Prevention and Education

Step UP! Bystander Intervention

At Minot State University, Step UP! (Be a leader, make a difference) Bystander Intervention educates students to be a positive, active bystander and intervene when necessary to change the outcome of a potentially harmful situation. Research on the causes of sexual violence and evaluation of prevention efforts indicates that bystanders (also referred to as witnesses, defenders, or upstanders) are a key piece of prevention work by utilizing the following decision making steps:

  1. Notice the event
  2. Identify it as one where intervention is needed
  3. Take responsibility for the intervention
  4. Decide how to help
  5. Act to intervene

It is important to remember that:

  • Sexual violence is a community issue.
  • There are many ways that we can intervene in situations.
  • Not doing anything is NOT an option.
  • We need to talk about and practice being positive, active bystanders.

Healthy Relationships

It’s okay to know your boundaries and to speak up about what you want and what you don’t want.

  • Know your limits. How far do you want to go with a date?
  • Communicate your limits clearly.
  • Back up your words with a strong voice and body language.
  • Respect yourself. Know that what you want counts.

Healthy, Unhealthy, and Abusive Relationships
A relationship is healthy if each involved is supported in being the person he or she wants to be. A relationship that limits, manipulates, or damages a person’s sense of self is unhealthy and can be harmful or abusive. Be honest when assessing your relationship on the following factors – you owe it to yourself!

  • Mutual respect: Value your partner for who they are, not who you want them to be or become, and receiving the same from your partner. Does your partner say, do, and believe things that you can support?
  • Trust: Share your thoughts and feelings with another person without fear of being hurt physically, cognitively, or emotionally. Can you be yourself without fear of criticism or judgment? Can your partner trust you in the same way?
  • Honesty: Be truthful in your words. Do you tell the truth? Do you believe what your partner tells you?
  • Support: Help your partner in being his or her best, and feeling you get the same in return.
  • Fairness and equity: You and your partner are giving equally to the relationship. Do you feel like you almost always give, or give in? Or do you expect your partner to do it your way? Healthy relationships involve give and take, compromise, and negotiation – by all parties.
  • Separate identities: Relationships are healthy when each individual shares their true self with their partner. Do you feel like you are losing yourself or your unique identity?
  • Effective communication: Don’t get caught in the trap of believing your partner should know what you want, need, mean, or feel. Humans are rarely good mind-readers, especially in intimate relationships. Do you and your partner take time to communicate? Does your partner really listen and work to understand you? Do you do this for your partner?

Harmful and Abusive Behaviors May Come in Many Forms, and May Include the Following

  • Intimidation: Actions, gestures, or facial expressions used to make another fearful.
  • Emotional Abuse: Name calling or humiliation causing the other to feel unworthy.
  • Isolation: Limiting interactions and information in order to establish control.
  • Minimizing, Denying, or Blaming: Making light of the abusive behaviors causing the other to doubt their own feelings or perceptions.
  • Dominance: Treating another as a lesser being and controlling all decisions.
  • Economic Abuse: Limiting another’s access to work, money, food, or other resources to exert control.
  • Coercion or Threats: Making threats to harm someone in order to control another’s behavior.
Healthy Sexual Relationships
Here are some rules for maintaining a healthy sexual relationship:
  • It is the responsibility of the person initiating sexual contact to ask for and clearly receive consent before acting.
  • If someone is impaired by alcohol or another substance, that person is considered unable to make clear decisions about consent. Initiating sexual contact with someone under the influence is a form of abuse.
  • If your partner expresses uncertainty or says no, it is your responsibility to STOP. Healthy sexual relationships are based on continuous communication about consent.

LGBTQ+

Students belonging to the LGBTQ+ community report higher rates of sexual victimization while enrolled in college and this population are less likely to report an incident. Approximately 1 in 8 lesbian women and nearly half of bisexual women experience rape in their lifetime, and statistics likely increase when a broader definition of sexual assault is used. Nearly half of bisexual men and four in ten gay men have experienced sexual violence other than rape in their lifetime, and though statistics regarding rape vary, it is likely that the rate is higher or comparable to heterosexual men. As with most hate-based violence, transgender individuals are the most likely to be affected in the LGBTQIA+ community. A staggering 64% of transgender people have experienced sexual assault in their lifetime (National Center for Lesbian Rights, 2014).

At Minot State University, we want all students to feel supported and understand that a person of any gender or sexual orientation can be sexually assaulted. Although violence exists within LBGTQ+ communities, it is also important to understand that Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Transgender, and Queer+ people are also targeted for sexual violence based on their sexual orientation and all people, regardless of sexual orientation, can be targets based on their perceived gender expression. In these cases sexual violence is used as a form of control to maintain heterosexism.

