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424-777-EROC

End Rape on Campus (EROC) is a survivor advocacy organization dedicated to ending sexual violence through survivor support, public education, and policy and legislative reform.

We provide free, direct assistance to all survivors of gender-based and sexual violence on campus interested in filing federal complaints, organizing for change, or drawing public attention to hold their schools accountable.

We have assisted hundreds of students at dozens of schools file Title IXClery Act, and other civil rights complaints to seek justice and reform.

EROC Blog

I realized I could not celebrate Father’s day. I had no ability to dance for him. I could not celebrate the countless fathers who have caused pain directly and indirectly to their children through sexual violence.

EROC Condemns DeVos Policy Rollback

End Rape On Campus

Sofie Karasek, Director of Education and co-founder of End Rape on Campus, said, “Betsy DeVos and Candice Jackson’s intentions are clear: to protect those who “grab” by the genitals and brag about it — and make college campuses a safer place for them.”

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For Immediate Release: Betsy DeVos attacks survivors of sexual assault, protects rapists

End Rape On Campus

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sept 7, 2017

BETSY DEVOS ATTACKS SURVIVORS OF SEXUAL ASSAULT, PROTECTS RAPISTS

Today, Secretary DeVos chose to protect rapists and tip the scales in favor of sexual assault perpetrators. As evidenced by this latest announcement, the leadership of this Education Department has consistently demonstrated failure to ensure access to education for all. This latest attack is especially egregious, because it is veiled in false intentions to uphold the interests and needs of survivors. The tactics that DeVos is using are the same ones that rape apologists have used to silence survivors of sexual violence for decades.

Annie E. Clark, Executive Director of End Rape on Campus, said, “Make no mistake: this is an attack on survivors of sexual violence and the right to an education free from violence. This announcement simultaneously demonstrates a gross negligence for the students Secretary DeVos has been asked to serve, and a failure to understand the grounds on which their protections stand. We will not accept this blatant favoritism for the rights of rapists under the guise of fairness.”

Betsy DeVos’ assault on survivors does not change the law of the land. Title IX is still law, and universities must protect students and fulfilling their obligations under Title IX, even as the federal government refuses enforce the law.

We will not allow Betsy DeVos to turn back the clock to a time when rape was blatantly swept under the rug. Now is the time to fight back. Allies and advocates: make your voices heard and stand up for survivors. Survivors: we believe you, we support you, and you are not alone. We will continue to fight with you.

For media inquiries please contact Jess Davidson at jdavidson@endrapeoncampus.org.

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End Rape on Campus (EROC) is a national survivor-led nonprofit dedicated to ending gender based violence on college campuses through survivor support, prevention through education, and policy advocacy. You can learn more at www.endrapeoncampus.org.

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End Rape On Campus Statement on the Termination of DACA

End Rape On Campus

End Rape On Campus Statement on the Termination of DACA

Yesterday, President Trump attacked 800,000 young undocumented immigrants in the United States by terminating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. At EROC, the heart of our mission is to ensure that every individual has equal access to education, safety, and dignity, and DACA enabled hundreds of thousands of young people to access these basic human rights. Repealing DACA is an outright assault on these rights, motivated by xenophobia and racism.

We also know that immigration issues are closely intersected with sexual violence, both in and out of schools. Immigrants face a particularly high risk of sexual assault and intimate partner violence, especially if undocumented, and the very real threat of being detained and deported when seeking support and justice. This threat is often used as a tool of control and intimidation by abusers. Ending DACA will give more ammunition to assailants and impede immigrants from seeking the support and justice that all survivors deserve.

It is clear that today’s actions further endangers those already marginalized by their immigration status. It is also clear that this decision is consistent with a broader pattern of this administration’s attack on civil rights. To DREAMers, family, friends, and supporters: We stand with you and we will fight with you.

Resources:

Take action: Call Congress, Find a local event

Learn more: FAQ on DACA termination, 5 things you should know about the DACA repeal

Resources for DACA recipients: Paying for DACA renewal, Resources for undocumented immigrant victims of crime, List of organizations with resources for immigrant survivors of sexual violence

For further information, please contact info@endrapeoncampus.org.

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End Rape on Campus (EROC) is a national survivor-led nonprofit dedicated to ending gender based violence on college campuses through survivor support, prevention through education, and policy advocacy. You can learn more at www.endrapeoncampus.org.

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End Rape on Campus Statement on White Supremacist Actions in Charlottesville and President Trump

End Rape On Campus

End Rape on Campus Statement on White Supremacist Actions in Charlottesville and President Trump

Yesterday, our nation’s president excused white nationalism, and cast equal blame on white supremacists and the “alt-left” for violence that occurred in Charlottesville, VA this past weekend.

EROC is proud to be a bipartisan organization. Our mission of ending sexual violence is one that belongs to and benefits our whole society, not a single political party or platform. Moreover, our mission of ending sexual violence cannot and will not be achieved without the eradication of all systems of oppression, including and especially racism. In that spirit, it must be stated that hatred and bigotry do not have two sides, and “both sides” are not at fault for the violence that took place this past weekend.

As an anti-violence, civil rights organization, we refuse to remain silent and let recent white supremacist and anti-Semitic acts go unnamed. We mourn for the loss of life and injury over the weekend, and for the daily reality of racism in our country. We denounce bigotry, white nationalism, and hate in all forms, hooded and unveiled. We recognize that such racism and violence is not new, and unfortunately acts of this past weekend were not surprising. Even so, we still must hold the highest levels of our nation’s government accountable for their role in emboldening hate and inciting violence.  

We stand with the students at the University of Virginia, with faith community leaders, and all of those who protest bigotry, and we will continue to lift up their voices. The indifference UVA showed in 2015 towards its African American students after a racially motivated attack is the same indifferent reaction the UVA administration displayed in response to the white supremacist march that ended in violence on its campus last Friday. It is not enough to pay lip service and simply denounce overt racism; anyone who denounces racism must also actively engage in anti-racist work. We will continue to name and dismantle all systematic inequalities from the bold faced racism we witnessed this weekend from Klu-Klux-Klan, neo-Nazis, and other hate groups as well as discrimination, prejudice, microaggressions and other subtler forms of daily racism.

At EROC, we proclaim that Black Lives Matter, and we recognize that we cannot fulfill our organization’s mission of ending sexual violence in educational settings in a vacuum. Per our mission, End Rape on Campus will continue to fight for the eradication of systems of oppression, and speak out against white supremacy — even when the President of the United States will not.

For further information please contact info@endrapeoncampus.org

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End Rape on Campus (EROC) is a national survivor-led nonprofit dedicated to ending gender based violence on college campuses through survivor support, prevention through education, and policy advocacy. You can learn more at www.endrapeoncampus.org.

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End Rape on Campus Statement in Solidarity with the LGBTQ Community

End Rape On Campus

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                

July 27, 2017

END RAPE ON CAMPUS STATEMENT IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE LGBTQ COMMUNITY

Over the last 48 hours, several government bodies escalated egregious efforts to endanger the rights and safety of transgender and queer folks. End Rape on Campus (EROC) condemns this infringement on the civil rights of the LGBTQ community.  

On Tuesday night, the Texas state Senate passed a bill restricting the ability of transgender people to use public restrooms that correspond to their gender identity, thereby threatening the right of transgender people to exist safely in public spaces. Yesterday, President Trump tweeted that “the United States Government will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military.” Later that day, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions submitted a brief to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit arguing that sexual orientation is not protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The suggestion that sexual orientation is not covered by a prohibition on sex discrimination, despite years of case law suggesting otherwise, is emblematic of continued attacks on civil rights by this administration.

