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In response to a question about the biggest obstacles facing college campuses in addressing sexual violence, students talked about a variety of concerns.
Several observed that campus culture has to be open to combating sexual assault and dating violence.
Lynn Rosenthal, former White House advisor on violence against women and current vice president of strategic partnerships at The Hotline, opened the event with a call to action to the students in the room to engage more deeply with the issues of dating violence and sexual assault. Ray-Jones provided context for the event by describing The Hotline and loveisrespect’s services, drawing attention to the array of tools the organization offers to serve teens and young adults.
Following her remarks, she moderated a panel with nine students from across the District, giving them a chance to provide feedback about their experiences as student activists working on the issues of dating violence and sexual assault.
Thirteen percent of college women say they have been stalked, according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
It is designed to dispel myths and provide information about the prevalence of these issues so that panelists will be as informed as possible about the reality of these offenses.
She suggested Ortiz speak to the dean of students, who offered to set up an informal mediation between Ortiz and her ex.
Informal mediations are prohibited under federal gender equity law Title IX, as well as the University of Chicago’s own policies, even on a voluntary basis, "in matters involving allegations of sexual assault." But Ortiz didn't know that, and the dean who suggested the process didn’t tell her.
On Friday, July 17, university administrators and student activists from across the District of Columbia gathered at Georgetown University for “A Conversation with Katie Ray-Jones, CEO of the National Domestic Violence Hotline” to discuss how schools in DC are already addressing dating violence and sexual assault, what steps still need to be taken and how The Hotline and loveisrespect can be better resources for college campuses.
The event had representation from Georgetown University, George Washington University, American University, Catholic University of America, Howard University, University of District Columbia, and University of Maryland – College Park.