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We are writing to reaffirm, again and always, our commitment to believing and supporting survivors of sexual and interpersonal violence in our OSU community, across all identities and experiences. We recognize that the constant influx of media around campus sexual violence has a significant impact on our community; the recent news might be feeling inescapable, overwhelming, or triggering/activating. You may be holding feelings of anger, sadness, and betrayal. We want to remind you that it is normal to be experiencing any number of feelings surrounding this flood of distressing news about trauma and violence - those reactions are real and they deserve to be acknowledged and taken seriously. Your stories and experiences are valid, and we are here to support you and your healing, no matter how that looks.
No survivor should be made to feel ashamed or invalidated based upon their decision of when or if to disclose their experience. We believe that survivors should always be extended choice and agency around the telling of their story, and we know that a survivor’s experience is not defined by their choice to report. We are concerned about the conflation of reporting and support services: we know that while reporting may be part of your healing process, survivor support extends well beyond that decision. Whether or not you choose to make a report, there are many campus resources available to support you, whatever path forward you decide to take.
We trust you as the expert of your own experience, to know what is best for you in your healing. You are never under an obligation to disclose to anyone as “proof” of your experience, and a decision not to report doesn’t mean that it didn't happen, nor that your story doesn't matter. We also acknowledge that the wholeness and complexity of your experiences, your hurt and humanity and resilience, are not fully captured by the reductive language of “compliance” and “misconduct.” However you define your experience is valid and we support you.
We are committed to creating a campus environment where survivors are supported and where your voices are heard. We will continue to invite the OSU administration, Board of Trustees, and President Alexander into fruitful and action-based discussions around how we can cultivate a campus that centers survivor voice, prioritizes primary prevention efforts, and holds itself and all of us personally and institutionally accountable to our common goal of a violence-free campus community. Transformative change is not only possible, but an absolute imperative.
We recognize that this may be a particularly difficult time to navigate survivorship. There are a number of campus resources dedicated to supporting you. The Survivor Advocacy & Resource Center (SARC) and Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) will be offering a confidential processing space for students on Tuesday March 16th at 1:30pm, as well as a confidential processing space for faculty and staff on Friday, March 19th at 12pm. Please sign up for this space here.
We also want to remind you that all university employees, with the exception of confidential resources (CAPS, SARC, Ombuds, and clinicians at SHS), are responsible for informing the Office of Equal Opportunity and Access (EOA) when they receive a disclosure of interpersonal violence. This, of course, doesn't mean that you can't or shouldn't speak with non-confidential employees - we simply believe you have the right to make an informed choice about how and with whom you share your story.
is a confidential resource that offers on-campus advocacy for all OSU community members affected by any form of sexual violence. Advocates provide crisis intervention,
information about your rights and options on and off campus as a survivor, assistance with safety-planning, and connection to other resources (medical, academic, housing, counseling, etc.). SARC & CAPS also co-host Circle of Support, a weekly drop-in support group for survivors, if you would like to join please reach out to SARC. You can make an appointment with us through our website.
is a confidential resource offering supportive, trauma-informed, survivor-centered counseling. Clinicians on the CAPS Interpersonal Violence Services (IVS) team are here to hold space for you to process your thoughts, feelings, and emotions, no matter where in your healing journey you find yourself.
is a community (off campus) resource in Corvallis offering 24-hour crisis response and support groups for survivors.
a non-confidential resource, provides opportunities to build connections and community. Our programming is currently being offered remotely. To stay up to date on ways to engage with the center we invite you join our listservs and follow us on social media (IG: @osu_wgc; https://www.facebook.com/OSU.HRWGC) In April, we will be collaborating with campus partners on Sexual Assault Awareness Month programming.
a non-confidential resource, for those students and faculty who would like to report their experience of interpersonal violence to the university, you have the option to do so through the EOA website. An anonymous reporting option is available. SARC advocates are also available to help guide you through the university and/or criminal legal (i.e. police) reporting processes, should you decide this is right for you.
We love you, believe you and we are here to advocate with you. We support you in whatever way you choose, every step of the way.