Every one of these decisions is individually harmful, but collectively they represent a disturbing trend of government systematically threatening the rights of the most vulnerable. EROC is outraged by the transphobia and homophobia exhibited by officials at the state and national level, including some of the highest offices of our federal government.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time that the Trump Administration has made harmful decisions targeting the transgender community. In February, the Department of Education under Secretary Betsy DeVos rescinded guidance that allowed transgender students the ability to use the restroom that matches their gender identity. It is unacceptable for government officials to consistently and strategically disenfranchise the most marginalized members of our nation.

EROC Executive Director, Annie E. Clark said, "These hateful, discriminatory policy decisions at all levels of government, signal to LGBTQ students that somehow their lives are worth less than those of their cisgender, heterosexual peers, and that their government will not protect them. To the LGBTQ community: End Rape on Campus will continue to stand with you in the fight against discrimination, and center your voices in our work to eradicate gender based violence. We are committed to ensuring that all individuals, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity can live safely and access education equally.”

For further information please contact Annie Clark at info@endrapeoncampus.org

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End Rape on Campus (EROC) is a national survivor-led nonprofit dedicated to ending gender based violence on college campuses through survivor support, prevention through education, and policy advocacy. You can learn more at www.endrapeoncampus.org.

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Rape culture is in our language

End Rape On Campus

Male is the norm
Hey guys
Hey man
Hey dude
Hey bro

What do we get?

Hey girls
Hey ladies
Hey bitches

Girls
Little
In need of another

Forced into childhood

Ladies
Proper
Polite

Expectations forced on us

Bitches
Little bitch: weak
Such a bitch: too strong, difficult, too outspoken

An inconvenience

Women hold, Men take up space
Physically, spatially, culturally, linguistically

And what of those who live outside men and women?
Invisible
No words

This is patriarchal
This is rape culture

I am not immune to these transgressions
I am only now becoming aware

Now I hear
‘hey guys’
I cringe
‘hey girls’
I cringe
I am not a guy, I am not a girl
I am a woman  

Jessica Bryn is a feminist and writer passionate about putting an end to sexual violence. She is interested in art as a means to resist oppression in its many forms. You can follow her on Instagram @jessicabrynx.

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Survivors of Sexual Violence Advocate for Students Rights in Face of Opposition at the Department of Education

End Rape On Campus

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 13, 2017

SURVIVORS OF SEXUAL VIOLENCE ADVOCATE FOR STUDENT RIGHTS IN FACE OF OPPOSITION AT THE DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

Survivor advocate groups have been asking to meet with United States Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos since before her confirmation hearing in February. On Thursday, July 13th, DeVos finally held a 90 minute meeting with survivor advocacy organizations, including End Rape On Campus, National Women’s Law Center, SurvJustice, and others. Shortly after, DeVos met with several “men’s rights” organizations that claim to advocate for the falsely accused. At least one of these organizations have in the past blamed survivors for being sexually assaulted, published survivors’ names and information in aggressive smear campaigns, and denied that campus sexual violence is an issue to be taken seriously.

Survivors have remained vocal online and in person about the importance of maintaining protections on campuses and listening to survivor perspectives. Hundreds have taken to Twitter under the hashtag #DearBetsy, asking DeVos to listen to and learn from survivors’ experiences. Earlier this week, 114 survivors of campus sexual violence penned an open letter to Betsy DeVos, explaining just how important Title IX guidance is for survivors to seek justice, find support, and continue to benefit from their education. Thursday morning, survivors and allies gathered outside the Department of Education to share stories from all over the country, in a rally led by Know Your IX.

While this morning’s session was an important starting point for DeVos, 90 minutes is not enough time to hear from survivors and is not enough time to gain a complete understanding of the serious epidemic of campus sexual violence. We call upon Betsy DeVos to continue to hear from those who will be most impacted by her decisions on Title IX guidance by embarking on a national survivor listening tour. We need Secretary DeVos to make well-informed decisions to protect survivors and uphold all students’ civil rights.

For further information please contact Jess Davidson at info@endrapeoncampus.org.

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End Rape on Campus (EROC) is a national survivor-led nonprofit dedicated to ending gender based violence on college campuses through survivor support, prevention through education, and policy advocacy. You can learn more at www.endrapeoncampus.org.

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#DearBetsy: Do the Rape Culture Math

End Rape On Campus

Dear Betsy,

On July 13th, 2017, you will be listening to survivors, advocates, students accused of sexual assault, and college administrators. Survivors and advocates are asking you and the Trump administration to maintain systems that support and protect survivors of sexual assault. On July 13th, 2017, I encourage you, Ms. DeVos, to ask yourself the following questions:

Have you ever walked into a room and run through sexual violence statistics in your head?

Have you ever counted the women in the room and thought to yourself that one in five of these women have been or will be sexually assaulted in college?

Have you ever counted the men in the room and thought to yourself that one in sixteen of these men have been or will be sexually assaulted in college?

Although these statistics serve to measure college sexual violence generally, have you ever thought about the individuals behind these numbers?

I, Samantha Carly Skaller, a 22-year-old recent graduate of Syracuse University and a three-time sexual assault survivor, am writing to you to humanize this issue and to beg you to stand with survivors and victims. Here is my story:

When I was a sophomore in high school, I was drugged and sexually assaulted by a senior in my driver’s ed class. After the assault, we were forced to sit next to each other in class, to share the same car, and even to give a class presentation together.

During my first semester of college, I was sexually assaulted while I was asleep by a friend who lived on my floor. After the assault, we were forced to live on the same floor, to share the same communal space, and even to walk at the same commencement ceremony this past May.

The weekend before my sophomore year classes started, I was raped in my own bed by the guy I had been dating. After the assault, we were forced to take the same classes, to attend the same music school, and even to perform in concerts together.

After a formal Title IX complaint through my university in reference to the last assault my rapist was found “not responsible” due to insufficient evidence. The system failed me: the system that you, Ms. DeVos, are now part of. On behalf of the countless survivors across this country, I implore you to make sure that no one else has to go through what I have gone through.

I, a survivor of college sexual assault, share my story with you, Ms. DeVos,  to teach you about rape culture math. I am the 20% of women who have been sexually assaulted in college. You, the United States Secretary of Education, have the responsibility of knowing these statistics. But beyond that, you have the responsibility of hearing the narratives behind these statistics and consequently taking action to improve and uphold the systems including all current Title IX guidance, policy, Violence Against Women Act funding and programs.

We need all of these systems to make sure that colleges and universities are giving equal treatment to all parties involved in Title IX cases, so that there is no racial, gender, or socioeconomic discrimination on our campuses. We need you to take action because 1 in 5 women and 1 in 16 men will be sexually assaulted during college, because 8 out of 10 people know their attacker, because 91% of rapes are committed by serial perpetrators, and because one act of sexual violence is one too many.

I have dedicated my undergraduate career to ending interpersonal violence at Syracuse University and more broadly across our country. Survivors and allies on college campuses everywhere have taken the pledge to end this epidemic. We have built campaigns, rallies, art installations, blogs, protests, and more from the bottom up to gain your attention.

Ms. DeVos, we finally have your attention. On July 13th, 2017, it’s on you to assure survivors and victims of college sexual assault that you will uphold current Title IX policy and Violence Against Women Act funding and programs so that together, we can put an end to sexual violence on all campuses in the United States of America.

Samantha Skaller is a recent graduate of Syracuse University with a degree in Viola Performance and Music History. In the fall she will be pursuing her master’s degree in musicology and women’s and genders studies at McGill University. For the past two years Samantha has worked with the national It’s On Us campaign. She was selected as one of seventeen students to serve on the first ever Student Advisory Committee. This past year she served as the Northeast Regional Advisor for the campaign. As a survivor Samantha tries to use her voice to uplift fellow survivors and encourage cultural change in her community. In her future she hopes to continue to combine her passions for activism and music while seeking justice for all survivors and victims of interpersonal violence.

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All Students Are Worth Protecting

End Rape On Campus

Over the last several years, survivors, activists, and allies have mobilized to advocate for protecting students’ civil rights and ending sexual violence in schools. By calling for action from our communities and representatives we were able to reform state laws, improve school responses to sexual assault, and ultimately made a major culture shift.

