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University Life

Be Part of the Solution

We all have the power to contribute positively to a healthier and safer campus culture. Below you will find simple ways you can support survivors and promote our core values of Caring, Respect and Impact. You will also find opportunities for programs and leadership in this area.

Join the Coordinated Community Response Team (CCRT)

Bentley's Coordinated Community Response Team is a multidisciplinary team of students, faculty, staff alumni and community partners who strive to eliminate gender-based violence at Bentley University. Utilizing a trauma-informed and survivor-centered framework, we leverage the strengths of our community to build our collective capacity and sustain a safer campus culture. The CCRT meets monthly, engages in regular training, conducts community research, informs survivor resources and participates in summer work group projects. Email to learn more.

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Relationship + Sexual Violence Prevention Educators

The Relationship + Sexual Violence Prevention Educators (RSVPs) are a team of student leaders who work to educate and engage students about sexual assault prevention, dating violence and healthy relationships, consent and more by facilitating dialogue, workshops and events on campus. RSVPs work out of the Office of Wellness & Health Promotion. You can contact to learn more about the role or to request a program.

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Bringing in the Bystander Trainings

Bringing in the Bystander trainings are designed to increase participants' confidence and skillset in order to intervene safely before, during or after an incident. These trainings are 90 minutes in length and facilitated by teams of students and staff. You can email to request a training.

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Responding to Disclosure trainings

Trainings are available for faculty and staff who want to learn how to be more caring responders in order to support students on campus. Trainings are offered almost monthly and coordinated by the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. They are facilitated by the Director of Prevention Programs from REACH Beyond Domestic Violence.

During the Fall of 2021, we will be working to build out a peer delivered training for students. 

In addition to getting involved in one of the above initiatives, community members can also:

Model consent in all interactions

From borrowing a shirt from a peer down the hall to navigating when lights go out in your dorm room, consent is necessary. 

Here are a few easy phrases you can say to initiate dialogue around consent for almost any topic.

"Is it alright with you if I..."
"I really like _____ do you"
"Are you okay with this?"

Confront sexist comments, jokes or norms of entitlement

When not confronted, sexist jokes, comments and norms of entitlement facilitate space that is permissive of sexual violence and gender-based harassment. Think of interpersonal violence along a continuum or pyramid where comments and jokes sit at the foundation of that pyramid.  Confronting sexist comments, jokes and inappropriate norms, knocks out that foundation so that more egregious behaviors are not supported in our community.

Here are a few easy things to say when you here a comment or joke that is harmful:

"That's not funny"
"What do you mean by that?"
"When you say things like that, it hurts others"

Intervene when you see potential for harm or injustice

98% of Bentley students would want a peer to intervene on their behalf of their health or safety were in danger. (source Bentley Everfi course surveys 2007-present)

As community members, we are all part of a web of interconnected individuals who have the power to take action to help others before, during, or after an event.

Sign up for a bystander training to increase your intervention skills.

Challenge Sexual Assault/Rape Myths

A rape myth is a harmful and false belief about sexual violence. These beliefs shift the blame from the perpetrator to the survivor. Rape Myths make it out that a person who was harmed could have done something differently to prevent what happened. This is not true and a survivor should never be blamed for a perpetrators behavior of sexual misconduct.  Rape myths can harm our community knowledge and attitudes about sexual assault.  

Below are some common rape myths and the factual information to correct them.

Myth: they asked for it because they were: being flirtatious/drinking/dressed a certain way etc..

Fact: The way a person dresses or acts does not ever mean they are asking to be harmed. 

Myth: Because the person didn't physically or verbally say no, it wasn't assault.

Fact: Freezing is a common reaction to a threatening event.  We often hear about fight or flight, but it's really fight, flight or freeze. Additionally, perpetrators can use alcohol or other drugs to incapacitate a victim, or forms of coercion.

Myth: Uncontrollable sexual urges can happen and sometimes people can't control themselves.

Fact: Sexual violence is about power and control over another individual. Most people do not commit sexual violence. And, further, people can control their desires. Just ask anyone who has been interrupted by a knock on their door while engaging in sexual activity.

Myth: Most assaults are between strangers

Fact: On college campuses, most assaults are committed by someone the survivor knows like a classmate, neighbor, or friend.

Myth: Male identified individuals cannot be assaulted

Fact: Men can be survivors of interpersonal violence and assault. It is estimated that 1 in 33 men are sexually assaulted while in college.

Myth: False reporting of rape is common

Fact: Sexual assaults are no more likely to be falsely reported than any other crime. The FBI estimates that only 2% of reported instances are false. Further, sexual assault is often underreported. For all that communities are aware of, there are other survivors who have not come forward. 

Myth: If someone changes their mind during a sexual activity, it is not really assault.

Fact: Consent is reversible. A person can change their mind at any time during any activity. Additionally, consent to an activity one day, does not imply that you consent to that activity again.

Myth: If a person is sexually aroused or has an orgasm, it's not really sexual assault

Fact: These are physiological reactions that can result outside of a consensual interaction. Having an orgasm does not mean someone enjoyed nor consented to the behavior.