Recent Sexual Assault, 9/8/16

September 8, 2016
Vice President for University Life
4400 University Drive, MS 1C2, Fairfax, Virginia 22030
Phone: 703-993-8760; Fax: 703-993-8745

Dear Patriots ,

By now you should have all received a letter from President Angel Cabrera about the recent
sexual assaults on campus . I want you to know that Mason is committed to ensuring that students
receive the help and support they need in times of crisis. Most importantly, I want to direct you
to the resources on campus that are available for victims of sexual assault and interpersonal
violence.

The Student Support and Advocacy Center is a multifaceted office staffed with professionals
who offer students one-on-one confidential support , interactive prevention and awareness
programming , and on- and off-campus resources. Topic areas include healthy relationships,
stress management, nutrition , sexual assault , dating/domestic violence, stalking, drug and alcohol
use, and sexual health . The center is located in Suite 3200 of SUB I, and the phone number is
703-993-3686. The 24-hour crisis hotline (703-380-1434) serves the Mason community seven
days a week. Visit ssac.gmu.edu for additional information.

There are many ways that you can get involved and increase your understanding of sexual
violence . You can start by taking the Mason Pledge to End Sexual Violence
https://ulife.gmu.edu/pledges/ . I also invite you to participate in the upcoming events, initiatives,
and programs that will enable you to be engaged and action-oriented towards eradicating sexual
assault on campus :

  • Fear to Freedom, September 20, 4:30-7:30 p.m., Johnson Center, Dewberry HallFear
    to Freedom’s mission is twofold: To redeem and restore those wounded by sexual
    assault, bringing them hope and healing; and to change the cultural understanding
    surrounding this issue by empowering college students to “Be the Change” and “Restore
    the Joy.” Participants will assemble hundreds of “Fear 2 Freedom” after-care kits, which
    are essential elements to healing provided for those affected by sexual assault , child
    abuse, domestic violence, and sex trafficking. The kits assembled at Mason will be
    distributed to our own Student Health Services , Student Support and Advocacy Center ,
    and local area hospitals in Fairfax and Prince William counties . For more information and
    to RSVP for this incredible program, visit: http://fear2freedom.onmason.com/ .
  • Take back the Night Rally Against Sexual Assault, October 4, 7:00 pm, Johnson
    Center North Plaza-Take Back the Night is a nationally recognized march against
    domestic violence and sexual assault. The rally has been held annually at Mason for more
    than 20 years. Sponsored by Women and Gender Studies in collaboration with Student
    Government and the Student Support and Advocacy Center, this event gives students the
    opportunity to share their stories as well as participate in the march. Pizza will be served.
    Rain Location: SUB I Patriots Lounge.
  • Peer Advocate Training, October 15-16-The Volunteer Peer Advocate Program
    provides a unique opportunity for a select group of students to gain advanced advocacy,
    crisis intervention, and communication and leadership skills through this volunteer
    position within the Student Support and Advocacy Center. Advocates provide a range of
    services to address the needs of victims ( as well as families/significant others) affected by
    sexual and/or relationship violence. Peer Advocates are trained in a variety of sexual
    violence-related topics and basic crisis intervention skills. If you are interested, please
    call the Student Support and Advocacy Center at 703-993-3686 for the application
    process.
  • Anyone Can Step Up Bystander Training-Learn the ways you and your friends and
    classmates can watch out for one another. AnyOne Can Step UP! is a bystander
    intervention training. You will learn strategies and techniques for interrupting troubling
    dynamics, and for directly and indirectly intervening when necessary. The program ·
    focuses on addressing a range of issues including academic integrity, alcohol abuse,
    anger, depression, discrimination, disordered eating, gambling, hazing, relationship
    abuse, and sexual assault. Student Support and Advocacy Center staff and certified
    students co-facilitate these interactive sessions. Please contact the center at 703-993-3686
    if you are interested in this training. The training is offered to groups as requested.

If you have any questions or concerns related to support for you or a friend related to Sexual
Assault, please see the listed resources:
Confidential Reporting Resources:
Student Support and Advocacy Center    703-993-3686
Counseling and Psychological Services    703-993-2380
Office of the Ombudsman                           703-993-3306
Student Health Services                              703-993-2831
Mason Korea Health Center                       + 82-32-620-0553

Non-Confidential Reporting Resources :
Mason Police                                                  703-993-2810
Title IX Coordinator                                     703-993-8730
Office of Student Conduct                           703-993-6209
Office of Housing and Residence Life      703-993-2720

Off-Campus Resources:
Virginia Family Violence and Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-838-8238
LGBTQ Partner Abuse and Sexual Assault Helpline  1- 866- 356-6998
Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network                  1-800-656-4673
National Domestic Violence Hotline                              1-800- 799-7233

Eradicating sexual assault at George Mason University will take everyone’s help. I ask each of
you to find a way to get involved and stand together. I know some of our students may worry
that coming forward to report sexual violence on campus may put them at risk for student
conduct violations, such as drinking alcohol or consuming drugs. Our policy grants amnesty to
anyone who reports an incident of sexual assault or interpersonal violence, as well as the victims
and witnesses involved.

George Mason University’s top priority is the safety and well-being of our students. It is on all of
us to create an environment that is safe and free of sexual violence.
Thank you,
Rose Pascarell
Vice President for University Life

Posted in Letter from VP.