Before the new administration entered the White House, survivors were reasonably concerned about the cultural and legal implications of having an administration that has refused to commit to protecting survivors and a president accused of perpetrating sexual violence. Still, survivors refused to stand on the sidelines to wait and see what would happen next. Instead, we rallied and created the #DearBetsy campaign to ask the then-nominee for the US Department of Education Secretary to commit to upholding Title IX and its guidance.

Now, the Trump Administration has indicated mass rollbacks of vulnerable students’ civil rights protections. This began when the 2016 Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) guidance, which protected transgender students, was rescinded in February. US Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and Assistant Secretary Candice Jackson want to continue this trend of revoking vulnerable students’ civil rights by rescinding the 2011 DCL. This directly undermines the tremendous progress we’ve made and ultimately harms survivors in our schools.

For decades, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) role has been to provide trauma-informed, evidence-based guidance in order to ensure discrimination-free education for all students. Rescinding existing guidance would be a direct threat to survivors’ civil rights and would counter its mission, “to ensure equal access to education and to promote educational excellence through vigorous enforcement of civil rights in our nation’s schools.”

Without guidance, survivors will lose services that help them stay in school after being assaulted. LGBTQ students, students of color, students with disabilities, and other marginalized students will be harmed the most if guidance is revoked. Additionally, rescinding 2011 DCL under the veil of protecting the rights of the accused is false and deeply misguided, as doing so will repeal protections for both parties, including accused students. All students are worth protecting and every student deserves to experience an education free of sexual violence. Rolling back guidance could give preference to accused students given at the expense of survivors’ rights.

We will not allow the Trump administration to continue hurting survivors of sexual violence. We ask Secretary Betsy DeVos and Assistant Secretary Candice Jackson to commit to preserving current Title IX guidance, programs, and policies. We ask legislators to ensure that policy decisions are based on evidence and trauma-informed. We ask university officials to commit to maintaining trauma-informed best practices in schools. To survivors, activists, and allies, we believe you and support you. Survivors everywhere have refused to be silent since this administration began its journey to the White House. We refuse to back down now and we demand our voices be heard.

CHARDONNAY MADKINS (pronouns: she/her/hers)is a womanist and activist serving the Los Angeles area. She received her Bachelor's of Arts degree in Psychology and Urban & Environmental Policy from Occidental College. As one of the few black women leaders on Occidental's campus, Chardonnay Madkins played a prominent role in the institution's Black Student Alliance and also co-founded the Oxy Sexual Assault Coalition, where she shed light on issues involving survivors of color and mobilized students and faculty to demand administrators appropriately handle sexual assault cases. She dedicates her time advocating specifically for Black survivors and changing policies around sexual assault. She maintains a passion for knowledge and aspires to continue her education of human rights and womanist politics in order to give voice to the voiceless.

You can reach Chardonnay at cmadkins@endrapeoncampus.org

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Ending 2017 Pride: A Resource List

End Rape On Campus

This year for Pride Month EROC led a campaign centering LGBTQ survivors in anti-sexual violence work. We are proud to have led a fundraiser that raised money for a local LGBTQ organization in D.C. For allies and activists, we created educational tools to inform them of the unique and specific challenges LGBTQ survivors face and guidelines to support them. Though EROC recognizes that much more work is required for equal LGBTQ rights year-round, we are happy to have an opportunity to uplift and center LGBTQ people during Pride. For our final blog we would like to provide LGBTQ survivors and students a short list of resources for anyone in need of assistance while on campus. Thank you to all our supporters, and we will continue to work towards an end to sexual violence on college campus for all students.

National Organizations

Genders & Sexualities Alliance Network

GSA Network is an LGBTQ racial and gender justice organization that connects, trains, and offers legal resources to queer, trans, and allied youth leaders to advocate and mobilize an intersectional movement for safer schools and healthier communities.

National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance

A federation of Asian American, South Asian, Southeast Asian, and Pacific Islander organizations that hosts programs and campaigns, as well as provides resources in different languages and legal resources.

Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement

National organization that advocates, educates, and organizes for the LGBTQ Latinx community on the national and local levels.

DeafQueer

National non-profit resource and information center for the deaf queer community. Offers resources for allies and community members and provides information on scholarships, videos, news, and network between communities.

Campaign for Southern Equality

North Carolina based organization for the support of LGBTQ people in southern states through political action, education, and campaigns.

Get Equal

A coalition of community organizers who plan political actions and campaigns for equality for the queer and trans community.

National Black Justice Coalition

A civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black LGBTQ people, including people living with HIV/AIDS. Works on different issues including creating safe and inclusive spaces to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) by bringing LGBTQ services, clubs, and programs to schools. Offers toolkits, community building strategies, and other resources for the Black LGBTQ community.

BinetUSA

Advocacy organization for bisexual, pansexual, fluid, queer-identified, and unlabeled people; promotes bisexual and bi-inclusive visibility. Provides information regarding sexual orientation, locating bi-specific local organizations throughout the US, and news for the bi community.

Bisexual Resource Center

Non-profit resource center for the bi community. Provides educational information, research, and other resources.

The Trevor Project

Offers crisis intervention and prevention suicide services to LGBTQ. Provides a support center and suicide hotline, suicide prevention training, and resources.

Local Organizations

Los Angeles LGBT Center

Offers programs and services to local LGBTQ youth including mental, medical, HIV-related, housing, and other social services.

Sadie Nash Leadership Project (Newark, NJ and New York City, NY)

Promotes leadership and activism among local young women by offering mentor programs.

The DC Center for the LGBT Community

The center educates and connects the local LGBTQ community. Services offered focuses on developing the health and wellness, arts & culture, social and peer support, and advocacy and community building within the DC LGBTQ community.

Casa Ruby (Washington, D.C.)

Offers culturally competent bilingual services and programs for trans, genderqueer, gender non-conforming, and queer individuals. Provide emergency housing, legal, case management, support, and counseling services to the local community.

Trans and GNC Organizations

Trans Student Educational Resources

A youth-led grassroots organization which offers educational resources, workshops, and action strategies to advocate for safe schools for transgender students.

Audre Lorde Project

A grassroots organization that works to mobilize communities and allies into action around political issues that trans and gender non-conforming people of color encounter. The ALP also hosts educational community meetings, trainings, and actions in the New York City area seeking community wellness, social progression, and economic justice.

Legal Organizations

GLAD Law

Provides information on legal rights, case law, and a legal referral service by location.

Transgender Law Center

Provides trans and gender non-conforming people with legal information and connect them to culturally competent pro bono attorneys and legal service providers.

Transgender Legal

A nonprofit which aims to end discrimination and achieve equality for transgender people in education, employment, and provides legal defense assistance.

Sylvia Rivera Law Project

Provides legal resources for trans individuals such as passport name changes, educational rights brochures, and healthcare information. Hosts campaigns and trainings as well as offer legal referral assistance.

Publications and Other Support Groups

LGBTQ Students and College Affordability

The Affordability Center provides economic resources to LGBTQ students in college with guides to budget and manage financial expenses for community and four year colleges for undergraduate and graduate students.

Black Girl Dangerous

A reader funded, non profit online publication project which amplifies the voices of LGBTQ people of color. BDG also offers a free summer youth program to host workshops, creative projects, and discussions.

Documentaries

Free Cece

A story about the case, trial, and incarceration of trans activist, Cece McDonald, the prison industrial complex, and violence against trans people.

Major

Chronicles the life and campaigns of Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, a 75 year old Black transgender elder and activist who has been fighting for the rights of trans women of color for over 40 years.

Passing (Trailer)

A documentary that examines the black trans male experience in North America today, through the eyes of 3 men who have undergone gender transition from female to male. 

