MSU launches initiative aimed at transforming campus culture, supporting victims of sexual violence

Michigan State University's campus on a cloudy day in July
Posted at 1:48 PM, Jan 06, 2022

LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) — Michigan State University has announced a new effort to transform the college's culture in relation to sexual assault or abuse, relationship violence, sexual harassment and stalking.

President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D. says in the announcement, "This initiative not only supports the actions outlined in the RVSM Strategic Plan, but also the larger university strategic plan for Empowering Excellence, Advancing Equity and Expanding Impact."

The initiative is called, Support More. The focus is to help guide students on responding to disclosures and being helpful to survivors. The announcement says they will be promoting resources and services for both survivors and bystanders. A new website has been launched for the initiative.

"Research has found that teaching people how to provide helpful, supportive reactions to disclosures helps alleviate victims' distress and promotes healing," says Co-Chair of the Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct Expert Advisory Workgroup and Presidental Advisor Rebecca Campbell. "We started with 'Know More,' the campuswide survey to assess the culture, perceptions and policies related to sexual assault, harassment and workplace incivility. Next was 'Do More,' the development of our strategic plan. Now, 'Support More' will help build a trauma-informed culture."

According to the MSU's announcement, here are the efforts included for the initial launch:

  • The website as a single place with all the information related to this effort, the Know More survey and RVSM Strategic Plan.
  • Videos that give a behind-the-scenes look at supportive resources on campus and details on how to access each program.
  • Posters outlining the available resources and sharing examples of statements showing support for survivors.
  • Brochures with guidance for faculty, staff and students on how to respond if someone discloses their experience with relationship violence, sexual assault or abuse, sexual harassment and stalking.

"This launch is just the beginning of a long-term effort," says Campbell. "Fostering a culture where everyone feels safe and supported will take time and all of us working together."

The release states that the initiative is funded by a Victims of Crime Act grant awarded by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Victim Services.