70s, with government policies not favoring the rights of women. Then there is the issue of male privilege. Many men do not even realize the tremendous privilege they have in this society around issues of safety, wealth and opportunity. Men’s intent and their attitudes are rarely questioned in this society. When they are, there are plenty of men who will step forward to defend other men to maintain their privilege. This is exactly why sexual assault must become a men’s issue. For decades, women have done amazing work to help each other heal from sexual assault through social services, programs and education. However, the rate of sexual assault has not significantly declined because there has not been enough done to educate and challenge men to confront male privilege. Until men take a public stand against male violence against women and challenge the institutional support for the objectification and abuse of women, sexual assault by men against women will not decline. We must encourage each other to be better human beings and prevent sexual assault in our relationships, families, neighborhoods, workplaces and communities. No one is truly free while others are oppressed.

MarcQus Wright is the advisor for GVSU’s College Men’s Group. The group is committed to creating a space for college men to explore male identity development, men and masculinities, social responsibilities and violence against women.

COLLEGE MEN’S GROUP Have you ever thought about the messages you receive about men while watching movies, commercials or music videos? What do those same videos say about women? What about the images of women and men in magazines? Does society have any influence on how you perceive women or men? Go against the norm! Show your care, concern and willingness to change social norms. Join the College Men’s Group at GVSU for discussions around sports, media, gender, sexism and much more. The GVSU College Men’s group calls attention to societal and behavioral norms, and encourages us to pause and seriously consider the message young men receive about men and masculinity. We would like to have honest discussions and dialogues regarding men and women, rape and sexual violence, relationships and how we define our own manhood. If you are interested in joining, email MarcQus at MARCQUS WRIGHT

take ownership of


Through the years, one of the things that really struck me was how my college experience related to my experience as a man. To be honest, I wasn’t comfortable with the word “man” until I was about 25 years old because the idea of being a man was very intimidating. Since I graduated, I have given a lot of thought to how my college experience contained so many symbols associated with manhood. For instance, going to college was important to me because I believed that I needed to find a way to earn enough money to support a family. This literally meant that I had to become able to generate funds to pay for at least four people (and any pets) to live and eat. It didn’t occur to me to question it since everything I had seen in the media and heard from family and friends made this assertion. It didn’t occur to me to talk with my female peers about this. I suppose this is because I didn’t want to appear afraid or uncertain because it would have made me seem weak, another message I learned from the media.


Writing this makes it appear ridiculous to me now. It gets worse when I think about my dating life in college. On the occasions when I had the courage to ask someone out, I felt enormous pressure to plan a fun date and a near-desperate hope that they would like me enough. Thinking about this now makes me realize how the messages I was given as a man really interfered with my humanity and relationships. The scholar bell hooks said, “Men are not exploited or oppressed by sexism, but there are ways in which they suffer as a result of it.” She said this does not mitigate men’s responsibility for sexism or the abuse of women we engage with, fail to confront, or passively benefit from in the form of privilege. For instance, even the simple act of walking across campus without concern for our safety is a privilege associated with our gender, leaving us more time and energy for academic and social pursuits. We were taught really dysfunctional and dangerous things about how to be a man or woman. Men are repeatedly exposed to messages telling us that a date or any sort of relationship with women is only successful if we “get some,” whether we want that or not. Women contend with mixed messages that connect their own worth to their physical appearance: Women should be virginal without being prude; if women want or have sex, then they are sluts.

Returning to hooks’ argument, she said the pain men experience does not release us from responsibility for sexism and abuse of women. However, it does give us a starting point for becoming vulnerable and honest about how our masculine scripts interfere with our relationships with women and with other men. We allow the social awkwardness and fear of raising questions and concerns to keep us from doing it. As a man, I am inviting male readers to decide that following the masculine script is a form of passivity. You can take ownership of your role as a man by courageously becoming a full human being with vulnerabilities, fears and hopes. Insist on being honest and encouraging in your relationships with women and other men. Long ago, I decided that my male friends must be people I can have authentic relationships with. Right after college, I was also very fortunate to meet a woman who embraces the true meaning of partnership and accepts me with my strengths, weaknesses, and a mutual commitment to supporting each other. Now, our kids are nearing college age, and my hope is that they will find life on campus more accepting of their full humanity because we took responsibility to make it so.