Pay it No Mind: The Life and Times of Marsha P. Johnson (Youtube)

A feature-length documentary that focuses on the life and accomplishments of revolutionary trans-activist, Marsha P. Johnson.

Still Black: A Portrait of Black Transmen

A feature-length experimental documentary that explores the lives of six black transgender men living in the United States.

CHARDONNAY MADKINS (pronouns: she/her/hers)is a womanist and activist serving the Los Angeles area. She received her Bachelor's of Arts degree in Psychology and Urban & Environmental Policy from Occidental College. As one of the few black women leaders on Occidental's campus, Chardonnay Madkins played a prominent role in the institution's Black Student Alliance and also co-founded the Oxy Sexual Assault Coalition, where she shed light on issues involving survivors of color and mobilized students and faculty to demand administrators appropriately handle sexual assault cases. She dedicates her time advocating specifically for Black survivors and changing policies around sexual assault. She maintains a passion for knowledge and aspires to continue her education of human rights and womanist politics in order to give voice to the voiceless.

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Anna’s this-isn’t-goodbye goodbye blog

End Rape On Campus

Every time I sit down to write my “goodbye” blog I simply can’t do it. So, I’ve decided that it isn’t really goodbye, but rather, I’ll see you on the other side, EROC. After almost three years, though bittersweet, I’m ready to announce that I will be stepping down as Managing Director, and the wonderful Jess Davidson will be succeeding me. I’m honored to continue my commitment at EROC on the Board of Directors while I attend law school and hopefully beyond.

It is difficult to put into words what EROC has meant to me personally and professionally — but I’ll try.

EROC means trust.

I am eternally grateful to Andrea Pino for responding to my volunteer request email way back when. I learned more from her in our first two hour phone call in October 2014 than I could wrap my head around at the time. Afterwards, I looked at my partner, Shane, who had been silently and patiently cooking in our studio apartment, trying not to disturb my call (a talent he has now perfected), and said, “I think this is going to be big.” Andrea introduced me to Annie Clark and Sofie Karasek, two other EROC co-founders, and it moved quickly from there. 

Andrea, Annie, and Sofie trusted me with the reins quickly. They believed in me before I believed in myself. I remember an evening following one overwhelming meeting in New York City, where I felt so wildly in over my head, and I broke down into tears with a friend. They asked me if I believed in my team, and I said that of course I did, they said, “then let them trust you.”

EROC means joy.

There’s something magical about young women on a mission. No matter what was thrown at us — a nasty on-air exchange, terrifying and aggressive online harassment, a mean e-mail, a desperate survivor, or a grieving parent — we refused to quit. With heads held high, we were always ready to throw our hair up into a messy-but-chic bun, put mascara on at red lights, and continue on. Our work is hard, it is grueling, and it is exhausting, but there’s nothing like it when we all get together.

We didn’t have offices in EROC’s first year, so we all worked from our respective homes (and anywhere with free wifi when we were on the road). After Annie and Andrea moved to Washington, D.C., we would often descend on their two-bedroom home for a week of intensive meetings. We’d talk late into the night — not just about work, but about who we were, what we wanted for ourselves, for our future, for the future of our world. We used to laugh about what a donor would think of us as we sat there braiding each other’s hair and drinking wine (seriously, we did that). Those late nights where we’d dissolve into laughter were filled with magic, with life, with joy.

EROC means belief.

I didn’t know how many survivors were really out there until I started working at EROC. More often than not when I met someone new and told them that “I work with survivors of campus sexual assault,” their faces would change, and they would ask me to go to the bathroom with them or pull me into a quiet corner. It would pour out: you’re the first person I’ve ever told; my mom told me it was my fault for drinking so much; what did I do wrong?; do you think anyone will ever love me?; I’m sorry to bother you with this

To all the survivors out there who confided in a stranger: thank you for trusting me. I hold your story close, and no matter what, there’s someone out there who believes you.

To all the survivors, parents, guardians, siblings, and supporters out there whose lives I’ve intersected with during one of your most painful trials: I will always be here to shoulder some of the weight of your pain, and I hope that helps. Thank you for letting me in and for trusting EROC’s process, I hope we did right by you.

To all the survivors who lack a support network: we are here for you. We love you, we value you, and we will stand strong for you always.

EROC means pride.

I’m a young woman just under five feet tall (on a good day) and I can look anywhere between twenty and thirty — so it will come to no one’s surprise that I’m often overlooked, and so are my colleagues. The feeling we share when we take a deep breath before a meeting with a legislator who we know wants to gut protections for survivors, or before a donor meeting that we’re not sure is going to go well, or before stepping on stage before ten people or ten thousand people is brief but important. We manifest our pride: we remember who we are working for, and who relies on us.

I refuse to be modest when talking about EROC. When I began, we were four young women, nearly all a few years out of college (well, Sofie was actually still in college), and we were determined. Our work began as a scrappy group of 20-somethings building a grassroots movement, and now, three years later, EROC is continuing to support survivors and activists on the ground and have raised over a million dollars to date. We have remained dynamic in the face of a rapidly changing landscape and are staying true to our roots. I am so, so honored to have played a small role in the movement to end rape on college campuses.

_______________________________

I decided it was time to go to law school in the middle of a client meeting over a year ago. Annie and I were in a southern state, sitting by a lake with a grieving father whose daughter, a survivor, had taken her own life just ten days prior. We could help with media exposure, with a Title IX complaint, with support, but we couldn’t represent him in court. I’m going to law school for his daughter, for the life she should have lived, and for the justice she deserves.

I am so grateful to so many people. Thank you to my parents who have been supportive since day one, to my friends and family for being understanding when I missed birthdays, lunch dates, and happy hours, and to those around the country who freed up a couch, floor, or bed for me: all of us at EROC are so appreciative. Of course, thank you Shane, as ever.

The colleagues I have had at EROC are unparalleled. Annie, Andrea, Sofie, Colleen, Chardonnay, Jess, and our many wonderful fellows — thank you for putting up with my micro-managing, reminding me that I am, in fact, absolutely not “chill,” indulging me in my em-dash obsession, and above all, making my job easy and fun. Most importantly, Annie, Andrea, and Sofie — thank you for believing in me when I didn’t.

I’m proud to leave EROC with the absolute certainty that we’ll be around as long as we are needed, though I hope that is not much longer.

Very sincerely,
Anna

Managing Director, 2015 - 2017
Board of Directors, 2017 - present

You can reach Anna at her EROC email, at avoremberg@endrapeoncampus.org for the near future or follow her on Twitter at @annasylvie for tweets about goats, politics, and her perfect terrier mutt, Marble. 

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For Immediate Release: End Rape on Campus Assists in the Filing of Federal Complaints Against the University of Alabama and Calls on State Lawmakers for Change

End Rape On Campus

In 2016, End Rape on Campus (EROC) assisted Megan Rondini’s parents in the filing of federal Title IX, Title II, and Clery Act Complaints against the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, for failures to follow civil rights and campus crime reporting requirements. Her story, “How Accusing A Powerful Man of Rape Drove A College Student To Suicide” was published in BuzzFeed News this morning.

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Why Do We Need Exclusive Spaces Within Pride?

End Rape On Campus

On college campuses within clubs or communities geared towards marginalized folks, you shouldn’t be surprised to come across an event or group with the attached label: “Closed Space.” What this means is that the particular space you are soliciting is exclusive, or “closed” to only those who identify within the space’s parameters: for example, a Black Student Union event being a closed space only for Black folks, or a Queer party closed to only members of the LGBTQ community. What many people misinterpret as “reverse discrimination” is actually an attempt at legitimately securing a place of sanctuary. Racism, homophobia, transphobia, and all the other “isms” are deeply ingrained into the majority of where folks occupy space daily: the office, the bathroom, the grocery store, on TV, etc. Closed spaces allow for marginalized and disenfranchised communities to find each other, create a space where they are represented and understood, and where the daily “isms” of the outside won’t touch them.

