Meet Every Voice Coalition
At Peace is Loud we amplify the voices of women changemakers around the world – this includes those who are working to dismantle rape culture. Since 2017 we have been working on the impact campaign for The Hunting Ground, a documentary about rape culture on campuses. We are excited to share this post about Every Voice Coalition. Their work should be on your radar.
The mounting allegations of sexual assault against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh would be a good time for the Trump administration to assess the epidemic of sexual assault among teens, but instead it is steaming ahead to diminish the rights of female students who are victims of sexual abuse.
According to The New York Times, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is preparing new policies on campus sexual misconduct that would bolster the rights not of survivors, but of students accused of assault, harassment or rape.
“The proposed measures blatantly ignore the complexity of sexual violence on college campuses, fly in the face of extensive research on what makes campuses safer,” says Genevieve Rogers, co-founder of Every Voice Coalition, which brings together together students, advocates, and universities to fight sexual violence on campuses across Massachusetts. “They dismiss what students across the country are asking for.”
These new measures would allow, for instance, for people at colleges and universities accused of sexual misconduct to cross-examine their victims and request evidence.
One in four women is sexually assaulted while in college, and more than 90 percent of sexual assault survivors on college campuses don’t report the crime. A new, narrower definition of sexual harassment under DeVos would likely lead to less reporting.
“We’re actively advocating for legislation that actually makes students safe,” says Rogers.
The Every Voice Coalition currently has a student-written bill — one of the first of its kind — in front of Massachusetts legislators to institute anonymous surveys across college campuses to better inform change.
Unfortunately, the bill didn’t pass the most recent session and will likely be reintroduced in January.
“There’s no other public health epidemic in which we’re failing to collect fair and updated information,” says Every Voice cofounder John Gabrieli. “#MeToo ratched up the urgency for our work, but we need to make sure we maintain the momentum because we have a long road ahead.”
Looking for a few ways to help support the fight against sexual assault on campuses across the country?
*Bring the conversation about justice for sexual assault survivors to your friends, family, or community by hosting a screening of The Hunting Ground.