Intimate Partner Violence
If you are being abused by an intimate partner of the same-sex, you may experience a broad range of feelings including denial, confusion, and shame. Women who have been assaulted by another woman may believe that it isn’t possible for a woman to rape another woman; that sexual assault is only perpetuated by men. In many cases, this stems from a belief that lesbian sex is not “real sex.” The misconception then follows that if lesbians aren’t considered able to have sex then they certainly cannot sexually assault one another. This is not true. Considering that men are taught from a young age that being vulnerable is a sign of weakness, gay men may have feelings of shame or inadequacy connected to being sexually assaulted that make them reluctant to admit or report their assault. In order to understand same-sex sexual assault and to work toward its prevention, it is important to acknowledge and commit to challenge homophobia and transphobia.

Common Barriers for LGBTQ+ Survivors

  • Not being taken seriously or having their experience minimized
  • Not having their experience called sexual assault or rape
  • Having to explain their experience in more detail than one would ask a heterosexual survivor or a survivor of male-female assault
  • Having to educate those they reach out to
  • Having their experience sensationalized
  • Increasing people’s homophobia or being seen as a traitor in their community because they told their story to straight people
  • Mistakenly being seen as the perpetrator
  • Being blamed for the assault
  • Not being understood
  • Being treated in a homophobic manner by police, hospital staff, rape crisis center, counselors and others
  • Being “outed” (having their sexual orientation revealed without their consent)

The University has resources for all students and students that identify as LGBTQ+ can seek counseling at the following resources:

Title IX Resources

Campus Resources

Safe Zone Ally Program
The Safe Zones program fosters a welcoming and supportive campus for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, and intersex students, staff, and faculty, and identifies those members of the Minot State community who are supportive by creating a visible network of allies.

On-Campus Housing
Minot State Residence Life supports safety and inclusivity for prospective and current LGBTQ+ students. For special housing accommodations, contact their office at 701-858-3363 or msu.housing@minotstateu.edu.

Title IX/Keep U Safe Program
The Keep U Safe Program fosters a safe and inclusive campus community by eradicating all forms of oppression, harassment, and bias. Minot State University does not discriminate on the basis of sex, gender, or sexual orientation in its education programs or activities. For more information, call 701-858-3447.

Bias, Bigotry and Hate Reporting
Students, faculty, and staff are provided with a Web form
for reporting acts of bias, bigotry or hate that may have
occurred on campus, or at a campus-sponsored event.

Student Organizations

Minot State Prism LGBTQ+ and Allies Club
Prism provides social activities, support and education for LGBTQ+ and ally students, faculty, and staff.
Facebook Search “MiSU Prism LGBTQ and Allies Club”

Community & State Resources

Pride Minot
www.prideminot.org

GLBT Summit-Social

Minot High School Gay-Straight Alliance
Facebook /MinotHighGSA

North Dakota Human Rights Coalition
www.ndhrc.org

Human Rights Campaign
www.hrc.org

Dakota Outright
www.dakotaoutright.org

Pride Collective and Community Center
www.pridecollective.com

North Dakota ACLU
www.aclund.org

National & Regional Scholarships

COLAGE Lee Dublin Scholarship
The COLAGE and Family Pride Coalition offers scholarships to support the undergraduate studies of students with LGBT parents.

Point Foundation
The Point Foundation empowers promising LGBTQ
students to achieve their full academic and leadership
potential to make a significant impact on society.

Additional scholarships available to LGBTQ students in a variety of academic and professional tracks can be found at the Human Rights Campaign website.

Risk Reduction

The following suggestions are examples of strategies you can attempt to use to lessen your risk of being a victim of a crime. However, they are not prevention strategies because only the people committing the crime can stop violence from happening.

Remember: You are never to blame for a crime that was committed against you.

  • Understand what resources are available in the event you feel unsafe or need assistance.
  • Be mindful of your surroundings and who you are with. If you are going out- know your location.
  • Be proactive: talk with your friends about your plans and intentions so that if something changes from the plan, they will know to check in with you.
  • Trust your gut: if you feel as if you are in a bad situation, trust your instincts. Try to find a way to leave the situation. Consider calling or texting a trusted friend or make up an excuse to leave.
  • If you are walking or staying late in a building at a time you feel vulnerable, let someone know where you are or ask someone to be with you. Do not hesitate to call Campus Security if you need SAFE WALK.
  • Create a safety plan. If you are concerned for your ongoing safety, it can be worthwhile to create a safety plan.
  • Be careful about posting your location. Many social media sites use geolocation to publicly share your location. Consider disabling this function.
  • Keep your personal items secure and lock your door and windows when you’re asleep and when you leave the room. If people constantly prop open the main door to the dorm or apartment, tell security or a trusted authority figure.
  • When drinking, be aware of what you are drinking and how much you are consuming. Remember that perpetrators often use alcohol and other substances to incapacitate their victims.
  • Be an active and engaged bystander. This means being a good friend and stranger. If you see someone that is in a risky situation, help them.