The Students for Violence Prevention (SVP) partnered with campus police to host an event titled “Cover the Cruiser.”
Sept. 28, Students that walked by the oval on campus were given the opportunity to place notes on a police cruiser. The notes shared a message about violence prevention or asked questions that students felt needed to be answered.
University Police and SVP coordinated the event together.
“We are hoping to just raise awareness about sexual assault on our campus,” said Logan Wiley, senior in communication and media manager for SVP. “It happens more than people think it does. Especially in the first few weeks of school, that’s where we see which is known as the red zone, which is where 50-percent or more sexual assaults happen on campus. That’s the zone it happens in. That’s kind of what we’re hoping we’re hoping to spread awareness about sexual assault and just give resources to everyone.”
The topic of violence, especially inside relationships, can be difficult to discuss. SVP hopes that by placing the topic in front of anyone that walks by their event.
“The events that we do, especially like this, are important because it shoves the topic in their face. Sexual assault is a very taboo subject, no wants to talk about it. I get it, but it’s very important to talk about so that survivors are not alienated. We want everyone to know about these resources because sexual assault is not biased and it can happen to anyone no matter their sex, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.” Logan Wiley said
The university police department hopes to help educate the student body on the resources available to them.
“Hopefully resources will never be needed, but we want people to know what to do in the event that they should need us or the campus advocate,” said Stu Hite, chief of police. “Or, if they know a friend or someone that’s in trouble and needs help. So, we want to make sure we provide that information and have positive interaction with folks out here on The Oval on a beautiful day.”
The police department has access to many resources to help people that experience sexual assault or harassment.
“We have many resources,” Hite said. “We can put people in touch with a safe place to stay or just to something as simple as introducing them to the campus advocate. We also have nurse examiners that are available at the Bryant Health Center as well as Ascension Via Christi Hospital. We have a great partnership with our medical and nursing communities.”
The campus advocate, Stephanie Spitz, hopes that education on this issue increase on campus so that crimes can be prevented.
“I hope that it encourages more students to get involved in asking hard questions or looking for resources that aren’t as typically promoted when people are growing up,” said Stephanie Spitz, advisor to Students for Violence Prevention and Pittsburg State University’s campus advocate. “I feel like a lot of people know about mental health hotlines and going to therapy. But no one really talks about when someone experiences violence, about hotlines, or victim advocates… So, we are trying to spread some awareness on information resources that most people aren’t really taught. That’s my hope. With more education comes more activism”
Spitz wants to encourage victims to use the resources available if they need it.
“Safety first, whether this just happened or it’s been a few days or a few years, “Spitz said. “So, making sure that they’re away from the person that is causing them harm. Help them get all the resources they need so if they want to report to law enforcement or Title IX, they can.”
SVP hopes to continue to educate students and help victims of violence on campus.