It’s On CWRU’s stand against violence culture

Noah Henriques, Staff Writer

In the 2019-2020 academic year alone, Case Western Reserve University had 85 cases of sexual misconduct—a frig​​hteningly high number for such a small school. Out of these, 10 were classified as intimate partner violence. But these statistics cannot account for the numerous other cases that were either not reported or were under a different classification. All of them, however, are categorized as Power-Based Personal Violence (PBPV).

PBPV is any violence that uses power, control or intimidation over an individual to harm them. To combat this prevalent issue,  “It’s On CWRU” was formed by the Flora Stone Mather Center for Women to raise awareness among the student body through events and programs that educate students on how to reduce, prevent and stand against assault.

One of the first and easiest ways to get involved is to take the It’s On CWRU pledge to “…disrupt the culture of violence on campus.” It consists of six promises, including empathy towards survivors and their experiences, taking action against sexual violence and refusing to conform with or encourage harmful gender stereotypes. These statements are not written vaguely or permissively; It’s On CWRU is very clear about making a strong stand against PBPV and educating yourself and others about the issue.

Currently, the initiative is conducting on-campus workshops about topics related to PBPV prevention and support for survivors. For example, the Consent FRIES workshop taking place on Sept. 30 will highlight ways to give consent and set boundaries to prevent instances of PBPV. On Nov. 2, the Active Bystander Workshop will educate students on how to act proactively in incidents of possible or immediate PBPV. If none of these workshops are particularly interesting to you or there’s a specific topic you would like to learn about, It’s On CWRU also offers the opportunity to request a workshop of your choosing.

In honor of October being Domestic Violence Awareness Month (DVAM), It’s On CWRU is also holding multiple events to raise awareness about sexual violence and how we can all take small steps to get rid of it. One very moving example is the Silent Witness Project exhibit. Started in 1990, the project spoke out against the murder of 26 women whose deaths were caused by domestic violence. Their stories were displayed on 26 red cutouts, with a 27th being created to honor unknown and unreported similar narratives. Tugging on the reader’s conscience, it serves as a reminder of past cases of domestic assault while also pushing for people to take action and prevent such tragedies from happening again.

In addition to these projects, SEXPOpallooza, Survivor Support Group, The Culture of Respect Collective and other community outreach are all opportunities and initiatives offered by It’s On CWRU to try and change the current culture of domestic violence on college campuses. If you or someone you know have been affected by sexual violence, their website contains resources to help navigate your experience. With the Mather Center’s work, those at CWRU will hopefully have the support and resources they need.