10 Student Sexual Assault Activists to Know!: #3: Kate Sim, Harvard University

10 Student Sexual Assault Activists to Know!

Throughout the course of the last year, we at SAFER have proudly watched numerous student sexual assault prevention activists speak out against the prevalence of sexual assault on their campuses and call for changes to college and universities policies regarding sexual violence.

In honor of Sexual Assault ACTIVISM Month, SAFER will highlight 10 student sexual assault prevention activists around the nation who are creating change on their campus!

# 3 Kate Sim, Harvard University

Left: Kate Sim ’14

Kate Sim is a student at Harvard University and founder of Our Harvard Can Do Better, which is a student activist organization working on the college, university and national level to advocate for survivor-centric, intersectionally inclusive reform of sexual violence policies. Sim, along with her fellow Harvard Activists, filed a Title IX complaint against Harvard after members of the faculty mistreated survivors and after activists discovered that the University’s current sexual assault policy is over twenty years old. In addition to her work with Our Harvard, Sims is active with Know Your IX.

SAFER provides student activists with a variety of resources, including the Activist Resource Center, which is our online library of sexual assault-related information and resources; on-campus Teach-Ins for student activists, which are led by skilled facilitators and equip students with the skills and information needed to bring about policy reforms and change; and, our Activist Mentoring Program (AMP!), which is our free mentoring service that provides students with continued support after they have completed an on-campus Teach-In.

    10 Student Sexual Assault Activists to Know!: #2 Members of Brandeis Students Against Sexual Violence, Brandeis University

    10 Student Sexual Assault Activists to Know!

    Throughout the course of the last year, we at SAFER have proudly watched numerous student sexual assault prevention activists speak out against the prevalence of sexual assault on their campuses and call for changes to college and universities policies regarding sexual violence.

    In honor of Sexual Assault ACTIVISM Month, SAFER will highlight 10 student sexual assault prevention activists around the nation who are creating change on their campus!

    #2. Members of Brandeis Students Against Sexual Violence, Brandeis University

    Students at Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts, published a Change.org petition calling on their administrators to create a stronger, survivor-oriented sexual assault policy after a Tumblr entitled “SpeakOut! Brandeis” was published with the goal of promoting awareness of the prevalence of sexual assault and harassment on campus, and allow those affected by it to anonymously share their stories.

    SAFER provides student activists with a variety of resources, including the Activist Resource Center, which is our online library of sexual assault-related information and resources; on-campus Teach-Ins for student activists, which are led by skilled facilitators and equip students with the skills and information needed to bring about policy reforms and change; and, our Activist Mentoring Program (AMP!), which is our free mentoring service that provides students with continued support after they have completed an on-campus Teach-In.

      10 Student Sexual Assault Activists to Know!: #1 John Kelly, Tufts University

      Throughout the course of the last year, we at SAFER have proudly watched numerous student sexual assault prevention activists speak out against the prevalence of sexual assault on their campuses and call for changes to college and universities policies regarding sexual violence.

      In honor of Sexual Assault ACTIVISM Month, SAFER will highlight 10 student sexual assault prevention activists around the nation who are creating change on their campus!

      #1 John Kelly, Tufts University

      John Kelly, SA Prevention Activist, on the right at an ED ACT NOW Protest. 

      John Kelly is junior at Tufts University in Boston, Massachusetts, who, after experiencing first-hand the inadequacies of his institution’s sexual assault policy and disciplinary process became an activist with ED ACT NOW and Know Your IX and has advocated for Tufts to change their sexual assault policies and disciplinary procedures. As a male, queer survivor of sexual assault, John has worked to ensure sexual violence against men and members of the LGBTQ community are included in conversations and activism around campus sexual assault.

       

      SAFER provides student activists with a variety of resources, including the Activist Resource Center, which is our online library of sexual assault-related information and resources; on-campus Teach-Ins for student activists, which are led by skilled facilitators and equip students with the skills and information needed to bring about policy reforms and change; and, our Activist Mentoring Program (AMP!), which is our free mentoring service that provides students with continued support after they have completed an on-campus Teach-In.

