Obviously, we at SAFER appreciate that with the increased federal attention to the issue of campus sexual violence, increased media attention has followed. More stories heard—and more survivors given the opportunity to speak out—means that more assaults will be reported, more activists will be driven to action, more schools will feel the pressure to respond, and more policymakers and other stakeholders will take note. But the media has this funny way of not getting things quite right.
Over on our blog, Twe, one of our Board members, has been taking the media to task for the lack of representation of survivors of color and the focus on black male perpetrators. Check out her posts, and think about representation of the issue on your own campus. Are there only white women pictured on your awareness materials and health center pamphlets? The images we choose and the stories we choose to tell are usually indicators of our values. It’s no surprise that the media focuses on white victims and black perpetrators. But what about our communities?