Jason Laker is a professor within the Connie L. Lurie College of Education at San Jose State University. He has visited Grand Valley at the invitation of the Women’s Center to work with colleagues and students on efforts to promote positive relationships between men and women on campus.


Reclaiming the Word

I have heard it all and chances are, you have heard it all too. Sexual pickup lines and crude references to sex are not new to college students. Degrading and even hurtful language surrounding sex and intimacy is ever-present in our culture — in movies, music and even modern literature. Asking someone to “do the nasty” or “bump uglys” or referring to sex as “tapping that” or being “balls deep,” is not only disrespectful, but also gross. Language surrounding sex can be tacky, but it can also be violent and just plain chilling. The imagery and language surrounding sex not only negatively affects the way we view sex and intimacy, but it also affects our interactions with one another. In our culture, rape and sexual violence are ingrained and rationalized to the point that the words we use to describe sex seem natural and inevitable. As a society, we demonize sex as if it is a raunchy and immoral thing to do. Referring to sex as “stealing someone’s virginity” or “hitting it” insinuates more of a violent act than a consensual agreement. By normalizing this language, our culture creates an environment where violence is acceptable.


It can be easy to use a term without really thinking about its origination or implication. For example, some people call sex “ripping,” men are sometimes called “rippers,” and sayings such as, “she is going to get ripped,” are sometimes used to describe sexual interactions. Besides the painful and often violent imagery it provides, “getting ripped” can also imply being raped or getting drunk. The term is believed to originate from serial murderer “Jack the Ripper.” Knowing that, getting “ripped” doesn’t seem that sexy at all. In fact, by talking about rape jokingly, we normalize the horrors of sexual violence. There are also consistent patterns in the language society uses to describe women’s beauty and sexuality. The media’s objectification and commodification of women is present in advertisements, fashion spreads, television and retail windows. By portraying women and men as nothing more than sex symbols — submissive, vulnerable and even dismembered — our culture reinforces and promotes a less than respectful treatment of the human body, giving way to the language we often use when we discuss sex and intimacy.


CVPT Magazine

By examining the imagery and language surrounding sex, we can better understand how our notions of sex, beauty and gender can inform our behavior in relationships as well as our ideas about sexual objectification and violence. Using sex positive language and having respect for each other aids in reducing sexual violence. Challenge yourself to understand the language you use. Join the movement to reclaim the word sex. When we change the way we talk about sex, the way we view sex and intimacy will also change. C A L L I S TA COOK

Callista is a GVSU student in the Masters of Public Administration program. She works and volunteers regularly with local nonprofits, assisting victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

61% of stalkers made unwanted phone calls 33% sent or left unwanted letters or items 29% vandalized property 9% killed or threatened to kill a family pet 54% of rapes/ sexual assaults are not reported. On college campuses, 42% of rape victims told no one about the assault, and only 5% reported it to the police

Every 5 minutes in the U.S., 14 people will be stalked, 4 people will be domestically abused and 2 people will be sexually assaulted (excluding child sexual abuse).


1 in 3 women (42.4 million)

the FA C T S

1 in 4 men (28.5 million) SEXUAL ASSAULT VICTIMS:

1 in 5 women (22 million)

50% of all sexual assaults occur at the home or within 1 mile of the home. 1 in 7 stalking victims move as a result of their victimization.

81% of women stalked by a current or former intimate partner are also physically assaulted by that partner and 31% are sexually assaulted.