Pride festivals operate along the same logic. Why do we have Pride? Yes, it is to commemorate and make visible the fight for the LGBTQ civil rights movement, but it is also a chance for the community to gather and hold space for our Queerness itself without the “isms” suffocating us. If you’re an ally, remember this when you decide to join the party or visit a gay club on the weekends. Remember that essentially this whole world is catered to you, whereas our community holes up in a handful of clubs and once-a-month parties. We barely have space, so be mindful when you decide to take up ours.

But allies aren’t the only threat to sanctuary during Pride. Within the Queer community itself, the “isms” still manage to create hierarchies and breed unsafety — which is why the existence of separate events that are even further specific than just “LGBT” are organized and held during Pride festivals and throughout rest of the year. These are mainly catered towards queer women, trans and non-binary folks, and women of color/people of color (POC). Because LGBTQ spaces are dominated by gay men and by white, cisgender folks in general, these three marginalized groups within the queer community are forced to create their own spaces not only to be visible to the rest of the community and the world as a valid group of people with their own strength and number, but also to ensure that there is indeed a space for them at all to exist and seek sanctuary and pride.

These events are very city-specific, and vary in difficulty to find. In larger cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles, some of the more well-known events are the Trans March and the Dyke March. In San Francisco, the motorcycle group Dykes on Bikes has been a part of the the parade for more than 40 years. And in LA, certain nights are dedicated specifically to women and trans folks to allow for safer places for them to party, like the aptly named “Women’s Party” and “Trans Party” this year. Additionally, Black Gay Pride marches are events are scattered all over the nation. Last year, Chicago had a whole weekend devoted to Black Gay Pride, but the largest celebrations are in Washington, D.C., LA, and Atlanta.

Unlike LA, some Pride programming isn’t often officially allotted for marginalized groups. To find the niche spots, you’ll have to research your local groups, queer dance party organizations, and queer party promoters. Privately organized queer dance parties are the most regularly scheduled and dependable spaces for marginalized queers. Dance parties that aren’t held in main gay clubs are usually monthly. Even in San Francisco, one of the gayest cities in the world, there are only one or two specifically lesbian clubs. This is why most of the private dance parties are once-a-month nights for women or women of color. Even though trans and non-binary folks rarely have their own spaces, they are usually always welcomed at closed spaces for queer women.

Monthly dance parties in the Bay Area like Ships In the Night, Darling Nikki, and Mango, a day party specific to queer people of color (QPOC), are havens for queer women left out and pushed out by the mainstream gay scene. This year, multiple queer dance party organizations are partnering to put on a private party during SF Pride called Sissy Darlings In the Night. Similarly, Miami’s South Beach has its own party tradition for Black women called SweetHeat Miami. SweetHeat Miami was created in 2008 specifically counter the white, techno/house gay culture, and centralize Black queer women and hip hop/Latin music.

These versions of closed spaces outside of college campuses are the only things we have to ensure our safety as queers occupying intersectional marginalized identities. It helps foster safe spaces that bring together sensitivity, understanding, and awareness to those in attendance. This is important because even within our own closed spaces for queer folks, there can be transphobic, racist, and misogynistic threats. It is well known that in dominantly gay male spaces, gay men often grope and assault women as a “compliment.” They view their assault as the exception: “It doesn’t count because I’m gay.” Additionally, much of the white gay and lesbian population say transphobic comments, still don’t recognize non-binary folks, and are not culturally sensitive, which reproduces toxic environments for those who need safe spaces the most. Muslim LGBTQ, QPOC, and undocumented LGBTQ folks find it infinitely more difficult to find a space that respects both their queerness and their other identities. With that in mind, specific parties within the community are essential in supporting marginalized LGBTQ folks. Organizing separate events, official or additional programming, and parties assists us in our inter-community struggles to remain seen, validated, and centralize our own voices and existence.  

TERRAN PIEROLA (pronouns they/them) is genderfluid, mixed race, queer boi. As a writer, editor, and a passionate activist for intersectional womxn of color feminism, Terran intends to help change the world through community building and institutionalizing inclusivity. Their interests and experience focus on creating supportive and educational resources for gender non-conforming, trans, and queer folks; queer fashion & film; and advocating for critical pedagogy in mainstream spaces. They graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in English, and currently live in Los Angeles.

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EROC Statement on the Outcome of the Bill Cosby Trial

End Rape On Campus

For Immediate Release                                                                                     Saturday, June 17, 2017

END RAPE ON CAMPUS STATEMENT ON THE OUTCOME OF THE BILL COSBY TRIAL

Today, End Rape on Campus (EROC) stands in solidarity with Andrea Constand, the more than 50 brave survivors who have come forward against Bill Cosby, and all survivors of sexual violence. While we at EROC believe that justice was not served in this case, we unfortunately were not surprised with this outcome, as it is a single incident that exemplifies the massive failings of a system that survivors are supposed to be able to trust — but cannot.

In the United States, survivors rarely receive justice, government leaders are still elected after bragging about sexually assaulting women, perpetrators openly admit to rape, and society fails to believe survivors every day. It is no wonder so many survivors fear coming forward. If survivors do come forward, far too often, they do not receive the justice they deserve from the criminal justice system. For every 1000 rapes, only 7 will result in a felony conviction — in the United States, the courts rarely hold perpetrators of sexual violence accountable. Therefore, survivors are often forced to choose between remaining silent or suffering from disbelief and retaliation, with little hope of justice. The consequences of the choice between silence and suffering are exacerbated when one’s assailant is a community leader, politician, a well-known athlete, or a celebrity.

It is clear from this week’s events that the criminal justice system fails many marginalized communities including survivors, women, people of color, LGBTQ people, and immigrants. End Rape On Campus is committed to alleviating some of the obstacles caused by systematic oppressions by providing services, assistance, and support to survivors of sexual violence, and by believing survivors like Andrea Constand. We will not stop fighting until case outcomes like this one are seen as surprising and unacceptable.

 Any press inquires can be directed to jdavidson@endrapeoncampus.org.

 ### 

End Rape on Campus (EROC) is a national nonprofit that works to end gender-based violence on college campuses through survivor support, prevention to education, and policy advocacy on the campus, local, state, and federal levels. You can learn more at www.endrapeoncampus.org.

The Importance of Safe, Inclusive Spaces

End Rape On Campus

To Allies of the LGBTQ Community,

As we acknowledge LGBTQ history and the Pulse shooting last year, we must reflect on our commitment to bettering LGBTQ lives and actively show our solidarity for equality. We must evaluate the current climate during this time of remembrance and reflection. Last week, we witnessed marginalized queer and trans people of color block the DC Capital Pride parade, after which we would be remiss if we didn’t ask ourselves, who is Pride serving and how can we be more inclusive? As allies, it is our responsibility to  ensure all LGBTQ individuals are given a safe space in which they are free to exist and be themselves, especially during Pride. As we take the tragedy that happened at Pulse and the importance of the #NoJusticeNoPeace rally into consideration, we bear witness to an outcry for all LGBTQ people to have safe, inclusive spaces. In respect to this call to action, EROC wants to stress the importance of inclusiveness of these disenfranchised communities. Bisexual, transgender, gender non-conforming, and asexual individuals are often erased and forced into the margins within the LGBTQ community. These actions contribute to real violence and threats to the community’s safety, and result in events such as at Pulse or the Stonewall Inn. During this year’s Pride it is important that we recognize the unique challenges these marginalized communities face, and offer representation, safe havens, resources, and care specific to their particular needs as service providers, Pride-goers, and organizers.

