Sexual Violence Prevention Program at James Madison University

Sexual Violence Prevention Program at James Madison University

245 have signed. Let’s get to 500!
Petition to
James Madison University and

Why this petition matters

Started by Olivia Leaman

One in 5 women and one in 16 men are sexually assaulted while in college. Rates of sexual assault and sexual violence among college students are higher than the national rates. This high prevalence places emphasis on the need for policy change and the implementation of prevention methods on campuses. As James Madison University (JMU) students we recognize a need for sex education and sexual violence prevention programs. JMU currently recognizes and utilizes two different sexual misconduct policies; Policy 1346 Title IX Sexual Harassment and Policy 1340 Sexual Misconduct. Additionally, all incoming first-year and transfer undergraduate students are required to complete 3 programs: AlcoholEdu, Sexual Assault Prevention, and Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging. The Sexual Assault Prevention is a fully online training course that students take at their own pace. The current methods of preventing sexual violence on JMU’s campus are neither long duration or comprehensive. The goal of our recommendation is to reduce sexual violence at JMU through the proposing a new sexual violence prevention cirriculum among Greek life and student athletes on campus. The implementation of prevention curriculum will reduce sexual violence across JMU’s campus

The Sexual Violence Prevention Project (SVPP) is a sexual violence prevention curriculum that is utilized by Dartmouth University. The curriculum is required of the entire student body and is stretched across a four year experience. Dartmouth University has only developed the curriculum for up to two years. This curriculum should act as a guide for sexual violence prevention at JMU. This curriculum will be utilized and required among JMU students who are members of the athletic community and of greek life. JMU does not currently require students to participate in a comprehensive, long duration sexual violence prevention program. While it is valuable to implement the curriculum across the entirety of the student body, it is more feasible to begin with the student leaders and expand the prevention program gradually.

The first year experience will provide students with foundational knowledge, promote community, set behavioral expectations and standards, and describe the rights, rules, responsibilities, and resources of students. The first year experience will consist of a survey, a pre-arrival online course, an introduction to sexual violence prevention, and four first year sessions. When considering health, the following programs can take place online but should be considered being moved to in person instruction when safe.The survey can be independently created or adapted from Dartmouth University’s Culture, Behavior, and Experiences Survey. This survey should include questions specific to student’s attitudes and experiences regarding friendships, relationships, community responsibility, bystander intervention, sexual violence, and more. The second experience should happen before student arrival and at new student orientation. Before becoming an athletic member or member of Greek Life, students should complete Everfi’s Sexual Assault Prevention for Undergraduates online program. For orientation students should complete an online program that introduces SVPP and describes expectations of the program. The third experience consists of four sessions that are spread across a year. The sessions describe sexual violence resources, relationship goals, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and assist students in recognizing moments of potential harm. 

The second year experience will provide students with opportunities to apply the knowledge and skills learned in the previous year with their own lived experiences. The second year experience will consist of a survey, four second year sessions, and a summer common experience. The survey should be the same as the previous year and will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of the program. The four sessions are spread across the year in a similar manner as the first year experience. The second year sessions should describe bystander initiatives; positive relationships and sex; resources and support; and power and equity. The second year experience will be concluded with a summer common experience. This experience should not be required but provide students with an opportunity to connect and reflect on their experiences.

SVPP will be adopted and implemented by the JMU office of Victim Advocacy Services in collaboration with JMU Fraternity and Sorority Life as well as the JMU Athletics Administration. The JMU Wellness Center and the Title IX office can also serve as supportive resources and advocates for the program. The office of Victim Advocacy Services will be responsible for making contact with the SVPP core team at Dartmouth in order to receive guidance and training in implementing the program. The program will then be adapted by the office in order to apply to a smaller scale trial with Greek life organizations and student athletes on campus.






245 have signed. Let’s get to 500!