1 in 71 men (1.6 million) STALKING VICTIMS:

1 in 6 women(19.3 million) 1 in 19 men (5.9 million)

Assailants are not strangers who wear masks. 90% of all rape victims know their assailants. 80% of campus stalking victims knew their stalkers.

Rape is the most costly of all crimes, with total estimated costs at $127 billion a year. Domestic violence exceeds $5.8 billion a year. Stalking costs $342 million a year.




Ask Elle Dear Elle: What can I do to prevent myself from getting raped or assaulted?

means instilling antiviolence mindsets through our educational systems, changing community and cultural attitudes and revolutionizing the justice system. Assaults occur regardless of someone’s age, gender, race, income level, sexual orientation and education.

An assault is never, ever the fault of a victim. Under no circumstances does a victim “deserve” to be assaulted, and under no circumstances were they “asking for it” by wearing revealing clothing, drinking or being in a certain location. Sexual assault is about power and control over someone. Rapists are responsible for raping; victims/survivors are not responsible for being raped. Assault prevention needs to start at the root, which

Of course, general safety precautions are important, such as be aware of your surroundings, don’t walk home alone at night and watch your alcohol intake, but these steps merely reduce the risk of being assaulted. Being an engaged bystander and holding perpetrators accountable will help prevent sexual violence. Need help? Contact the Women’s Center at (616) 331-2748 and review page 25 for additional resources.


5. Coercion is a form of sexual assault. If someone you know comes to you What is an example of coercion? and indicates that they have just been a. Threatening to end a relationship if sexually assaulted, the best thing that your partner does not have sex with you can do is: you. a. Insist they contact a nurse b. Falsely professing love to have sex. examiner program and collect c. Telling your partner lies to render forensic evidence right away. them more sexually receptive. b. Pressure them into calling 911 and d. All the above. filing a report. c. Ask them details about what 6. True or False: Sexual assault is happened. provoked by the victim’s actions, d. Listen and believe them. behaviors or dress. Answers: 1D, 2D, 3A, 4 True: Men, women and children of all ages, races, religions, sexual orientation and economic classes can be victims of sexual


3. ______percentage of female According to the Michigan Criminal homicide victims were stalked prior to Sexual Conduct Code, which of the their death. following is not consent: a. 76% a. The person says yes at first, but b. 55% then says no. c. 15% b. The person is extremely intoxicated d. 25% and, therefore, is not able to make decisions clearly 4. True or False: Rape can occur to c. The person says nothing. anyone. d. All of the above.

assault. 5D, 6 False: Sexual assault is never the victim’s fault. Sexual assault is a violation of an individual, not a spontaneous crime of sexual passion.


G E T I N V O LV E D There are many ways to get involved in the movement to eliminate domestic violence. • Understand the definition of a

healthy relationship • Volunteer. Contact a local

domestic violence crisis center to learn about opportunities. • Donate items from a local shel-

ter’s wish list, which can often be found on their website.

Digging Deeper on Bystander Intervention CASE SCENARIO You and your friends are having one of the biggest parties of the year. Everyone is having a great time and you know it’s a party people will be talking about for a long time. But you’re having a hard time enjoying yourself. One of your good friends is trying to coerce a woman into having sex and your friend is obviously drunk. You got a bad vibe about it, and you know it just does not feel right. However, you feel stuck because it is your friend and everyone is having a good time. You’re worried you might make your friend angry if you say something. Do you say something, and if you do, what do you say? These are tough questions and situations to be in. Sometimes it can be difficult to intervene in a situation that can be potentially violent. Take a moment to think about what you would do or say. One group on campus, ReACT!, is making an effort through interactive theater to explore social issues such as bystander intervention. It is a theater class that is as much about activism as it is about acting. Attend a ReACT! performance to get an idea of how to approach the situation above.

DID YOU K N O W. . .

