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The Courage 2012 Tour seeks to raise awareness of A Long Walk Home's unique approach of using art to help survivors heal from sexual and domestic violence and inspire leader to join and support the movement to end gender based violence. Courage, which combines the French root for heart, cour, and 'rage' is the foundation needed to engage in a process of transforming rage and pain into healing and recovery. Learn more about A Long Walk Home

New York City Overview

Did you know that one in every four women have been or will be sexually assaulted while in college? And a third of these assaults take place are in their first year? According to the Department of Justice, sexual assault is the number one violent crime that occurs on college campuses and first year students are the most vulnerable. In the state of New York, the number of on-campus sexual assault cases has been on the rise. More than 10,000 students between the ages of 18 and 23 have reported cases that meet the legal definition of sexual assault. However, despite being mandated by the federal government to report these crimes under the Cleary Act, universities often fail to report the correct number of crimes reported on campus. One of the most effective ways that administrators and students can reduce campus sexual assaults is by being familiar with and organizing campaigns to review and reform their policies on sexual misconduct, harassment, and assault.

On Thursday, April 5, Columbia University hosted A Long Walk Home's Story of A Rape Survivor (SOARS), a multimedia performance, that showcases one woman's journey from being a rape victim to survivor.  SOARS features a diverse of cast of actresses, dancers, photographer, and singers to empower college students, survivors, and their allies to address campus sexual assault.

Champion Profile
Gloria Steinem
fearless fighter for women's rights

Gloria Steinem is one of the most important figures in the 20th Century feminist movement. Born on March 25, 1934, Steinem attended Smith College, where she majored in government. After college she began working as a journalist and became famous when she went undercover as a Playboy bunny in 1963. Steinem used her experience at the Playboy Club to illustrate the lack of options available to women in America. In 1972, Steinem co-founded Ms. magazine, a feminist publication that published groundbreaking articles about women and the feminist movement.

As a feminist activist, Gloria Steinem campaigned for the Equal Rights Amendment, founded the Women's Action Alliance, co-founded the National Women's Political Caucus and is a major champion of women’s reproductive choice. She became one of the most visible faces of the feminist movement in America and recently launched the Women’s Media Center with Jane Fonda and Robin Morgan, to diversify the media landscape. As a writer, Steinem has authored the best-selling books Revolution from Within: A Book of Self-Esteem, Outrageous Acts and Everyday Rebellions, Moving Beyond Words, and Marilyn: Norma Jean, on the life of Marilyn Monroe. In 2011, she was the subject of HBO documentary, Gloria: In Her Own Words, and the New York Magazine profile, “How Do You Spell Ms.” Steinem is a fearless fighter who won the Ridenhour Courage Prize in 2006 for her commitment to bring awareness to the many issues facing women including domestic violence, unequal pay and sexual assault. Recently, in an interview with A Long Walk Home’s co-founder, Salamishah Tillet, Steinem was asked, “What It Will Take to End Violence Against Girls and Women.” Her answer, “We need to value the erotic power of equality rather glorifying and misconstruing violence as sexual.”

Activist Blog: April

On Saturday, April 14, A Long Walk Home collaborated with the National Organization of Women-NYC and Students Active For Ending Rape (SAFER), to host a FlipIt: NYC Students Organizing to End Campus Sexual Violence, a one-day conference for New York City's college student leaders of color, LGBTQQI students, men, and students with disabilities to diversify the faces of campus leadership and learn how to organize campaigns to end campus sexual assault.

Campus Sexual Assault

College campuses are not the first place we think of when we discuss of sexual violence. However, since 1975, students have been protesting against sexual violence and educating others with annual Take Back the Night events. The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that 1 out of 5 college women will be sexually assault and approximately one-third were attacked during their first year in school, when they were feeling the most vulnerable. Between 80 to 90 percent of sexual assault survivors know their attackers. Colleges and universities are mandated to investigate and prevent sexual assaults as a result of an April 1986 crime, after a hard-fought advocacy campaign by the family of Jeanne Clery. Clery was nineteen and a freshman at Lehigh University when a fellow student raped, tortured and strangled her. In response, her parents campaigned to mandate schools to disclose all crime that happens on campus in order to make campuses -- faced with public scrutiny, college presidents would have no choice but to get serious about preventing crime -- safer. Unfortunately, the Clery Act has not resulted in a widespread reporting of campus sexual assault for the Department of Education has fined offending schools just six times. In response, Rep. Thomas S.P. Perriello created the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act that requires institutions to inform survivors of their rights in writing, and tell them about local services. Also, students are now holding schools and the Department accountable under the Title IX Amendment that says that any educational institution that takes federal funding cannot discriminate against women. Sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape also constitute sexual discrimination. In April 2011, the Department of Education released a "Dear Colleague," letter to explain the basics of Title IX. Institutions must protect the victim by moving her to a different classroom, offering counseling services, and forbidding the perpetrator from attending classes for a period of time.

Sexual Assault on Campus: The Silent Epidemic
 
The following statistics were compiled by the American Association of University Women
 
  • One in 5 college women are raped during their college years.
  • One in 12 college men admitted to committing acts that met the legal definition of rape.
  • 95% of attacks are unreported, making sexual assault the "silent epidemic." Sexual assault remains the most drastically underreported crime. 
  • 90% of women know the person who sexually assaulted or raped them.
  • Nearly 60% of rapes occur in the survivor’s residence hall.
  • 42% of college women who are raped tell no one about the assault. 
  • 80% of rape victims suffer chronic physical or psychological problems over time.
  • Most survivors of sexual assaults are full-time students. Approximately one-third of them are first year students between 17-19 years old.
  • In nearly every case, victims cannot perform at the same academic levels that they did prior to the attack. 
  • Sexual assault sometimes causes students to be unable to carry a normal class load, and they miss classes more frequently. 
  • Student victims regularly withdraw from courses altogether. 
  • In more traumatic incidents, victims leave the school until they recover, sometimes transferring to another college.

 

TWITTER

For live updates on happenings, events and guest commentary you can follow us on Twitter @alongwalkhome to get involved.

Events

Thursday, April 5th:

Columbia University, Miller Theatre
2960 Broadway, New York, NY
7pm-9pm
Free and open to the public

Saturday, April 14th:
Calling all LGBT Students and Students of Color for a New York City Summit on Ending Sexual Violence
Pace University, 1 Pace Plaza, New York, NY
Sponsored by: A Long Walk Home, NOW-NYC Service Fund, and SAFER
Friday, April 27th:
John Legend & Gloria Steinem: An Intimate Gathering for A Long Walk Home

Registration Closed