The needs of marginalized groups such as the transgender community are often diminished, or erased, and often go unaddressed. The community is particularly vulnerable because trans people, especially transgender women of color, experience exceptionally high rates of discrimination and violence. In fact, trans women of color make up one of the most vulnerable populations, with a life expectancy of just 35 years. Even considering the mystery behind Marsha P. Johnson’s death and the murder of the tenth transgender person of color this year,it appears that some progress has been made since Stonewall in 1969. However, we still have so much further to go. Community organizers  should consider creating events and programs specifically to support and welcome this community. Pride should be a safe space for all LGBTQ individuals, but recent sponsorship of the very law enforcement that caused the Stonewall Riots are given more space than the marginalized LGBTQ youth who have historically led this movement.

Additionally, bisexual people’s experiences are consistently erased from LGBTQ-specific narratives, events, and resources as well. This is largely due to a lack of knowledge and understanding of sexual fluidity, resulting in less inclusion to meet the particular needs of these communities. That being said, Pride is one of the best months to learn from the outpour of information that floods the internet. Use the month to learn about different LGBTQ experiences so that we can seek justice and equality for everyone. Seek out opportunities — not just during Pride Month, but throughout the year — to include marginalized communities and create inclusionary events and programs. Whether in education or in campus safety we must address the specific needs of everyone within the LGBTQ community — centering the most disenfranchised.

So take this energy and motivation from Pride Month into other areas in your life to push for inclusiveness and equality. Use your voice and vote to prevent physical and legislative targeted attacks against the LGBTQ community. Further, learn from LGBTQ folks and organizations. This Pride, EROC’s mission is to educate students of their rights and provide information for the survivors who often fall between the cracks. As we have learned from previous Pride Month blogs about LGBTQ history and the barriers survivors face in reporting and receiving assistance, it’s important to include and uplift these communities in our advocacy work.  

Toronto Pride last year set a prime example of solidarity and how to take meaningful steps towards collaboration with marginalized groups. By meeting with local queer Black Lives Matter activists and listening to their demands, Toronto learned how to create a safe Pride for everyone. It is our responsibility and duty as advocates for all survivors of sexual violence to continue progressing in the same fashion. 

In Solidarity,

Chardonnay Madkins

CHARDONNAY MADKINS (pronouns: she/her/hers)is a womanist and activist serving the Los Angeles area. She received her Bachelor's of Arts degree in Psychology and Urban & Environmental Policy from Occidental College. As one of the few black women leaders on Occidental's campus, Chardonnay Madkins played a prominent role in the institution's Black Student Alliance and also co-founded the Oxy Sexual Assault Coalition, where she shed light on issues involving survivors of color and mobilized students and faculty to demand administrators appropriately handle sexual assault cases. She dedicates her time advocating specifically for Black survivors and changing policies around sexual assault. She maintains a passion for knowledge and aspires to continue her education of human rights and womanist politics in order to give voice to the voiceless.

You can reach Chardonnay at cmadkins@endrapeoncampus.org

Respecting Pride: A Guide for Allies

End Rape On Campus

Happy Pride Month, friends of EROC! June marks a whirlwind of celebration and resistance for the LGBTQ community, who continue to fight so fiercely for basic human rights and respect. Pride is often characterized by all things flamboyant and colorful — rainbow flags, parades, glittery bead garlands. But as queer, transgender and non-binary people know, Pride is about so much more than just the festivities. It symbolizes triumph over persecution. It brings people together in the name of love and acceptance. It also serves as a reminder of how much progress still needs to be made.

So when cisgender heterosexual (cishet) allies with no deep connection to the struggles that LGBTQ people face take part in Pride-related activities, they may be co-opting the occasion for their own pleasure, no matter how well-meaning they may be. Allies, you will be welcome at most events during Pride, but you must accept that this celebration is not meant for you. If you really want to support your LGBTQ friends, family, and neighbors, step back and reflect on your contributions to Pride. Are you being helpful or harmful? Are you allowing people space or taking it away? If you have no idea where you stand, consider whether you do the following:

Educate yourself.

Before you step foot in a Pride event, do some research to understand the historical context behind the occasion, as well as the ways that LGBTQ people are forced to combat oppression to this day. With a better understanding of what Pride means to LGBTQ folks, you’ll have more respect for all that it embodies. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, but also be cognizant of the emotional labor that LGBTQ folks must carry out to teach you (and compensate them for their time if necessary). Take the initiative to look up blogs and social media created by LGBTQ people and share their content across your own networks.

Know when you’re taking up too much physical space.

During Pride in many cities, LGBTQ-friendly bars, restaurants, clubs, and other venues are overrun with revelers. Establishments that have historically catered to an LGBTQ clientele should be serving these folks, who may be seeking a safe place to let loose and enjoy themselves. For LGBTQ people, simply existing can be met with violence, making safe spaces for people to dance with their partners or catch up with their friends all the more important — This definitely isn’t the time to bring your cishet bachelor/bachelorette party crew to a gay bar. And if you find yourself dancing in a club that has a long line of LGBTQ folks trying to get in, it might be time to go elsewhere. Be mindful of the space that you inhabit and gracefully bow out when you have taken up too much.

Open your wallet.

What’s one of the best ways to show your appreciation for all that Pride represents? Money. Sure, you can talk about how much Pride means to you, but when it comes down to demonstrating that you care about the people whose celebration you are enjoying, your money sends a strong message. Provide generous tips to bartenders and servers at LGBTQ establishments. Tip the performers at drag shows and other entertainers. Don’t forget to ask your LGBTQ friends about local charities that need your financial support. LGBTQ-serving homeless shelters, community centers, and other safe spaces will benefit substantially from your contributions. Many LGBTQ youth in particular face poverty because they are subject to discrimination from their families or employers, so donating to organizations that serve them can make a big difference.

Know the difference between being an ally and an expert.

You probably wouldn’t be at Pride if you didn’t have some affinity for the LGBTQ community. Perhaps you took a queer history course in college or you were involved in your high school’s Gay-Straight Alliance. That’s wonderful! But unless you’re a queer or trans person yourself, you are not the go-to source of information on all things LGBTQ. Acknowledge when you have inadvertently dominated the conversation and be open to criticism when you slip up. A good ally doesn’t get defensive when they have stepped out of bounds; they are grateful for the opportunity to learn and improve.

Practice good judgment in photography.

Certain Pride-goers, like dancers in a parade or performers at a drag show, are usually fine being photographed. Some people may even want to be tagged in social media to promote their business or organization. But random people simply enjoying themselves? Probably not. Just because people are out in the open doesn’t mean that they want to be featured on your Instagram account under the gauze of a rainbow filter. For many folks, attending Pride events is an act of resistance, and may be part of their coming-out process. You could even be outing someone by taking their picture at a Pride event, jeopardizing their privacy and possibly their safety. When in doubt, stick to selfies with your friends and other people who have clearly consented to being photographed.

Don’t make assumptions.

When you meet someone new, be careful not to make assumptions about their gender identity or sexuality. Remember that it’s impossible to know these things judging by someone’s partner, appearance, or demeanor. Pronouns, whether he, she, they, or ze, are important to respect. If you’re not sure about someone’s pronouns, use gender-neutral terms such as “they” when speaking about someone. When you do meet that person, ask what pronouns they use and offer your own. Always use the pronouns that someone gives you. If you make a mistake, simply apologize and correct yourself.

Keep exclusive spaces exclusive.

As Pride becomes increasingly commercialized and whitewashed, the narratives of people of color and trans folks are often pushed to the side, prompting a greater need for exclusive spaces. This could mean a support group for trans women of color (WOC) survivors, or an organized outing for gay Black men. Don’t be offended if you aren’t welcome at events exclusive to certain groups within the LGBTQ community; these spaces are made to ensure people’s safety and comfort, which will always come before the feelings of cishet allies. Plus, there are plenty of other ways that you can participate in Pride activities. See what volunteer opportunities are available, such as passing out literature for local LGBTQ organizations or cleaning up after events.  

Respect people’s boundaries.