On college campuses: of women will be raped or experience attempted rape during their college career of sexual assaults are perpetrated by someone known to the victim 80-90 percent

women will experience sexual assault during their college experience Every two minutes,

sexually assaulted

someone in the U.S. is

of college males admit perpetrating one or more sexual assault incidents during their college career A majority of men have not yet realized their own powerful roles in changing how men view women


by Kylene Dalton-Koons

You can’t always detect if someone is being abused. In many cases, you will not see physical bruising, as assailants are good at placing the bruises in a location on the body that will not be seen, and victims quickly learn to hide any physical signs of abuse. There are some signs to look for to detect if someone you know is being abused, including someone who:

One Sunday morning, I was traveling on a busy street. A

• withdraws from activities. • acts very guarded while talking on the telephone. • asks permission from their partner to do ordinary things. • makes comments about their partner’s moodiness, short fuse or temper. • glances quickly at their partner before responding to a question from others. • works harder than seems necessary to avoid upsetting their partner. • makes a suicide attempt or gesture.


Many people ask why women just don’t leave abusive situations. But the answer is not simple. First of all, it’s dangerous. Also, it’s scary. A victim may be thinking, how will I financially support myself and children or where can I go to be safe and have support. Can you give an example of a proactive bystander?

• is unusually quiet or cheery, or hesitant.

• claims to be accident-prone.

What should I do when they are not willing to leave?

woman, bloodied and screaming, ran into the street asking for help. The three cars in front of me just continued driving, swerving around her. We stopped our car, called the police, and waited for an ambulance to arrive. Her boyfriend had just beaten her and she ran out of the house and into the street to get away from him. It was disheartening that people just drove by, ignoring the incident. We cannot eradicate this problem from our community unless people are willing to get involved. It is your business.

How can you help? Domestic abuse is not a private family matter. Neighbors, friends, family, co-workers must support victims of domestic violence; its cycle can only be broken with intervention. Here are a few things you can do to help: DON’T IGNORE THE ABUSE.


Domestic violence is a crime; report it like any other.

remember that it may be difficult for a victim to talk about the abuse. Be nonjudgmental. It is not their fault. No one asks to be abused.

LET VICTIMS KNOW YOU ARE CONCERNED. Survivors have said that when no one tried to help, it made them feel even more isolated and alone. You can start by asking if they feel safe in their home.

Provides shelter and support for women and children who are victims of domestic abuse. 24/7 free and confidential crisis line: (616) 940-2394 Email Kylene at: reclaim

CVPT Magazine

SPEAK OUT. Make prevention a priority. Teach students that every kind of abuse is wrong. Invite the YWCA West Central Michigan, Center for Women in Transition or Safe Haven Ministries to give a domestic violence education presentation.


D AT I N G & D O M E S T I C V I O L E N C E WITHIN THE LGBTQ COMMUNITY Domestic violence is about power. It’s about our lived experiences and how those experiences are perceived throughout our lives, for survivors as well as abusers. For lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people, those lived experiences are compounded by various forms of discrimination and oppression. Violence within intimate relationships does not differentiate between LGBTQ people and their heterosexual counterparts. Partner abuse in LGBTQ relationships is made worse by stereotypes used by both the abuser and forces outside of the relationship to gain dominance over another. Survivors may experience discrimination when seeking services to help them get out of an abusive relationship. Male same-gender relationships also face harsh stereotypes and societal virtues that shame men who are survivors of partner abuse. Transgender individuals face a severe degree of discrimination when attempting to relinquish contact with an abuser, which includes rejection from shelter, severe transphobia or cultural incompetency by service providers. ANNA FISK

Anna is a Grand Valley State University alumna and LGBT advocate.

There are local and national resources for the LGBTQ community: • Men’s Resource Center 616-456-1178; • YWCA West Central Michigan (616) 451-2744 (24-hour crisis line) • L.A. Gay and Lesbian Center • Gay Men’s Domestic Violence (800) 832-1901 (24-hour crisis line)

4 I M P O R TA N T

things to say

Œ I’m glad you’re alive.  It’s not your fault. Ž I’m sorry it happened.  You did everything you could.