        10 Things All Sexual Violence Prevention Activists Should Know: #10 Meeting People Where They Are

        10 Things All Sexual Violence Prevention Activists Should Know

        By Jessica Torres

        April is Sexual Assault ACTIVISM Month and in honor of all the hard work that has been done and will be done by college sexual assault prevention activists, SAFER has put together a “Top 10 Things All Sexual Violence Prevention Activists Should Know.” We will be posting one of the ten ideas/suggestions/concepts each day for the first ten days of #SAAM. Please check our blog and our social media for each day’s idea!

        Systems and traditions that allow and reinforce rape culture don’t exist in a vacuum; rape culture is informed by everyday microaggressions, historic disenfranchisement of specific groups (like women, LGBT folks, and people of color), and quite frankly, it’s a symptom of larger problems we often don’t have the language to discuss. Here are 10 things that all sexual violence prevention activists should know and consider as they further their efforts to build stronger and long-lasting policies that both reflect and challenge the needs and understanding of sexual assault for students on college campuses.

        #10 Meeting People Where They Are

         

        -avoid living in the Ivory Tower. Buzzwords aren’t everything, contextualize your work in a way that benefits everyone participating in the conversation.

        -folks are allowed to enter the movement regardless of how literate they are in the issues. Provide educational opportunities for folks who want to learn, invite them in and challenge people to think critically about where they stand.

          10 Things All Sexual Violence Prevention Activists Should Know: #9 Realizing there’s no “one-size-fits-all” solution

          10 Things All Sexual Violence Prevention Activists Should Know

          By Jessica Torres

          April is Sexual Assault ACTIVISM Month and in honor of all the hard work that has been done and will be done by college sexual assault prevention activists, SAFER has put together a “Top 10 Things All Sexual Violence Prevention Activists Should Know.” We will be posting one of the ten ideas/suggestions/concepts each day for the first ten days of #SAAM. Please check our blog and our social media for each day’s idea!

          Systems and traditions that allow and reinforce rape culture don’t exist in a vacuum; rape culture is informed by everyday microaggressions, historic disenfranchisement of specific groups (like women, LGBT folks, and people of color), and quite frankly, it’s a symptom of larger problems we often don’t have the language to discuss. Here are 10 things that all sexual violence prevention activists should know and consider as they further their efforts to build stronger and long-lasting policies that both reflect and challenge the needs and understanding of sexual assault for students on college campuses.

          9. Realizing there’s no “one-size-fits-all” solution

          -every institution has its own unique cultural issues that need to be addressed. So while it’s useful to compare notes, remember to tailor your demands to what your specific community needs.

          -be sure to push for a policy that grows with the needs of the community. If there isn’t a process to amend policy, push for that! And be sure to clearly highlight who to go to when it’s time to do so.

            10 Things All Sexual Violence Prevention Activists Should Know: #8 Garnering outside community support

            10 Things All Sexual Violence Prevention Activists Should Know

            By Jessica Torres

            April is Sexual Assault ACTIVISM Month and in honor of all the hard work that has been done and will be done by college sexual assault prevention activists, SAFER has put together a “Top 10 Things All Sexual Violence Prevention Activists Should Know.” We will be posting one of the ten ideas/suggestions/concepts each day for the first ten days of #SAAM. Please check our blog and our social media for each day’s idea!

            Systems and traditions that allow and reinforce rape culture don’t exist in a vacuum; rape culture is informed by everyday microaggressions, historic disenfranchisement of specific groups (like women, LGBT folks, and people of color), and quite frankly, it’s a symptom of larger problems we often don’t have the language to discuss. Here are 10 things that all sexual violence prevention activists should know and consider as they further their efforts to build stronger and long-lasting policies that both reflect and challenge the needs and understanding of sexual assault for students on college campuses.

