The University of Toledo Title IX Office is continuing to shine a spotlight on Sexual Assault Awareness Month amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Lindsay Tuttle, sexual misconduct prevention education coordinator, set up red flags in Goddard Field on Thursday, March 26 spelling out the number 3,537. It stands for the number of Toledo police reports last year of domestic violence, domestic assault, stalking and violations to protection orders.
The Red Flag Campaign had been planned to be set up in Centennial Mall and run throughout April, which is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. However, Tuttle chose Goddard Field along Bancroft Street to be more visible since campus is empty.
“Normally we put these flags in the high-traffic area of Centennial Mall to encourage people to stop and think about the issue or talk about it,” Tuttle said. “Though we can’t be together in person because of COVID-19, we can bring the conversation online and to residents taking a walk through the neighborhood or driving past campus. Ultimately, we want to encourage people to reinforce their commitment to safety and understand the power of bystander intervention against sexual assault.”
The Red Flag Campaign is rooted in raising awareness of red flags in relationship violence and promoting use of bystander intervention strategy: say something when you see warning signs for sexual assault, dating violence or stalking in a friend’s relationship.
“The goal is to educate and start a conversation with faculty, staff and students about healthy and unhealthy relationships,” Tuttle said.
The Title IX Office also is planning to host events virtually during Sexual Assault Awareness Month, including the art installation titled “What Were You Wearing?” that features a collection of survivors’ stories and recreations of the outfits they were wearing at the time of their assaults.
Organizers are planning several “Bringing In The Bystander” training sessions for people to remotely learn how to safely intervene in instances of sexual violence, relationship violence or stalking.
The Title IX Office is still open during COVID-19, but the staff is working remotely to provide services. The Title IX Office can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional information can be found at utoledo.edu/title-ix.
Students can access additional resources by contacting The Center for Student Advocacy and Wellness or The University Counseling Center. Resources can be found at utoledo.edu/studentaffairs/saepp/resources.html.