One in five women is sexually assaulted while in college. The College of Charleston’s “It’s Your Place” campaign launched on October 15, 2014, to increase awareness of sexual misconduct and promote bystander intervention. Researchers developed a multimedia campaign that empowers campus and community members to become informed, empowered and active bystanders.
The campaign aims to increase sexual misconduct awareness by providing opportunities for candid discussions and increasing recognition and reporting of sexual assault. The goal of the campaign is to increase bystander intervention by building a safe community with training, education and resources to increase awareness and mastery of bystander intervention techniques. The campaign fosters a culture of bystander intervention through traditional and new media.
The College of Charleston’s Division of Student Affairs led the creation of the campaign through a collaboration between multiple on- and off-campus partners, including the Women’s Health Research Team, Office of Victim Services, Sexual Misconduct Committee, Public Safety, Title IX Coordinator, the Colonial Academic Alliance, People Against Rape and the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). Students provided input on each stage of campaign research, development and implementation.
The campaign involved formative research, including eight focus groups with college women and men, to assess knowledge, attitudes and behaviors related to sexual misconduct, such as sexual assault or rape, sexual harassment, intimate partner violence and stalking. These findings were used to develop campaign strategies, communication channels and messages, including “It’s your place to prevent sexual assault: You’re not ruining a good time.” and “It’s your campus. It’s your city. It’s your place.” The College of Charleston envisions an engaged campus and community empowered with the tools to be active bystanders, in order to create a safe, happy and healthy environment for all.
The campaign employs peer-to-peer facilitation and training, as well as traditional and new media platforms to reach young adults. The multimedia campaign includes ongoing prevention promotion. Posters with QR codes linked to the campaign’s online presence provide an important link between traditional and new media. The campaign’s first YouTube video depicts a fictional scenario leading to a sexual assault and provides opportunities and strategies for how and when to intervene in a real-life situation.
VIDEO: Watch the It’s Your Place video.
The second YouTube video targets a wider audience, including campus and community members of all ages. This video features well-known campus and community members, including President Glenn McConnell, Coach Earl Grant, and Chief Greg Mullen, among others, supporting the campaign’s central theme – It’s Your Place.