One in seven women and one in sixteen men will be sexually assaulted while in college (National Sexual Violence Resource Center, 2015). Statistics also show that domestic violence is most common among women between the ages of 18 and 24 (WEAVE, 2022a). More than ever, colleges need to take seriously normalizing conversations on sexual violence, and they need to commit to action for education, support, and prevention. Sexual violence prevention programs should be established on every California community college campus.
In spring of 2015, the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges (ASCCC) passed Resolution 13.01, stating that the ASCCC should “work with the Chancellor’s Office and other system partners to develop and distribute guidelines to assist with developing and implementing effective anti-sexual assault and violence prevention programs at their colleges.”  In the years since, several colleges have put programs into place, but all colleges should have done so. Faculty can help move to action on their campuses by becoming aware of the insidious prevalence of sexual assault, domestic abuse both physical and otherwise, and relationship violence that students may experience, or may have experienced in their lives, on their campuses, at home, or elsewhere.
Sexual assault, sexual violence, relationship violence, sexual harassment, and stalking are topics that many faculty may want to turn away from, and they may even think these things are not happening to anyone they know, especially not to their students. However, sexual violence can affect anyone. Perhaps the student who was completely engaged one semester and then completely disengaged the next might be that person. Consider these statistics (WEAVE, 2022a and WEAVE, 2022b):
- One in two women have experienced sexual violence victimization at some point in their lives.
- One in five men have experienced sexual violence victimization at some point in their lives.
- Every 107 seconds, another American is sexually assaulted. 
- 17.7 million American women have been victims of an attempted or completed rape.
- Only 36% of all rape victims ever report the crime to the police.
- 57% of teens know someone who has been physically, sexually, or verbally abusive in a dating relationship.
- 43% of dating college women reported experiencing abusive behaviors from their partners.
WHAT FACULTY SHOULD LOOK FOR
Data from the Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Misconduct administered at the University of Southern California in 2019 shows that the types of consequences resulting from sexual violence for students may range from difficulty concentrating to decreased attendance and actual withdrawal (University of Southern California, n.d.). General consequences may include avoidance of the attacker, feelings of helplessness, fearfulness of safety, and withdrawal from social interactions. If faculty notice a change in their students, they should reach out to them, support them, and withhold judgment. Students need someone to listen and to provide resources. They need their colleges to have programs ready for them.
All colleges should have a sexual violence prevention program to support students. Sharing model programs, collaborations, and information to know what is happening on other campuses across the state is important. The following are brief program descriptions from East Los Angeles College and the Los Rios Community College District, both of whom are investing in campus sexual violence prevention and intervention programs. As these examples show, community colleges and districts that are doing great things to support students with prevention and intervention programs often collaborate with community organizations:
- WEAVE at Los Rios 
The Los Rios Community College District partners with WEAVE to strengthen resources for its students on the four campuses in the Sacramento area and to offer choices for help. WEAVE provides an employee who acts as a confidential advocate for students and does the following:
- Spends one day each week on each campus.
- Provides resources, options in reporting, and support in making a report.
- Provides classroom education focusing on healthy versus unhealthy relationships, consent, and sexual assault.
Ideally, the advocate would also collaborate with faculty and academic senates and with student senates and associations.
- East LA Community College SAAVE
- East Los Angeles Community College established the Sexual Assault and Violence Education (SAAVE) team and program, which provides education, workshops, and resources to students.
- SAAVE is tasked with raising awareness, educating, and supporting students about the different forms abuse and violence can take to help give hope and to help students not live in fear, gain confidence to speak up, not accept excuses, and make informed decisions.
- East Los Angeles College partners with the community-based East Los Angeles Women’s Center  to provide a variety of classroom visits, outreach, counseling, and workshops for students.
WHAT ELSE CAN FACULTY DO?
- Openly discuss and publicize sexual violence issues and support. April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. This event is an opportunity to normalize the conversation about sexual violence in classrooms, whether online or in person.
- Find out what is in place on campus to advocate for and protect students and faculty from sexual assault and abuse.
- Reassure students that they have protection from violence and harm and point them to resources and programs at the college or in the community.
- Attend local academic senate meetings and ask to have information presented about sexual violence prevention programs.
What faculty should not do is let this important issue rest. Students and colleagues need support when confronted with sexual violence. Faculty and colleges need to work to ensure that the necessary resources are in place on all campuses.
National Sexual Violence Resource Center. (2015). Statistics About Sexual Violence.
United States Department of Justice. (n.d.). Sexual Assault. Office on Violence Against Women. https://www.justice.gov/ovw/sexual-assault.
University of Southern California. (n.d.) Highlights from the 2019 AAU Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct. https://about.usc.edu/files/2019/10/USC_Data-Spotlight_2019AAU.pdf.
WEAVE. (2022a). Domestic Violence. When Everyone Acts Violence Ends, https://www.weaveinc.org/get-informed-domestic-violence.
WEAVE. (2022b). Sexual Assault. When Everyone Acts Violence Ends, https://www.weaveinc.org/get-informed-sexual-assault
1. The full text of Resolution 13.01 S15 is available at https://asccc.org/resolutions/system-wide-collaboration-violence-preven…
2. The definition of sexual assault according to the U.S. Department of Justice is “any nonconsensual sexual act as proscribed by federal, tribal, or state law, including when the victim lacks capacity to consent” (United States Department of Justice, n.d.).
3. WEAVE began as Women Escaping a Violent Environment but has shifted the acronym meaning to When Everyone Acts Violence Ends. To reach out to a confidential WEAVE advocate at any LRCCC, call (916) 568-3011 or email WEAVE [at] losrios.edu.
4. East Los Angeles Women’s Center’s mission is to ensure that all women, girls, and their families live in a place of safety, health, and personal well-being, free from violence and abuse, with equal access to necessary health services and social support, with an emphasis on Latino communities. More information can be found at https://www.elawc.org/. Their crisis hotline is (800) 585-6231.