Have you ever felt put down by someone’s words?
Have you ever felt physically victimized by a fellow student or professor?
Have you ever felt triggered?
The Texas A&M University-Kingsville Social Work Student Association, Student Government Association, Phi Alpha Honor Society, and Health and Wellness Center teamed up to host a panel discussion focused around the topic of sexual assault.
Karen Royal, director of compliance and interim Title IX coordinator offered valuable insight on the resources provided.
“I’m excited to have our students see the doc (documentary); it’s a strong lesson in how communities react to those who have the courage to speak out. We encourage people to report and we want to help people when we do. We do take reports seriously,” Royal said.
Confidentiality cannot be guaranteed, though pseudonyms can be used. Talk about options and to what extent, she advised.
If a student chooses to withdraw statement due to anonymity concerns, the office has the responsibility to either further pursue, or close the investigation.
Amanda Sanchez, a social work major, spoke to The South Texan about the vulnerable situation women and men can find themselves in when it comes to sexual assault.
The goal is to help victims feel comfortable, take advantage of contacts and ultimately find their voice. Sanchez wanted students to feel empowered knowing that they are not victims, but survivors.
Resources are available to students who have been victimized, such as counseling options through the Health and Wellness Center, criminal reporting, contact information to the national sexual assault hotline (RAINN) and the local women’s shelter.
The Office of Compliance will go as far as making course or dorm modifications if the victim’s aggressor is located in either to make the conditions livable, it was noted.
Maria Iyescas, assistant social work professor in bsw field education director, helped manage the event and introduce counseling services if students are
triggered. “(The) Student Activity Center is here to help make aware this topic that needs to be brought to the forefront. I hope students can open this conversation instead of it being taboo and feel safe and their rights,” Iyescas said.