The following message was posted on the CSUN website on October 4, 2018.
To the Campus Community:
Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee last week regarding allegations of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court Nominee Brett Kavanaugh has accelerated the national conversation about sexual harassment and assault. For many, hearing and watching Dr. Ford’s painful account of her assault has stirred up difficult memories of their own.
Indicative of the impact of these hearings is the surge in reports of sexual misconduct. For instance, the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network reported a 201 percent spike in calls on the day of Dr. Ford’s testimony as well as “unprecedented wait times” for its online chat.
At the same time, we know that sexual assault continues to be grossly underreported; and while reasons for not reporting are unique to each individual, common reasons involve fear of not being believed, fear of reprisal, social stigma and trauma-related effects.
There is no wrong time for a survivor to come forward.
If you are feeling particularly distressed and need extra support, below are a number of ways you can connect with someone trained to help you and access services as a survivor of sexual assault:
CSUN and LOCAL COMMUNITY
- Strength United (818) 886-0453: provides confidential 24-hour crisis counseling and a response team of certified advocates ready to assist survivors.
- CSUN Care Advocate (818) 677-7492: a free and confidential resource on campus to assist survivors with obtaining medical assistance and resources, including accompanying a survivor to the hospital; assisting with the initiation of a university and/or criminal investigation and accompanying victim-survivors to investigative proceedings and adjudication hearings; and other forms of advocacy and support.
- Title IX Coordinator (818) 677-2077: assists with linkages to campus and community support resources and can walk you through your rights and options, from medical and counseling services to advocacy support services, university accommodations, and mechanisms of accountability.
- University Counseling Services (818) 677-2366: free and confidential emotional support and counseling for students.
- Klotz Student Health Center (818) 677-3666: health services at little or no cost to currently enrolled students.
- Center for Assault Treatment Services (818) 885-8500: 24-hour/7-day-per-week Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys that provides support for sexually and domestically abused women and children.
- Rape, Abuse, Incest National Network: 24-hour hotline. 1-800-656-4673
- The National Domestic Violence Hotline: 24-hour hotline. 1−800−799−7233
LOS ANGELES COUNTY
- Peace Over Violence - Los Angeles: It staffs 24-hour hotlines, provides counseling, and has an Emergency Response Team and a Domestic Abuse Response Team. It also offers case management and legal services.
- Safe LA: It lists a general 24-hour hotline for Southern Californians, along with separate 24-hour hotlines for people in central L.A., South L.A. and the San Gabriel Valley.
CSUN is committed to the safety and well-being of all of our students, and I hope that anyone affected by sexual harassment or assault will avail themselves of these resources.
Dianne F. Harrison, Ph.D.