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Students Learn About Relationship and Sexual Violence Year Long through Programs, Curriculum

November 06, 2015

Domestic Violence Awareness was front and center on college campuses in October but at Lasell, programming around sexual and relationship violence and consent happens all year long.

With the arrival of new Director of Legal Affairs and Title IX Coordinator Jennifer OKeeffe last year, the number of programs for students, faculty and staff around these issues has increased dramatically.

Last month, the College sponsored several programs to educate and activate college students including a domestic violence awareness exhibit called the Clothesline Project - that drew 255 students, a Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) course for students and a training by the One Love Foundation - which trained 18 student facilitators giving students the tools and resources around ending relationship violence.

A Title IX program that will educate students about their rights and also focus on consent is planned for November 17 for all students who are interested. Planned for the coming months is a separate RAD training for men.

"I am so inspired by the passion and dedication shown by Lasell students on promoting awareness and education about domestic violence, dating violence, stalking and sexual assault. They are committed to making Lasell a safe and supportive community," said OKeeffe.

Part of the brain trust behind the programming is new Justice Studies Professor Karin Raye who has helped the college infuse this programming around sexual violence awareness into the curriculum.

In addition to helping to organize these programs, Raye teaches a course on domestic and sexual violence and an activism class that requires student to make changes on campus.

"We empower students to take leadership roles because we know that college students turn to their peers first for help," said Raye. "We are so excited at the level of engagement of our students."

Raye added that several other professors on campus, including Psychology Professor Marsha Mirkin and English Professor Stephanie Athey, support awareness programming both inside and outside their classes as well.

Raye said the programs are so successful that Lasell's community partners, including REACH Beyond Domestic Violence, often highlight the College's work in the broader community and students and faculty from a nearby College recently observed Lasell trainings as a model to replicate the level of student engagement here.

Last year the College joined the It's On Us campaign, to build awareness of domestic violence and the White Ribbon campaign to "end violence against women and girls, promote gender equity, healthy relationships and a new vision of masculinity."

For more information about Lasell's efforts to build awareness and educate on relationship and sexual violence, visit: