by Alexandra Huzyk ’20
Throughout the month of February, Providence College will be holding training sessions on sexual assault, hosted and conducted by a Rhode Island agency called Day One. The training is open to all members of the PC community, as well as anyone else in the area who is interested.
Day One is an agency that seeks to reduce sexual abuse and support those who are affected. Day One states on their website, “We provide treatment, intervention, education, advocacy, and prevention services to Rhode Islanders of all ages—from preschool children to elder adults.”
Along with these services, Day One approaches the problem of sexual abuse in a transformative manner by advocating for systemic changes like public policy initiatives.
Day One recognizes the seriousness of sexual assault on college campuses and works with schools like PC to train students and to initiate dialogue amongst the community.
Dr. James Campbell, assistant vice president for student development and compliance, says that the agency periodically offers these trainings, which “prepare volunteers to serve on the Day One Helpline or serve as advocates for assault victims.”
“We believe it would be a good experience for students who may be interested in serving victims of sexual assault and domestic violence,” said Dr. Campbell.
The training itself will educate on gender-based violence, such as the various types of sexual abuse and violence, which is defined by Day One as something that “occurs any time a person is forced, coerced, and/or manipulated into any unwanted sexual activity. Force is not just physical force or violence, but includes physical and verbal pressure, tricks, bribes, and threats.”
Other topics that will be covered during this training are the different resources available to students and the rights of students under acts such as Title IX, which is coordinated at PC by Dr. Campbell.
Brianna O’Shaughnessy ’19 is the founder of RISE (Reclaim-Inform-Support-Empower) and hopes that “this training will provide students with the basic knowledge and tools to use so they may engage in action and activism on their own and in their own way and continually learn and improve their understanding of this topic.”
RISE is “a student run sexual assault education and action group working with survivors, allies, administration, and all students to work towards solutions for sexual violence on campus.”
O’Shaughnessy says she was inspired to create this group after her study abroad experience, where she realized that many others schools had this type of an outlet and resource available for their students.
Upon her return to the College, O’Shaughnessy decided to create this group in order to inspire action and change on the College’s campus. “We are dedicated to creating a space where survivors can be supported and can reclaim their voice and be empowered,” says O’Shaughnessy.
If any students are interested in joining RISE, email email@example.com or follow the group’s Instagram (@providencecollegerise).