Pride, like all other times of the year, should be a safe experience for everyone. It should go without saying, but never touch someone without their consent. If someone doesn’t want to dance with you or chat with you, move along. If you are taking up space that doesn’t belong to you or making people uncomfortable, you need to leave. The bottom line is that someone’s gender identity, sexuality, or appearance is in no way an invitation for harassment. Period.

Be an ally all year long, not just at parades and festivals.

Pride isn’t a one-and-done event. Too many people who call themselves allies use Pride as an excuse to throw on some glitter and party, then pack up the rainbow attire once July 1 rolls around. Don’t be that person. Continue to better yourself, learning what it means to be a good ally. Keep in mind that these guidelines aren’t just for Pride. Throughout the year, you should be working to ensure the safety of LGBTQ folks, whether at work, school, in a health care setting, or walking down the street. Pride is just one opportunity to express solidarity with the LGBTQ community; don’t make it your last.

JULIA HASKINS (pronouns: she/her/hers) is a writer, editor, and reporter dedicated to stamping out sexual assault and shedding light on rape culture. A graduate of the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing at Northwestern University, Julia has used her journalism background to inform readers about the issues most important to her. She is especially passionate about media related to health and feminism. Julia's writing has appeared in outlets such as ReadersDigest.com, People.com, Healthline, Parents.com, and more. 

You can reach Julia at jhaskins@endrapeoncampus.org.

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Barriers to Assistance for LGBTQ Survivors

End Rape On Campus

Derived from the protests in New York City’s West Village, LGBTQ Pride was born out of resistance, civil disobedience, and addressing the needs of LGBTQ youth. Originally led by trans women of color, Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, the Pride movement has become more mainstream, and ironically, less space has been given to the exact disenfranchised LGBTQ communities who began it and who need it the most. Certain types of experiences have begun to dominate the conversation surrounding Pride and homophobia in the U.S. while many marginalized narratives are erased. This leaves vulnerable people within the LGBTQ community to contend with increased levels of violence and a lack of support.

By acknowledging the particular barriers LGBTQ individuals experience, and centering those who are the most disenfranchised in this community, service providers can develop a comprehensive support system for all LGBTQ survivors on campus.  It is imperative that those who assist survivors understand how sexual orientation, race, gender expression, ability, and income impact survivors of sexual violence. We must aim to diminish those barriers to provide comprehensive care.

It is important that as we reflect on the origins of Pride, its importance, and building community and networks of support, that as advocates, activists, and allies, we ensure that we are inclusive of all survivors, and all LGBTQ survivors in particular. In order to provide culturally competent services to LGBTQ survivors, we consider the challenges that the most disenfranchised face as barriers to seeking assistance and support, from individuals in their community to institutions such as schools, the labor force, and the criminal justice system.

Stereotypes and Myths About the LGBTQ Community

Negative stereotypes and homophobic beliefs about the LGBTQ community influence many first responders’ reactions to sexual violence against LGBTQ students. Rape myths about LGBTQ people include erasure of same-sex sexual assault, especially violence perpetrated by women against women, and sexual violence against transgender people. Another myth involves transphobic rhetoric suggesting that trans students wanting to use the restroom according of their choice are predators. These beliefs ultimately limit an LGBTQ survivor’s ability to receive support and assistance from their community, administrators, and advocates.

Confidentiality: Risk of Being Outed

Being outed is one of the leading concerns LGBTQ survivors have when seeking assistance after an assault and when reporting. Outing someone could have an immense hardship on an LGBTQ person’s life. They risk facing discrimination that could have a negative impact on their lives. For some disenfranchised LGBTQ youth, being outed in certain communities could cause a person to lose their support system and force them into homelessness. Others could potentially lose their job, or face further violence and harm. Outing someone without their consent is a serious offense. This is why confidential reporting options and resources provided on campuses are beneficial for LGBTQ survivors.

Financial Burden/Large Financial Costs

For many LGBTQ youth, especially LGBTQ youth of color, poverty is an issue. The Huffington Post reported that in a study  21 percent of LGBT employees had claimed to have been discriminated against in hiring, promotions and pay. In the workplace, LGBTQ employees have limited legal protection and experience discrimination in hiring and promotions, feeling unwelcome in a hostile environment where they may feel pressured into be closeted. Lesbian women,  trans folks, and LGBTQ undocumented workers experience higher levels of harassment and discrimination in the workplace. Employment is fundamental in a person’s ability to provide for themselves and their families, systemically discriminating against LGBTQ people in employment funnels the most vulnerable of this community into low-income and less access to resources. Colleges and universities, therefore, should offer students emergency funds and survivor assistance funds to cover the financial burden for those who may have additional after an assault.

Law Enforcement

Law enforcement, for decades, has been a violent institution that discriminates against LGBTQ people, particularly LGBTQ people of color. However, many advocates and schools do not acknowledge the systemic problems the police create for marginalized communities; and provide limited and ineffective resources to marginalized survivors. For many LGBTQ survivors, interaction with the police when reporting increases violence and harassment. Trans people in particular face exacerbated difficulty involving law enforcement due to dangerous transphobic beliefs officers may hold. Schools should require campus police to undergo LGBTQ and intersectionality sensitivity training, as well as offer various types of resources outside law enforcement for students.

Healthcare

For LGBTQ people, comprehensive healthcare is difficult to access. For survivors, comprehensive emergency medical care is scarce. To improve medical care for LGBTQ survivors, schools should offer sexual assault exams inclusive of collection exams of male survivors, offering PrEP, integrating LGBTQ specific healthcare into routine medical services, and requiring LGBTQ sensitive training for medical professionals in a university’s health clinic.

Shame and Fear of Isolation

Lastly, similar to many marginalized communities, the LGBTQ community is a close knit population that supports one another. However, in certain circumstances when both the perpetrator and survivor are members of the LGBTQ community, it may be more difficult for the survivor to name their assailant due to fear of being ostracized from the group. In many instances, survivors are not believed when they come forward, and this occurs within different social groups and the LGBTQ community is no different. For LGBTQ survivors this is particularly harmful, especially if they do not have additional outside support because of their identity as LGBTQ. A survivor after coming forward could face homelessness, poverty, and not have a sense of belonging or community support — which could exacerbate or lead to developing mental health issues. For schools, it is important that they offer LGBTQ specific resources for survivors to feel more comfortable coming forward rather than feeling forced into silence.

Solutions and Resources

Ultimately, these barriers to seeking support deny LGBTQ students an equal opportunity to educational programs — a right guaranteed by Title IX. When LGBTQ students do not have access to comprehensive care in the aftermath of an assault, the results could have a greater negative impact on their lives. LGBTQ students are likely to have a decrease in academic performance and to drop out. A community that has disproportionately high rates of poverty and is more likely to struggle with rape related financial burdens  — not earning a degree could potentially have harsher repercussions on LGBTQ students. Therefore, developing comprehensive and coordinated care for LGBTQ survivors is a necessity for schools. Colleges should consider offering more confidential and anonymous reporting options for LGBTQ survivors afraid of being outed, reserving a portion of school funds as a survivor’s assistance fund or emergency fund, curating a list of LGBTQ organizations as resources for survivors, and taking comprehensive steps to have a better medical response for LGBTQ survivors. This year for Pride Month we urge that schools, activists, and allies take meaningful steps towards addressing issues LGBTQ survivors face on campus in hopes to alleviate these hardships and ensure that everyone can have a positive educational experience.

CHARDONNAY MADKINS is a womanist and activist serving the Los Angeles area. She received her Bachelor's of Arts degree in Psychology and Urban & Environmental Policy from Occidental College. As one of the few black women leaders on Occidental's campus, Chardonnay Madkins played a prominent role in the institution's Black Student Alliance and also co-founded the Oxy Sexual Assault Coalition, where she shed light on issues involving survivors of color and mobilized students and faculty to demand administrators appropriately handle sexual assault cases. She dedicates her time advocating specifically for Black survivors and changing policies around sexual assault. She maintains a passion for knowledge and aspires to continue her education of human rights and womanist politics in order to give voice to the voiceless.

