This task force is a joint venture between Vanderbilt Athletics and Project Safe. Project Safe is located at the Margaret Cuninggim Women’s Center and is the office working to prevent violence against women on Vanderbilt’s campus. Project Safe’s approach includes education, advocacy and response service for victims, and outreach. In the past few years, the number of incidents of violence against women including dating! domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking reported to Project Safe has steadily increased.
The task force with the student-athletes was created in an effort to challenge cultural values that support violence against women and holding accountable individuals who perpetrate these crimes. Whether they choose the status or not, athletes are viewed as leaders on Vanderbilt’s campus. Project Safe knows athletes and students will listen to other athletes, which is why we believe it to be imperative that student-athletes be involved as allies in this movement. Through this task
force, we hope to facilitate the creation of a campus that is safer for all students and one that helps victims and survivors of such violence to seek help and support.
The task force is comprised of at least one member from each team, male and female. The men especially are encouraged to become allies. To our knowledge, this is the first task force involving collegiate athletes working towards preventing violence against women that is made up of both male and female members.
Goals of the Task Force:
-Raising Awareness of student-athletes about the level of men’s verbal, emotional, physical, and sexual abuse of women
-Challenging thinking by countering mainstream messages about gender, sex, and violence
-Opening Dialogue by creating a safe environment for men and women to share their opinions and experiences
-Inspiring Leadership by empowering student-athletes with the tools necessary to achieve change in their respective
Activities of the Athletes Against AssauIt:
-Education and training on issues concerning violence against women, Take Back the Night, These Hands Don’t
Hurt, The Clothesline Project in the Hendrix Room, Mentors in Violence Prevention training, holiday banner for
the women at the YW shelter, info cards about violence against women statistics handed out to student-athletes
-Continuing education and training, campus-wide poster project, PSA’s about domestic violence featuring student-athletes, service activity at the YW center, survivor panel, Body and Sold performance