            8. Garnering outside community support

            -connect with local community members like small business owners, local activist groups, etc. Their understanding of the political landscape in the larger community is a critical asset for your movement’s sustainability

            -if there are more colleges in your area, connect with them! Learn what kinds of strategies they’ve explored and exchange ideas. A great activist is always researching and building relationships with others.

            -we’re talking about building safer communities for everyone, who isn’t into that?

              10 Things All Sexual Violence Prevention Activists Should Know: #7 Building a sustainable movement that lasts beyond when vocal leaders graduate

              10 Things All Sexual Violence Prevention Activists Should Know

              By Jessica Torres

              April is Sexual Assault ACTIVISM Month and in honor of all the hard work that has been done and will be done by college sexual assault prevention activists, SAFER has put together a “Top 10 Things All Sexual Violence Prevention Activists Should Know.” We will be posting one of the ten ideas/suggestions/concepts each day for the first ten days of #SAAM. Please check our blog and our social media for each day’s idea!

              Systems and traditions that allow and reinforce rape culture don’t exist in a vacuum; rape culture is informed by everyday microaggressions, historic disenfranchisement of specific groups (like women, LGBT folks, and people of color), and quite frankly, it’s a symptom of larger problems we often don’t have the language to discuss. Here are 10 things that all sexual violence prevention activists should know and consider as they further their efforts to build stronger and long-lasting policies that both reflect and challenge the needs and understanding of sexual assault for students on college campuses.

              7. Building a sustainable movement that lasts beyond when vocal leaders graduate

              -make sure you reach out to newly matriculated students. Explain very clearly why they should care; sexual assault will impact all of us in immeasurable ways, oftentimes, without ever going away.

              -build institutional memory, share your wealth of knowledge with anyone who may be interested in exchanging ideas in an easy, user-friendly, accessible space. That may be as simple as a curated Facebook page, a Tumblr, a blog, or even submitting articles to your school’s paper.

              -document everything in some form of a database, this includes victories, big and small, as well as communications with key figures.

              -diversify your leadership. Don’t just include the usual suspects as it will make the movement feel niche or unrelatable.

              -learn your history! By placing your work in the context of your school’s activist history, you can take notes on what has or hasn’t worked before. And those who will come after you can do the same.

               

                10 Things All Sexual Violence Prevention Activists Should Know: Two-fer Tuesday!

                10 Things All Sexual Violence Prevention Activists Should Know

                By Jessica Torres

                April is Sexual Assault ACTIVISM Month and in honor of all the hard work that has been done and will be done by college sexual assault prevention activists, SAFER has put together a “Top 10 Things All Sexual Violence Prevention Activists Should Know.” We will be posting one of the ten ideas/suggestions/concepts each day for the first ten days of #SAAM. Please check our blog and our social media for each day’s idea!

                Systems and traditions that allow and reinforce rape culture don’t exist in a vacuum; rape culture is informed by everyday microaggressions, historic disenfranchisement of specific groups (like women, LGBT folks, and people of color), and quite frankly, it’s a symptom of larger problems we often don’t have the language to discuss. Here are 10 things that all sexual violence prevention activists should know and consider as they further their efforts to build stronger and long-lasting policies that both reflect and challenge the needs and understanding of sexual assault for students on college campuses.

                5. Measuring success

                -plan your next 10 steps as thoroughly as possible, the big picture will come together only if you commit to this mentality. The only way up a mountain is to climb 10 steps at a time.

                -live for the seemingly small successes because they matter too. They create the opportunities for deeper impact. Build an arsenal of proven facts.

                -failure is also normal, that’s why those ten steps are so important.

                -remember that successful movements of any kind do not have a continuous forward momentum. You may win a big victory or get a large public outpouring of support for your cause, and then things will cool off for a while. Do not get discouraged in the cooling off period, this is exactly what is supposed to happen. Take stock of your new resources and start to plan again for the next challenge.

                6. Building relationships with unexpected allies and stakeholders

                -connect with department heads, alumni, and local community members. These folks will most likely be, or have been around, longer than you.

                -don’t just preach to the choir!

