After two weeks of raising awareness and dispensing useful information, Rocky Vista University wrapped up its annual Violence Education and Prevention (VEP) campaign. Highlighted by a four-part lecture series, the informative symposium is in its fourth year.
Created by the RVU Safety and Security Department, VEP is an informal yet valuable way of bringing an uncomfortable topic into the mainstream. “It’s not an individual’s responsibility to keep our students safe, it’s up to the whole university,” said Andrew Stevens, RVU’s Security Supervisor and coordinator of the VEP program.
A panel discussion opened the lecture series on April 16th. Jennifer Roger-Flynn from the Parker Police Department, Matt McMaster OMS I, Kade Rucker, NCC, LPCC, Counselor, and Mr. Stevens, exchanged ideas and suggestions on how to recognize and report domestic violence and stalking.
Two more presentations followed on the 18th and the 25th, when Detective Tyler Herman of Parker Police and Michelle Metz, RN, Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner with Denver Health, discussed stalking and the rigors of victim examination, respectively. During these lectures, direct and oftentimes blunt information was shared in an effort to educate the attendees on the grim realities of abuse.
The series concluded on April 26th with a panel discussion pertaining to sexual assault and consent. SD McMaster and Mr. Rucker were once again on the panel along with Laura Dement, Title IX Coordinator/Compliance Specialist, and Jennifer Walker from the Crisis Center.
RVU’s Southern Utah campus hosted an event of its own on April 13th, when Cheli Webb (Clinical Mental Health Coordinator from the Southwest Behavioral Center) spoke to the students. The RVU Colorado events were live-streamed to Utah, as well.
Prior to the VEP campaign, colorful displays with informational materials and giveaways were placed at the school’s main entrances in order to draw attention to the importance of violence prevention and education. Students and RVU employees were also given the opportunity to share their thoughts which were displayed on posters around campus.
As the prevalence of sexual assault becomes more widely known and addressed, many wonder how they can help victims or prevent more incidences from happening. “Report, report, report,” said Mr. Stevens, “Resources are available!” While the complete eradication of domestic violence and sexual assault is still a long way off, tools like the VEP Program help bring that dream closer to reality.