Ask Elle

Dear Elle: My friend recently told me that she was sexually assaulted. What should I do? The best thing that you can do for your friend, after establishing that there is no longer an immediate threat to her safety, is listen to her story and believe it. If she chose to confide in you, that means she trusts you. Do not judge her actions or ask why she didn’t react differently, what she was wearing or if she had been drinking. Allow her to regain control and power over the assault by allowing her to decide what actions she wants to take. It is important to allow your friend to handle the situation the way she wants to. You may offer phone numbers for helplines or a nurse examiner program, but do not push her into making a decision. Also, be aware that you will have your own emotional process to this news. It is OK to feel shocked, angry, sad or afraid. Know that it is important to be in touch with your own feelings as well as your friend’s. Out of respect for the victim, do not speak to another mutual friend about the situation. The survivor should decide who she does and does not want to be involved.


8:45 p.m.: She meets up with friends for drinks and a good time.

10:00 p.m.: When she gets home, her partner asks her where she has been and who she was with.

10:30 p.m.: She tries to calm her partner as he escalates. She becomes afraid as he begins to call her a cheating skank. He destroys her cell phone. 10:45 p.m.: He explodes, throwing her laptop and turning his rage on her by hitting her.

11:45 p.m.: She lies in bed next to him, but has never felt so alone. There seems to be no escape.

11:15 p.m.: He says he is sorry and that he loves her. He cannot imagine her with someone else and says he would kill himself if she left him.

Are you or someone you know going through something like this? You are not alone. Someone can help you. Contact the Women’s Center at (616) 331-2748 for help and call 911 in an emergency.


R E L AT I O N S H I P RED FLAGS Are you in a toxic relationship? Sometimes asking the right questions can be hard. Do these apply to your relationship? Do you: Feel afraid of your partner? Avoid certain topics out of fear of angering your partner? Feel like you can’t do anything right? Believe you deserve to be hurt and mistreated? Feel emotionally numb or helpless?

Does your partner: Humiliate or yell at you? Criticize you and put you down? Ignore or put down your opinions or accomplishments? Blame you for their abusive behaviors? Have a bad or unpredictable temper? Threaten to commit suicide if you leave? Force you to have sex or perform sexual acts? Act excessively jealous or possessive? Text or call you constantly? Now what? If you answered yes to some of the questions above, you may be in an abusive relationship. Realization can be one of the hardest steps in going from a victim to survivor. Please contact GVSU Women’s Center at (616) 331-2748 or the Counseling Center at (616) 331-3266.

DID YOU K N O W. . .

On college campuses: of students report dating violence by a previous partner and 21% reported violence by a current partner. of acquaintance rapes on college campuses occur in casual or steady dating relationships.



is a

Global Issue

Violence against women is a global problem that has long been ignored. The violence comes in many forms and encompasses numerous crimes including sexual assault, domestic violence, stalking, cyberstalking, as well as various types of economic exploitation. In the U.S., the media, social service and criminal justice community were slow to respond to these issues. It was not until the late 1980s that domestic violence was even seen as a possible law enforcement issue as opposed to a family concern. Violence against women is not a women’s issue, it is a societal issue that needs to be understood fully in order to address and eradicate it. The Women’s Center and several academic departments have been educating the campus and surrounding communities for decades, but much more work still needs to be done. When looking at crimes against women on a global scale, the amount of violence committed against women is staggering. According to the U.S. State Department, an estimated 2.5 million people are in forced labor, including sexual exploitation, at any given time as a result of trafficking. People are reported to be trafficked from 127 countries and exploited in 137 countries, thus affecting every continent and every type of economy.

Against Women Act. VAWA became law after four years of exhaustive investigation focused on the extent and severity of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking committed against women. VAWA and subsequent legislation strengthened federal penalties for repeat sex offenders, and required states to enforce protection orders issued by other states, tribes and territories. VAWA also created legal relief for battered immigrants that prevented abusers from using immigration law to control victims and established the toll-free National Domestic Violence Hotline.

