Bridgeway speakers on sexual assault and domestic violence

Sofiya Melnychuk, Culture Editor

Lindenwood University and the Title IX Office hosted a speaker event for Sexual Assault Awareness Month on Tuesday, April 26, at Evans Commons.

Mother-daughter duo Mary and Mallory Jones from Bridgeway Women’s Center shared what domestic violence is, how to identify it, and where to seek help.

Bridgeway Women’s Center was founded in the 1970s after the death of a Lincoln County resident who suffered from domestic violence. Bridgeway provides free and confidential services that include 24-hour crisis hotlines, sexual assault and domestic violence response teams, support groups, “Safe at Home” address confidentiality programs, and court advocacy.

During the event, Jones shared the recent sexual assault statistics:
• 13% of all students experience rape or sexual assault through psychical force, violence, or incapacitation.
• 5.8% of students have experienced some form of stalking since entering college.
• More than 50% of college sexual assaults occur in either August, September, October, or November.
• Students are at increased risk during the first few months of their first and second semesters in college.
• One in four women and one in seven men will experience physical violence by an intimate partner.

Jones shared the steps that need to be taken if an individual has experienced sexual assault:
1) Contact and talk to the Title IX Office
2) Seek medical professionals to receive medications for possible diseases.
3) Remember that it’s not your fault.
4) Consider talking to the police.
Things to say and do if someone discloses assault:
1) I believe you.
2) This was not your fault.
3) It has taken a lot for you to speak up and we are here for you when you need us.
4) Listen.
5) Some additional helpful language: “I hear you. How would you like things to be different? What do you want to do next? It’s really strong of you to take the step of getting some support. I’m sorry this has happened.”

Resources available at Lindenwood University and St. Charles:
• Bridgeway Women’s Center 24-hour Crisis Hotline: (636)-224-1850
• Title IX Office Interim Coordinator Kelly Moyich: (636)-255-2275
• Student Counseling and Resource Center: (636) 949-4522