#safeatwork: Join our Campaign to End Sexual Violence in Academia

The advocacy and communications committee are launching a campaign to fight the pervasive problem of sexual violence against graduate students in STEM academia. Learn more about the campaign below or on the new GQM website, and be sure to co-sign or volunteer for the campaign!

Co-sign the #safeatwork campaign here!

Volunteer to join the #safeatwork campaign here!

Sexual violence is a huge and enduring problem in academia, and graduate students – particularly graduate women – are especially susceptible to abuse. Experiences with sexual harassment and sexual assault among graduate women are common to the point of expectation. The stress and fear which result from the constant threat of mental, emotional, and physical violence turn a place of learning into a hostile environment for many women. Also, since at least 1 in 4 women have been sexual assaulted at some time in their lives prior to graduate school, pursuing an education or career in an often ┬álargely male-dominated field presents an additional set of challenges for these survivors, which are rarely addressed. ┬áThe reporting system for these experiences lets women down again and again, discouraging reporting, taking months or even years to investigate and take action on a case, and centering the interests of the university brand rather than those of the victim.

The #SafeAtWork campaign is a call to arms that encourages graduate women to center the basic right which we deserve and which Title IX protects: our right to be safe at work. We call out sexual violence as an issue which is deeply entrenched in university culture, and which will demand commitment from everyone in the community to combat. We aim to #disrupt this culture and prevent further violence by achieving the following goals:

#brokensilence

Empower women to break the silence around the culture of sexual violence

Unite survivors of sexual violence across schools to create community and ease the isolation that so many survivors experience

Inform and educate the academic community about what constitutes sexual violence and how it is perpetuated in the academic culture

#cleanupyourdepartment

Petition members of the academic administration and faculty to hold their colleagues to higher standards of graduate student education, training, and treatment

Encourage our educators to hold themselves and their peers responsible for disrupting this culture of sexual violence and silence

Encourage the academic community to take action to prevent and correct the injustices that graduate women face everyday in our work environments.

#disrupt

Empower our peers to stand up for themselves and each other

Empower our allies to interrupt harmful behaviors, and to use their influence to move the community towards more healthy and respectful cultural norms

Empower the members of our community to define ourselves by our own thoughts and values, rather than the ever-present threats and pressures of an academic culture that diminishes us.

We deserve healthy, supportive, and most of all SAFE environments in which to pursue our educational and professional goals. Our work will never be done until graduate women are recognized as valued and respected members of our community.

Co-sign the #safeatwork campaign here!

Volunteer to join the #safeatwork campaign here!