President's Blog

Turn off the violence

Eliminating sexual violence from our college campuses is on all of us. We all can and must play a role in eradicating this crime that is estimated to victimize an astonishing 1 in 5 college females. We all can work to foster a safe environment. We all can report what we see and hear. And that’s what “Turn Off the Violence Week” is about.

We are dedicating tomorrow’s Freedom and Learning Forum to this pressing issue by welcoming Rosemary Trible to our campus (3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday Oct. 7) in The Hub Ballroom. Rosemary is the president and founder of Fear 2 Freedom, an organization dedicated to healing victims of violence and abuse.

She has a personal story that will shed light on sexual assault and how those affected can go “from victim to victory,” as Rosemary says. She has made this work her life mission, and I greatly look forward to hearing her insights on this issue.

After that presentation, Mason students will assemble “Fear 2 Freedom” after-care kits for distribution to those affected by sexual assault, child abuse, domestic violence and sex trafficking. The 250 kits will supply Student Health Services; Wellness, Alcohol and Violence Education Services and area hospitals.

A program from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Johnson Center Gold Room will address intimate partner violence in a panel format, with survivors and professionals who work with abusers.

Please join us for these events.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe recently named me to his 30-person Task Force on Combating Campus Sexual Violence. This group includes members of law enforcement, educators, forensic nurses, advocates and others. Our goal is to find the best ways to prevent sexual violence on campus. I will keep you updated here on what we learn. I am confident that, by working together, we will find solutions.

Just as a reminder, George Mason University offers services for victims of sexual assault and interpersonal and domestic violence., including:

Wellness, Alcohol and Violence Education Services (WAVES): 703-993-9999

24-hour Sexual and Intimate Partner Violence Crisis Line: 703-380-1434

Campus calls to 9-1-1 reach the University Police Department

Counseling and Psychological Services: 703-993-2380

Student Health: 703-993-2831

Student Support: 703-993-5376

Women and Gender Studies: 703-993-2896

University Life: 703-993-2884