In the Red Zone: How to Prevent Sexual Assault

The Center for Health Education and Wellness wants the university community to help change the statistics of sexual assault on college campuses.

redzoneRed Zone is a term commonly used to describe the period in the fall semester when students are statistically more at risk for sexual assault. Students are in the Red Zone now, from the start of school until Thanksgiving break.

The Red Zone can be unique to a social group and may take place at different time of  year. Social activities, traditions, and events contribute to students’ at-risk phase.

Pop-up Red Zone installations will be around campus through the month of September. The pop-up includes an interactive Red Zone where students can sign a pledge, learn the facts, and receive a “Does Not Mean Yes” t-shirt to be worn on Tuesdays in September.

consent1Faculty and staff have an important role to play in a culture that truly lives up to the “Vols Help Vols” culture. Sexual assault is a community-wide issue. Faculty and staff can support students by knowing the resources on campus where students can access support or request training. Faculty can incorporate active learning opportunities related to changing the statistics through classroom discussion, assignments, projects, or attending events.

National Institute of Justice research show that 75 to 80 percent of sexual assaults are committed by an acquaintance, non-stranger, classmate, or friend. More than 20 percent of female undergraduates experience an attempted or completed sexual assault during their college careers.

How can students, faculty, and staff change the statistics? Ask for Consent, become an Active Bystander, and get involved to change the culture.

Being an active bystander means trusting oneself when something doesn’t feel right. An active bystander evaluates options, assumes responsibility, and acts appropriately. It is important that an active bystander keep their own safety in mind when responding to a situation. There are five steps to being an active bystander.

  1. Trust the Voice Within Yourself
  2. Acknowledge the Situation
  3. Evaluate Your Options
  4. Assume Responsibility
  5. Respond Appropriately

Sexual Empowerment and Awareness at Tennessee (SEAT) is hosting a workshop series today through Friday to discuss issues of sexual assault both generally and specifically to campus. Students can attend workshop sessions that cover the following topics: UT Administration Response, healthy sexuality, masculinity, mock trail, and national campus climates.

Learn more about sexual assault and UT’s policy on Sexual Misconduct, Relationship Violence, and Stalking.