Sexual Violence Resources, Support Continue to Grow

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As sexual assault on college campuses continues to be in the national spotlight, Georgia Tech is working to enhance survivor support programs, campus resources, and prevention initiatives to make Tech a safer place for all students.

VOICE, an initiative of the Women’s Resource Center and Office of Health Promotion, spearheads Tech’s advocacy, support, and prevention services. VOICE’s newly revamped website provides information about the definition of various types of sexual violence, contact information for those who have experienced sexual violence or know someone who has, and tips for how to be an engaged member of the campus community on this subject, including ways to prevent sexual violence and policy and legal resources.

The Sexual Violence Task Force convened by President G.P. “Bud” Peterson in April finalized a set of recommendations for the campus in August. Recommendations included mandatory education on sexual violence for all new students, faculty, and staff; the establishment of an office that will focus on sexual violence issues; and implementing a Sexual Violence Survey. Several campus units, including the offices of Strategic Consulting, Campus Services, Student Affairs, and Legal Affairs and Risk Management, are currently reviewing Task Force recommendations and making plans for implementation. Georgia Tech’s new Title IX coordinator will start on campus Nov. 24 and begin working with the campus community to ensure Tech is in compliance with new federal recommendations and regulations.


Getting Involved

All students, faculty, and staff can join the Sexual Violence Prevention Alliance (SVPA), a volunteer group that aims to increase awareness of sexual violence and increase the number of students who seek assistance and utilize campus and community resources. The group represents departments across campus and meets monthly.

“The SVPA is a great way for faculty and staff interested in sexual violence prevention to get involved and learn more about programs and policies on campus,” said Melanie DeMaeyer, coordinator and victim advocate for the Women’s Resource Center. A student subcommittee led by the Student Government Association was added as a branch of the SVPA this year and serves as the “eyes and ears” on campus to provide feedback to campus leadership.

Students also can request VOICE training for their organizations, which gives an introduction to the subject of sexual violence, as well as information on bystander intervention, healthy relationships, consent, sexual violence response, and survivor support.

The VOICE Peer Education Program lets students take the next step of involvement by becoming trained on how to educate others on sexual violence issues and prevention. Peer educators engage in a semester-long training program and make a multisemester commitment to training their peers. The second cohort of peer educators will undergo training this year.

“For someone who understands and really cares about this issue, or someone who knows a survivor and has seen someone go through it, you get a lot of empowering information,” said Brittany Miles, a fourth-year biology major who was part of the first peer educator cohort last year.

The program is not for the faint of heart. Trainees undergo several weeks of meetings and workshops that can be emotionally taxing, but rewarding.

“You get a lot of empowering information and validation from the group — it’s a bunch of other people feeling the same way who want to learn more and see change happen,” she said. 

A new student group, People Against Unwanted Sexual Experiences (PAUSE), is seeking approval as a chartered student organization on campus. This group will also be focused on preventing sexual violence and raising awareness of the issue on campus and is a good way for students to learn more and get involved.

Over the past year, Miles has seen the climate on campus change drastically on this issue. When she started getting involved last year, she felt they were trying to get others to care about the issue; now, people are looking to them as experts.

“The most important thing is to try to understand what’s happening on campus and what leads to the culture that permits sexual violence,” said Miles. “Even if you don’t have time to get involved on a larger scale, trying to change small things in your own way is going to make a difference.”

Those interested in getting involved in any of these opportunities can contact to learn more.


Supporting Survivors

Those with friends, colleagues, or students who have experienced sexual violence should encourage them to contact the Women’s Resource Center, Dean of Students Office, Health Promotion, or Georgia Tech Police Department, all of which are equipped to provide assistance and support.

Faculty and staff members are required to report sexual assaults to Georgia Tech’s Title IX coordinator and can do so through the Confidential Reporting Form (CRF) found online at

“I’d recommend letting the student know that you have an obligation to report the violence, so that they are aware that someone from the Institute will follow up with them to make sure they know their options and are connected to resources for personal and academic support,” DeMaeyer said.

In 2013, many faculty and staff received the Georgia Tech Sexual Violence Response Guide, or “Gold Folder,” in 2013, which also contained the CRF. The folder is designed to equip Tech employees with information on how to assist in the event that a student discloses an incidence of sexual violence, intimate partner violence, or stalking. The folder’s contents are also available at

If a student reports sexual violence, the first thing they should be advised to do is seek a safe place.

“After that, they may want to consider seeking medical treatment or reporting the violence,” said DeMaeyer. “Long term, seeking out supportive resources like counseling or academic support, if they are a student, could be beneficial.”




  • Workflow Status:Published
  • Created By:Kristen Bailey
  • Created:11/24/2014
  • Modified By:Fletcher Moore
  • Modified:10/07/2016