SCSU Training Students, Staff on How to Prevent Sexual Assault

The Connecticut State College and University (CSCU) system is using federal funding to train students and staff on how to prevent sexual assault.

Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) hosted a forum focused on the issue of stalking on campus on Monday morning.

"We’re really seeing more people stepping up and speaking out about their experiences and the experiences and the experiences that they’ve seen people close to them have," SCSU senior Jessica Holman said of the #MeToo movement.

At SCSU, Holman is a peer educator teaching other students about sexual misconduct.

"Offering them definitions of what is consent, what is sexual assault, what is stalking, what is intimate partner violence," Holman said.

Students, victim advocates and law enforcement officials attended the presentation about stalking that is part of the CSCU system’s efforts to prevent sexual assault and dating violence an all 17 campuses.

"It just shows that Connecticut has seen and identified that this is an important issue," Jennifer Landhuis, the director of the Stalking Prevention, Awareness and Resource Center, said.

Landhuis visits college campuses across the country.

"Helping people understand how stalking intersects with the crime of domestic violence and of sexual assault but also helping people understand that it doesn’t have to intersect with those crimes," Landhuis said.

More than 1,000 CSCU students have taken part in training on how bystanders can intervene before an inappropriate situation escalates.

"We use three 'Ds' of bystander intervention at Southern," Holman explained. "Which is to directly intervene, to create a distraction or to delegate responsibility to someone that you trust."

Holman said she is proud of how her university is handling the issue of sexual misconduct, but she had a message for other college students.

"If you’re not satisfied with the resources that you’re campus is providing, don’t be afraid to use your voice and question the procedures that exist," Holman said.

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