Why Should You Care?
Knowing what resources are available on- and off-campus gives you the tools that you need to help yourself and others who have experienced gender-based discrimination, including sexual violence, power-based personal violence, and harassment. West Virginia University has a zero-tolerance policy for these types of offenses and is pro-actively working to make them happen less, but it’s on all of us as a Mountaineer family to help one another wherever and whenever we can.
Who Is Affected by Sexual Violence?
- 1 in 4 women will be sexually assaulted during their time at college.
- 1 in 16 men will experience sexual assault during college.
- 90% of campus sexual assaults are committed by someone that the survivor knows.
- 84% of female survivors report being sexually assaulted during their first four semesters on campus.
- The majority college rapists commit an average of 6 sexual assaults each.
- 57% of college students who report experiencing dating violence report experiencing it while in college.
It is important to remember that these statistics are just that, statistics. Many survivors of sexual violence and power-based personal violence do not report their experience for a number of reasons, making the truth behind the numbers less reliable than what individuals actually experience on campuses and in communities across the nation.
What Can You Do?
West Virginia University employs Title IX Education Specialists who coordinate the WVU Peer Advocate program. This program trains students to work to end sexual assault and power-based personal violence on campus through prevention education. This training takes form through a 3 credit hour course where students receive the knowledge and tools they need to help their peers. Services provided by the WVU Peer Advocates include but are not limited to the following:
- Accompany students to Ruby Memorial Hospital, student conduct hearings, the WellWVU Carruth Counseling Center , or other appointments related to their experience and recovery.
- Assist students in filing a Title IX complaint with West Virginia University.
- Host prevention and awareness events across campus.
- Meet with students to discuss their experience and the resources and options available to them.
- Provide on-campus education regarding the issues around Title IX and sexual violence at West Virginia University.
Any student is welcome and encouraged to become a WVU Peer Advocate and can become involved by calling our office at (304) 293-5600.
Notice the issues
Assess if the scene is safe to intervene
If it's not safe, get help - call 911 or use your LiveSafe app.
Ask for help
Create a distraction
Talk directly to those involved
When ACTing as a bystander to prevent discrimination and violence, always be respectful.
Being a Mountaineer connects us. Respect others' diverse differences, listen non-judgmentally, affirm that you understand. And last, honor each others' experiences and opinions.
The purpose of the It's On Us campaign is to raise awareness about issues surrounding sexual violence and empower college students to be active bystanders. Sexual violence and power-based personal violence effect thousands in our Mountaineer family, and we all have a part to play in the solution to these problems. This campaign asks that you sign the It's On Us Pledge and take a stand against sexual violence in our community.
Prevention Programs and Trainings
Staff members across the Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion offer training on a variety of topics, including bystander intervention, inclusivity, stalking awareness and more.
To request an in-person program or training please utilize our online form. Please fill out the form as completely as possible:
How to Help a Friend
If someone comes to you and they have been sexually assaulted:
- Make sure they are safe. Always call 911 if there is an emergency.
- Make sure they know that it wasn’t their fault. Tell them that they did the best that they could do to survive the situation and that no one deserves to be sexually assaulted.
- Validate their feelings. Acknowledge their sadness, anger, fear, or confusion, regardless of how strange their reaction to the event may seem to you.
- Believe them. It is rare that people make up stories about sexual assault.
- Help them seek resources. West Virginia University provides many different resources for survivors of sexual violence or power-based personal violence. The Title IX Education Specialists and WVU Peer Advocates are private individuals who can thoroughly discuss the survivor’s options without reporting the incident to the University.
- NEVER pressure them into doing anything. As an outside party, you may feel that certain actions need to be taken, but it is important that you empower the survivor by supporting what actions they think is best.
1 All statistics were taken from
If you wish to speak to someone anonymously, please call the Title IX On-Call Line at (304) 906-9930. Someone is available to take your call, twenty-four hours a day.