Colorado State University-Pueblo hosted a Sexual Assault Awareness Month Resource Fair, April 1 in the Occhiato University Center. The event provided information for students about the services available to sexual assault victims. Resources from the CSU-Pueblo campus and the Pueblo community were represented.
Kate Booth, a child and adolescent counselor at the YWCA Family Crisis Shelter in Pueblo, was on hand at the resource fair. Booth works specifically with children who have dealt with domestic violence and the trauma that comes with it.
“Sexual assault and sexual abuse are highly prevalent in committed marriages or committed relationships, contrary to what we might think,” Booth said.
According to Booth, the YWCA’s mission is “eliminating racism and empowering women.”
“So often times, women have been psychologically, emotionally, spiritually, physically and sexually battered, and they come to our shelter where we help them get back on their feet,” Booth said.
The YWCA respects confidentiality and encourages individuals to call the center in case of a crisis.
Mara Fritsinger, teen program coordinator at Pueblo Rape Crisis Services, said it is their mission to serve people who have been victimized by sexual assault in the community.
“We have a 24 hour hotline, so somebody is always available either to give crisis intervention over the phone or to meet a victim down at the hospital to go through the whole process with them,” Fritsinger said.
Fritsinger’s job mainly consists of providing sexual assault education to teens in the community.
“No victim should ever be blamed for their assault or made to feel ashamed of it. And that we are there for them 24/7,” Fritsinger added.
Students, faculty or staff members who are victims of sexual harassment or assault are encouraged to file a report regarding the incident to the Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action and Title IX Coordinator, Roosevelt T. Wilson. Steps can then be taken to ensure a safe environment for the victim, along with support and guidance regarding community and campus resources.
“I have three very related but different jobs,” Wilson said.
Wilson said his first job as the Equal Opportunity Director makes him accountable for campus and making sure that everyone is treated with dignity and respect.
“What that means is regardless of who you are, your race, your color, your national origin, your gender, anything that makes a person who they are, my job is to say and communicate to the campus that everyone will be treated with dignity and respect. That’s for all students, faculty and staff,” Wilson said.
Wilson’s second job as the Affirmative Action Director gives him the opportunity to engage in proactive activities before there is a complaint.
Lastly, Title IX deals with gender equity and also sexual violence.
“It has been expanded with new legislation a year ago that includes dating, domestic violence and stalking around gender equity issues. My job as a Title IX coordinator first and foremost is to connect potential victims or survivors with resources on campus or off campus,” Wilson said.
These resources can include counseling and accommodations for victims who are impacted by any sexual misconduct.
“The one thing that I want to emphasize about Title IX is that it is far larger than the athletics department. The reason I say that is because, if you look at the news around Title IX sexual misconduct in higher education campuses, it particularly focuses in on the athletic department area,” Wilson said.
According to Wilson, the athletics department is only a very small part of it. Title IX covers all programs and activities on higher education campuses. Wilson tries to reach out to all students on campus to make sure they are aware of what he does and the resources that are available.
“There is a list of things that I can do to facilitate in making someone as whole as possible,” Wilson said.
Confidential services are also provided, which include the Counseling Center, Student Health Center and Rape Crisis Center.
Wilson’s office is in room 304 in the Administration Building, or he can be contacted at 719-549-2210. He can also be reached via email at Roosevelt.Wilson@csupueblo.edu.
Resources for help:
Campus Sexual Assault Response Coordinator 719-549-2223
University Counseling Center 719-549-2830
University Health Center 719-549-2830
Pueblo Rape Crisis Center 719-549-0549
Parkview Medical Center Emergency 719-584-4400
CSU-Pueblo Sheriff’s Office 719-583-6250
National Sexual Assault Hotline 800-656-4673
YWCA Family Crisis Shelter 719-545-8195
After hours contact 719-290-7332