Middlebury

 

Preventing sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking

The best way to prevent sexual and relationship violence from occurring in our campus community is to commit to the following guiding values:

  1. Violence is not tolerated on our campus and
  2. Everyone is expected to do their part to prevent it 

No one has to do everything, but everyone in our community must do something. The "something" we must all commit to is engaging in moments of action, no matter how small. Every moment of action counts when we are working to prevent violence. 

Moments of action occur when we are cued in to the potential for violence. We might see someone intentionally trying to get someone else intoxicated, isolating someone into another room at a party, recognize power differences like age, or sense that someone we know seems fearful. When we notice these cues it is important to make the choice to act because even the smallest action can prevent violence.

There are three types of moments of action in which  we can choose to engage:

Direct: these actions involve directly talking to someone or intervening in a situation. It could mean saying to a friend, "Hey, you've been pretty hard to reach lately, is everything ok?" or stepping in to take an intoxicated friend back to their residence hall. Direct action is following up with a student, co-worker, or supervisor who you suspect may be in an unhealthy relationship. 

Delegate: these actions are all about getting others involved. Delegating is sometimes the safest kind of action when danger is present or when there is someone else who is best able to act. It could mean calling the Department of Public Safety or 911 for help, asking a friend to assist you in finding a ride for a friend, or asking the host of a party to ask someone to leave. Delegation is also expressing concern to a student's adviser, Commons Dean, or coach.

Distract: these actions use a distraction to interrupt precursors to violence to prevent a harmful situation from ever occurring. Distractions could include spilling a drink, singing loudly, or telling someone that their car is getting towed. It could also include asking someone to come with you to the bathroom so you can have a private moment to check in with them. 

 

Moments of Action for Students 

  • Send a mass email to your contact list with a simple message, "This issue is important to me and I believe in the goal of reducing violence."
  • Next time you are walking to class with a friend, have one conversation and tell them that ending violence matters to you.
  • Put a MiddSafe sticker on your door, computer, or water bottle and talk about why you care about this issue when someone asks what it is
  • Make bystander intervention or sexual violence on campus the topic of a paper or speech you have to do for a class.
  • Bring a friend to an awareness event.
  • Work to ensure organizations you are involved in collaborate with prevention efforts on campus.
  • Find out how Art and Activism works to end violence. (google it!)
  • If you suspect that a friend is in an abusive relationship,  ask them and provide information about available resources
  • If you see someone spike another person's drink,  stop them and call the Department of Public Safety or 911, distract by spilling the drink, or get someone else to let the person know that their drink is unsafe to consume.
  • If you choose to leave an event early, account for the people you came with.
  • If you see someone at an event who has had too much to drink, ask them if they need to be walked home so they can go to sleep.
  • If you hear what sounds like yelling or fighting in your residence hall, apartment, or the locker room, talk with a residential life staff member, your Commons Dean, a professor, a coach, or someone else who can help.
  • If someone needs your help and you don't have the answer, contact your resources and find someone who does.

Moments of Action for Staff and Faculty

  • Change your email signature line to include a statement that echos the principles that violence will not be tolerated at Middlebury and everyone is expected to do their part to prevent it
  • Add a line to your syllabus that expresses the prevention principles
  • Put a MiddSafe sticker on your door, computer, or water bottle and talk about why you care about this issue when someone asks what it is
  • Request a presentation from your local (WomenSafe) or campus (MiddSafe) violence prevention program.
  • If you suspect that a student or co-worker is in an abusive relationship, ask them and provide information about available resources.
  • If someone appears upset, ask if they are okay.
  • Assign paper, project, or reflection to your students about moments of action, community, and our prevention principles. 
  • If someone explains that women "say 'no' when they really mean 'yes'," interrupt and make an attempt to educate them.
  • If you hear what sounds like yelling or fighting in your neighborhood, classroom, or office, talk with a neighbor, your manager, your students or someone else who can help.
  • If someone needs your help and you don't have the answer, contact your resources and find someone who does.

Moments of Action for Parents and Families 

  • Make a donation to a local rape crisis center or domestic violence shelter 
  • Volunteer for one hour, and bring a friend.
  • Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper talking about any aspect of sexual or relationship violence that is most powerful to you 
  • Find out how Art and Activism works to end violence. (google it!)
  • If you know information about an incident of sexual violence,  tell authorities what you know in case it is helpful.
  • If you hear what sounds like yelling or fighting in your neighborhood, place of employment, or community, talk with a neighbor, the police, your employer or someone else who can help.
  • If someone needs your help and you don't have the answer, contact your resources and find someone who does.

 

To learn more about moments of action or to get involved in prevention efforts, contact Director of Health and Wellness Education Barbara McCall