A first major step was taken in the U.S. to address the concern of violence against women in 1984 with the passage of the Violence



CVPT Magazine

Additionally, VAWA authorized funds to support battered women’s shelters, rape prevention education, domestic violence intervention and prevention programs, and programs to improve law enforcement, prosecution, court, and victim services responses to violence against women. Crimes against women impact not only the immediate victims, but their families, neighbors, friends and communities. The fight for protection of women and other vulnerable populations continues. The first step begins with each person and the Women’s Center is a fabulous resource for more information.


Debra Ross is an associate professor of criminal justice at GVSU. In additional to her specialization in teaching white collar and corporate crime, Ross also teaches a criminal justice/women and gender studies course on crimes against women.

The Nurse Examiner Program (NEP), pictured above, of the YWCA West Central Michigan is a community-based program which provides 24-hour comprehensive response to victims of sexual assault when an exam is sought within 96 hours (four days) of the assault. At the NEP, the survivor has the opportunity to have evidence collected without making the decision to report to the police. We are able to store the evidence while the survivor makes this decision.

A survivor of sexual assault seeking an examination is met at the YWCA by the nurse examiner and the volunteer advocate. The exam includes a head-to-toe evaluation, including a pelvic exam, with photo-documentation being made of any injury. The nurses operate under standing orders from our medical director and are able to offer emergency contraception and antibiotics that treat the possibility of contracting some sexually transmitted infections. If the survivor reported the sexual assault to the police, the nurse provides a comprehensive report and is prepared to testify in court. Survivors receive a follow-up phone call within days of their examination, which offers crisis counseling.

Comprehensive Response to Victims of Sexual Assault

The NEP has taken the victim out of a chaotic and unsympathetic environment and provided a haven to be appropriately cared for and empowered with the tools needed to begin recovery from sexual assault. An individual might think, “I’m not reporting to the police, so I don’t need to be examined.” We encourage everyone to be examined to check for any injuries, to address the possibility of pregnancy and the possibility of contracting sexually transmitted infections as a result of the assault. It is important to know that there is no cost for the exam, there is a fund in the state that reimburses the YWCA for the exams that we conduct.


Patti Haist is the director of clinical services at the YWCA West Central Michigan. To access the Nurse Examiner Program call: 616-776-7273.


G R A N D VA L L E Y P O L I C E D E PA R T M E N T The Grand Valley Police Department is a full-service law enforcement agency on the Allendale Campus. The department is responsible for enforcing state and local laws, as well as university rules and regulations. Victims of sexual assault are encouraged to report the incident to the police, although doing so does not mandate a police report. If desired, an officer will meet a victim privately at their request. Parents of adult victims are not notified by the police, but they can be contacted if requested. Every step of this process is the victim’s choice. Officers will discuss avenues for the case to be submitted for criminal prosecution, university judicial proceedings, or as a civil matter. A decision does not need to be made when initially speaking with an officer. Victims and their concerns will be treated with courtesy, sensitivity, dignity, understanding and professionalism. The department presents workshops throughout the academic year, including during orientation. It is the mission of the police department at Grand Valley to provide a safe and secure campus in which to work, live and learn.

Betsy Wenk is a community officer at the Grand Valley Police Department.



CVPT Magazine


Ask Elle There is no wrong way to be a victim.

Counseling Center The Counseling and Career Development Center (CCDC) focuses on assisting students in developing the interpersonal and copings skills needed in today’s complex world. Counseling Services Individual counseling sessions are limited to six per academic year; thus, individual counseling is usually reserved for student concerns that need a more personalized focus including trauma and sexual assault, suicidal thoughts or severe depression, overwhelming anxiety, substance dependence, or lack of academic progress. Students who desire on-going treatment have the option to participate in weekly group psychotherapy or to seek community mental health resources. Group therapy offers professional and peer support to explore a myriad of issues that may include relationship and family of origin difficulties, depression, anxiety, social isolation and lack of motivation. Also, seminars and psycho-educational groups focus on developing specific life-coping skills like stress management and mindfulness. Individual career counseling and testing are also offered for students who are trying to select a major and are beginning to navigate their career path.

