Student Campaigns to End Stigma Surrounding Sexual Assault Reporting

Apr 9, 2018

During Sexual Assault Awareness Month, University of Arkansas student Gillian Gullett is carrying a sheet with her on campus as part of a campaign called Don't Keep It Under Cover. Gullett draws on a personal experience and says she wants to end the stigma that surrounds speaking out about sexual assault. She says she also wants the university to provide more resources to sexual assault survivors and a fairer process for victims under Title IX.

The University of Arkansas provided the following statement in response to Gullett's interview:

Without commenting specifically on the campaign, we can assert that the university is committed to creating an environment free from sexual harassment or acts of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. We encourage students, employees and visitors to report any concerns regarding these and any other policy violations and hope to end any stigma associated with reporting. Reports come through many channels, not just the official ones, which is why we have amplified our communication to employees regarding the responsibility to report. We believe reports have increased due to greater awareness and the many reporting channels available. For instance, the footer of all university domain (uark.edu) web pages now includes a “Report a Concern” link that directs our campus community to a reporting hub that not only includes official reporting forms and options but also helpful information and frequently asked questions regarding options and resources for care and support for different types of violations and situations.

Here’s a link to the reporting hub site: https://report.uark.edu/

Here’s an example of the type of information the site includes for sexual assault or domestic or dating violence: https://report.uark.edu/sexual-assault-or-domestic-dating-violence/index.php

The Title IX site also includes a great deal of educational, training and reporting information: https://titleix.uark.edu

Multiple campus and off campus resources are also provided here: https://titleix.uark.edu/resources.php

The university has a full-time Title IX Coordinator who leads a team including a Title IX investigator and five deputy Title IX coordinators. Their focus is to investigate all reported incidents whether they occurred on- or off-campus while working to strengthen the university’s outreach, training and resources for reporting and prevention programs related to sexual assault, sexual harassment, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. This complements other programs including those sponsored by the Pat Walker Health Center and the Associated Student Government and Greek Life, to name a few.