                -make sure their needs are included and represented, everyone is a stakeholder. If folks can’t see themselves in your cause, it’ll be harder for them to understand why it matters. As Simon Sinek said in his TEDx talk, people follow why not what you do.

                -reach out early asking for a low level of commitment. This will put you and your efforts on the radar so when you need a higher level of commitment you already have your foot in the door.

                  10 Things All Sexual Assault Prevention Activists Should Know: #4 Self-Preservation

                  10 Things All Sexual Violence Prevention Activists Should Know

                  By Jessica Torres

                  April is Sexual Assault ACTIVISM Month and in honor of all the hard work that has been done and will be done by college sexual assault prevention activists, SAFER has put together a “Top 10 Things All Sexual Violence Prevention Activists Should Know.” We will be posting one of the ten ideas/suggestions/concepts each day for the first ten days of #SAAM. Please check our blog and our social media for each day’s idea!

                  Systems and traditions that allow and reinforce rape culture don’t exist in a vacuum; rape culture is informed by everyday microaggressions, historic disenfranchisement of specific groups (like women, LGBT folks, and people of color), and quite frankly, it’s a symptom of larger problems we often don’t have the language to discuss. Here are 10 things that all sexual violence prevention activists should know and consider as they further their efforts to build stronger and long-lasting policies that both reflect and challenge the needs and understanding of sexual assault for students on college campuses.

                  4. Self-preservation

                  -check in with yourself regularly and with others; seriously make time for yourself every day, even if it’s just 10 minutes, sit in silence. Be in your head. Reflect. Heal. This is triggering, dark, and emotional work: you’re allowed to be human.

                  -connect with your fellow activists on a personal level. It’s okay to be friends-that’s how you understand the decisions they make and the driving factors behind their activism.

                  -understand your capacity and be honest about how much you can manage. Being a student is a full-time job already, respect your boundaries and be sure not to sacrifice other aspects of your life. This work is important, but so is your mental health.

                  -seek support like long-term counseling and if you’re triggered, allow yourself to be present in that pain. It takes immense amounts of strength and courage to allow ourselves to be vulnerable; it’s normal to be vulnerable because it helps you become stronger.

                  -don’t allow negative people to rent space in your head. It’s okay to eliminate toxic personalities or groups from your personal or activist space. Anyone who makes you feel inferior or that your ideas are not of value are not the kind of individual(s) you want to focus your energies on.

                    10 Things All Sexual Violence Prevention Activists Should Know: #3 Managing Conflicting Personalities or Methods

                    10 Things All Sexual Violence Prevention Activists Should Know

                    By Jessica Torres

                    April is Sexual Assault ACTIVISM Month and in honor of all the hard work that has been done and will be done by college sexual assault prevention activists, SAFER has put together a “Top 10 Things All Sexual Violence Prevention Activists Should Know.” We will be posting one of the ten ideas/suggestions/concepts each day for the first ten days of #SAAM. Please check our blog and our social media for each day’s idea!

                    Systems and traditions that allow and reinforce rape culture don’t exist in a vacuum; rape culture is informed by everyday microaggressions, historic disenfranchisement of specific groups (like women, LGBT folks, and people of color), and quite frankly, it’s a symptom of larger problems we often don’t have the language to discuss. Here are 10 things that all sexual violence prevention activists should know and consider as they further their efforts to build stronger and long-lasting policies that both reflect and challenge the needs and understanding of sexual assault for students on college campuses.

                    3. Managing conflicting personalities or methods

                    -find ways to connect with other members of the movement who you may be having a difficult time working with, on a personal level.

                    -finding an impartial and trusted mediator when things get too heated, this may be a professor, a member of a multicultural center staff or some other non-biased party .

                    -actively listen to what others are saying, don’t just think about the next thing you’d like to say.

                    -doing more does not mean that you get more, and being louder than other folks in the room does not entitle you to a leadership role.

                    -remember, you’re working towards the same goals. Don’t let egos and personal politics harm your movement’s potential to bring about meaningful change because a divided front will hurt your movement’s credibility.