Confidentiality The staff of the CCDC and the professional ethics of the field establishes and upholds an environment where counseling and testing are confidential except under the following circumstances: • clear, imminent danger to self or person, • disclosure of information regarding child or elder abuse and neglect, • court order of records • written permission by the client.

Fees Counseling services are free of charge to Grand Valley students who have registered and attended classes. Psychological/ career assessment or testing and courtordered evaluations require fees. Appointments The Counseling and Career Development Center offers counseling at the Allendale and Pew Grand Rapids campuses. Students may make appointments by contacting the Allendale office at (616) 331-3266 or the Pew office at (616) 331-7596, or by visiting either location during business hours. In the case of an emergency or crisis situation, call or come to the office to meet with a staff member that same day.

Dear Elle: What is the best way for a survivor to respond during and after an assault? There is no such thing as the “best” conduct for a victim during or after an assault. Often, people ask why a victim did not fight harder to get away. This is an unfair judgment because in many circumstances, if a victim tries to put up a fight during the assault, the victim may incite the perpetrator to further violence. Following the assault, the victim should do what they can to remove themselves from the area: Call a trusted friend or family member, an ambulance or the police. Once the victim/survivor is safe, they may want to seek medical attention, pursue criminal charges or talk to someone at a counseling center. This is the survivor’s choice. A nurse examiner program, such as the program at the YWCA, provides a free and confidential comprehensive medical exam to sexual assault victim/survivors. During an examination, and with the victim’s consent, evidence is collected by a specially trained nurse in a supportive environment. A nurse examiner program can also provide emergency contraception, STI testing and other important resources. On an emotional level, a victim/survivor of sexual assault or rape has survived a serious physical and emotional trauma. Reactions vary greatly depending on the individual. Some victims may experience intense emotion; some may experience no emotion at all. It is important to remember that there is no proper reaction to an assault. There is no wrong way to be a victim. The most important thing is to focus on the victim’s survival and adjustment after the assault, and make sure the survivor is able to do so in as safe and comfortable of an environment as possible.


KNOW YOUR OPTIONS Are you a victim or survivor of a sexual violence? There are many resources available to you on campus and in the community. Remember that you are not alone, and that there are people who want to help you. These individuals are prepared to help and assist you.

D O M E S T I C O R D AT I N G V I O L E N C E • The National Domestic Violence Hotline 800-799-SAFE • YWCA Central West Michigan 616-451-2744 • Center For Women In Transition 616-392-1970 (English); 616- 355-9755 (Español) • Safe Haven Ministries 616-452-6664

D O M E S T I C V I O L E N C E S H E LT E R S The organizations below have trained staff available 24/7 to assist you with safety planning and emergency shelter. They can also answer questions about helpful programs, housing options, legal options, medical options and other supportive services. • The YWCA Domestic Crisis Center (616) 451-2744, 25 Sheldon St. SE, Grand Rapids • The Center for Women in Transition (616) 392-1970, 411 Butternut Drive, Holland • Safe Haven Ministries (616) 452-6664, 3501 Lake Eastbrook Blvd SE, Grand Rapids

DID YOU K N O W. . .

You can report assaults via chat and text? Organizations that support victims of sexual assault have embraced new technologies to help victims, their friends and family members. Rape, Abuse, & Incest National Network is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. It offers an online hotline service that is free, confidential and available 24/7, It allows victims, family and friends to chat online with trained individuals. This site also features a quick-escape button that allows the page to exit and open to a basic search engine for confidentiality and safety.