You can reach Chardonnay at cmadkins@endrapeoncampus.org

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A History of Pride and its Evolution

End Rape On Campus

June has arrived, and to the LGBTQ+ community, that means it is Pride Month. During Pride Month, thousands of people across the country and around the world gather to celebrate civil rights, declare their love for who they are, and send the message to the world that Queer folks exist and are here to stay. However, a fraction of those who celebrate actually understand the origins of Pride Month, let alone the Pride Marches. Only two presidents in our history of the United States have even officially declared a Pride Month at all — Bill Clinton, once in 2000, and Barack Obama during his two terms. What people should understand is that to this day, it is still as dangerous to show Pride as it was in its inception at the Stonewall Rebellion in 1969.

Back in the 1960’s, the fight for civil rights was heated and spread over many communities. The Black Panthers were on the rise, Martin Luther King Jr. was still leading the Civil Rights Movement, and protests were happening everywhere regarding U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. Queer and trans folks were discriminated against, criminalized, and harassed frequently and legally. Civil laws criminalized sodomy, legally considered queerness “against nature,” and through state laws and regulations, punished queer and trans folks for existing. Gay bars were some of the only safe havens they had, as in some states, bars could refuse service to queer folks, or denied them the right to dance with each other in public. Police were ruthless in their raids and entrapment was a common occurrence.

In New York City, the Stonewall Inn was one of these safe havens for the queer community. The bar was a hub for the LGBTQ+ folks in the city. But on June 28th, 1969, it was raided unexpectedly by the New York Police Department. Crossdressers, trans folk, and drag queens were taken to the bathrooms to be checked for their “gender.” People were arrested. This is just one of the tactics that police used to enforce heteronormativity: a sumptuary law known as the three piece rule. It stated that anyone not wearing at least three pieces of clothing that matched the gender they were assigned at birth were to be arrested. Sumptuary laws are historically intended to reinforce social hierarchies and morals, allowing social rank to be more easily identifiable, and social discrimination more easily doled out. In this fashion, the three piece sumptuary law targeted gender nonconforming, trans, butch lesbians, and other queer folks.

The raid at the Stonewall Inn began to escalate that night. Many had felt it was the tipping point, and decided to fight back. Bottles were thrown, and a riot ensued that sparked a rebellion that lasted six days. After the initial bar patrons initiated the uprising, it spilled into the streets. Over the course of those six days, queer youth, homeless trans folks, and other LGBT folks joined the throng, and gave activists the momentum they needed to begin what we know now as the modern LGBT civil rights movement.

Those on the front lines were, and have been historically, across the board in the fight for civil rights, trans women of color. Gay and lesbian spaces often reserve focus for those who are white and cis, and history often reserves visibility for them. But, two trans women you should know, especially when discussing the origins of Pride and the LGBT civil rights movement are Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. Both trans women of color, gay rights activists, and sex workers, Johnson and Rivera were amongst the first to incite the uprising at the Stonewall Inn. Marsha and Sylvia co-founded STAR (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries), dedicated to aiding homeless queer and trans youth and women of color. And both went on to become key figures in the founding of queer organizations and the continued community organizing around LGBT rights.

It is said that on the night of the Stonewall Uprising, Marsha P. Johnson was there celebrating her 25th birthday. When police began the raid, she said, “I got my civil rights!” and proceeded to hurl a shot glass at a nearby mirror, thereby inciting the resistance of other patrons towards law enforcement. It is known in Queer Myth as “The Shot Glass Heard Around the World,”the beginning of the rebellion that sparked a movement.

A year after the rebellion, Chris Rodwell and many other activists who played leading roles in the Uprising, organized a picketing in front of Philadelphia's Independence Hall, which they called “The Annual Reminder.” It was too quiet for Rodwell’s taste, so he returned to New York City and organized Christopher Street Liberation Day, named after the street on which the Stonewall Uprising took place. The march became the first gay pride march in the U.S., held on June 28, 1970. But it wasn’t the only event. The same weekend, the same year, Los Angeles, Chicago, and San Francisco also held inaugural Pride marches. However, it is Los Angeles that is credited with the first ever city-sanctioned Pride parade. Four years later, LA evolved the remembrance into a festival, which has affected Pride celebrations on a global scale.

In these early marches, those who participated did so at the risk of not making it to the end of the route. The threat of being beaten, arrested, or killed was very real. Pride was commemorated first as a march for a reason. It was a serious message with serious consequences. It’s a symbol of Queer struggle, violence, and death. In the past, Pride has been used for more than a giant party, but to recognize our worst tragedies, and the few visible victories we have achieved. In the 1980’s, it was important to honor the victims of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. During San Francisco Pride of 2015, the Supreme Court decision to legalize marriage equality in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges was made. And just last year, during LA Pride, the horrific tragedy of the Orlando shooting struck the Queer community across the nation.

The evolution of Pride has been such a sad one to watch. Last year, the organizers of Christopher Street’s West Pride Festival, better known as LA Pride, decided to rebrand themselves as a music festival. Not only did they raise ticket prices, but they also shortened free events specifically dedicated to trans and lesbian folks. The president of Christopher Street West claims it was because the price of the festival has risen by over 70% and that music is the most marketable way to reach Millennials. Protesters scorned the changes and dubbed the festival “gay Coachella.” Organizations banded together under the movement #NotOurPride, and had some of the changes reversed.

Public queer spaces have been dominated by gay, white men for decades. Trans folks are treated as outcasts even within the LGBT community. And queer folks are one of the largest groups of economically disenfranchised people to exist. Raising the cost of Pride, taking away the free events at Pride, and reducing the spaces reserved especially for trans and non-gay males is the exact opposite of what Pride represents. Not to mention that Pride and gay bars have become a new playground for “allies” and straight people looking to party or fetishize queerness. Blatantly commercializing Pride further disenfranchises and alienates queer folks, and inviting straight headliners to attract more straight people to this music festival that was supposed to be honoring Queerness and struggle is outrageous.

It produces a hotbed of unsafe spaces and disrespectful behavior. People who think they can dance on, touch, or kiss whomever they want; cisgender heterosexual (cishet) people who dominate and invade safe spaces meant for queer folks to be amongst their own for a day; encouraging queerness as a spectacle, something to visit, or a party to go to — not a group of people, not a history, not a legacy to protect and honor. And even though today the remembrance of the Stonewall Uprising has evolved from marches of mere dozens of people to the festivals we have today, we cannot allow that message to be lost. Today we hold huge parades, parties, booze-soaked gaieties with dancers, drag queens, music, and festoons of rainbow as far as the eye can see. But what people need to remember is the point of it all. We wear what we want because it was once illegal and dangerous to do so. We dance and kiss because it was once even more dangerous to do so. We party and celebrate because every other weekend of the year around the globe people still think we don’t exist, or that we shouldn’t. We march because we remember those who died and fought before us to make this world easier for us to exist in as Queer folk.

Terran Pierola is genderfluid, mixed race, queer boi. As a writer, editor, and a passionate activist for intersectional womxn of color feminism, Terran intends to help change the world through community building and institutionalizing inclusivity. Their interests and experience focus on creating supportive and educational resources for gender non-conforming, trans, and queer folks; queer fashion & film; and advocating for critical pedagogy in mainstream spaces. They graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA in English, and currently live in Los Angeles.

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EROC Celebrates Pride Month

Annie Clark

Yesterday marked the beginning of Pride Month, and while our work is year-long, we value this opportunity to honor and highlight Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer (LGBTQ) individuals and their impact on the world...At End Rape On Campus, we use this heightened visibility that comes with Pride to celebrate the LGBTQ community, and to remind ourselves that these conversations about equality and inclusion should be happening on a daily basis.

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