FORENSIC AND MEDICAL EXAM (NURSE EXAMINER PROGRAMS) Receiving immediate and follow-up medical attention is one of the most important things that you can do for yourself when you have been sexually assaulted. You may have injuries that need to be treated, and you may want to be tested for pregnancy or sexually transmitted infections. This program includes the collection of evidence in case you decide to pursue legal options. • The YWCA of West Central Michigan (616) 776-7273, 25 Sheldon St. SE, Grand Rapids • The Center for Women in Transition (616) 392-1970, 411 Butternut Drive, Holland

I N T E R C U LT U R A L C O M M U N I T I E S • National Resource Center for Asians • Hispanic Center of West Michigan: For domestic violence support systems call (616) 742-0223 (this is not a crisis hotline) • INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence: • Uniting Three Fires Against Violence (855) DNT-HIT-ME;

Victims & Survivors

S TA L K I N G In 2000, the National Center for Victims of Crime partnered with the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women to create the Stalking Resource Center. Visit its website at http://www. for resources, including safety planning tips and a stalking log.

S E X U A L A S S A U LT • YWCA Central West Michigan 24-Hour Rape Crisis Hotline: 616-776-RAPE

COUNSELING The Organizations below offer counseling services including individual therapy, group therapy, and support groups. • GVSU Counseling & Career Development Center (616) 331-3266, 204 Student Services Building, Allendale • The YWCA Domestic Crisis Center (616) 451-2744, 25 Sheldon St. SE, Grand Rapids

L AW E N F O R C E M E N T Law enforcement can help get protection, offer resources and provide you with legal options.

• The Center for Women in Transition (616) 392-1970, 411 Butternut Drive, Holland

• For all emergencies, call 911.

• Safe Haven Ministries (616) 452-6664, 3501 Lake Eastbrook Blvd SE, Grand Rapids

• Kent County Sheriff (616) 632-6100, 701 Ball Avenue NE, Grand Rapids


• Ottawa County Sheriff (616) 738-4000, 12220 Fillmore Street, West Olive • Grand Valley Police Department [616) 331-3255, Services Building, Allendale

JUDICIAL PROCESS Students may file a judicial referral with the coordinator for university judiciary. This referral can be filed regardless of filing criminal charges. • Dean of Students Office (616) 331-3585, 202 Student Services Building, Allendale

The organizations below are available to support and advocate for you and are available to offer resources and information about available options. • The GVSU Women’s Center (616) 331-2748, 1201 Kirkhof Center, Allendale • The YWCA Domestic Crisis Center (616) 451-2744, 25 Sheldon St. SE, Grand Rapids • The Center for Women in Transition (616) 392-1970, 411 Butternut Drive, Holland • Safe Haven Ministries (616) 452-6664, 3501 Lake Eastbrook Blvd SE, Grand Rapids 26

CAMPUS VIOLENCE PREVENTION TEAM (CVPT) is a group of faculty, staff, students and off-campus partners working to increase educational programing and training sessions around sexual violence. The CVPT formed in 2011 as a result of the grant funding the Women’s Center received from the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women. In addition to working with campus members such as judicial hearing officers and law enforcement, the CVPT is working in partnership with community advocates, including Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department, the Lakeshore Alliance Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, the Kent County Domestic Violence Community Coordinated Response Team, the Center for Women in Transition and the YWCA of West Central Michigan, to better respond to GVSU students who have experienced dating and domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. The CVPT created re claim to better educate and engage all Grand Valley State University community on sexual violence.

This project was supported by Grant No. 2010 WAAX awarded by the Office on Violence Against Women, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women. Grand Valley State University is an affirmative action/equal opportunity institution. It encourages diversity and provides equal opportunity in education, employment, all of its programs, and the use of its facilities. It is committed to protecting the constitutional and statutory civil rights of persons connected with the university.

reclaim - CVPT Magazine, Issue 1  

The Campus Violence Prevention Team created "reclaim" to better educate and engage all Grand Valley State University community on sexual vio...

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