MTSU Launches Program To Help Stop Sexual Assaults On Campus

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MTSU Launches Program To Help Stop Sexual Assaults On Campus

By Shannon Royster. CREATED Aug 29, 2014

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - One Mid-State University is trying to stop sexual assault on campus before it happens with a new unique campaign. It teaches male students to become better men.

Sexual assaults happen on college campuses all too often and that scares students, like Natalie Nelson.

"It is my first time away from home for a long period of time, so it is very intimidating, especially walking back from late classes," she said.

That's why Jimmy Hart, Middle Tennessee State University's director of news and media relations, said it's starting a new program.

"We've always done programs to combat sexual violence on campus that covers everyone, but in this case, we're specifically targeting men," he said.

They're hoping to reach male students through a new campaign entitled, "I Became A Better Man," by teaching them the importance of self-control and consent.

Freshman Lincoln Davis said it's a program that's long overdue.

"You can talk to women all you want, but the men are still going to be doing it," said Davis. "If you can get the men to realize, ‘wow this is how much I'm hurting another person,’ that's what's going to stop these kinds of assaults."

Last year, MTSU had a total of seven reported sexual assaults, including three rapes and four cases of forcible fondling. On Monday, the first day of class this year, a sexual assault was reported on campus.

Hart said that's one sexual assault too many.

"So anything we can do to raise awareness to educate people we feel like education is the key," he said. "We want to focus on prevention."

Right now, the program is only in the planning stages and it will only be a one day event, but from it they hope to create classes for men as a continued effort to prevent sexual assault.

The campaign officially begins in October. In addition to the "Better Man" campaign, MTSU is offering a new, free mobile app called, Rave Guardian that includes a panic button directly connecting them with police.

Shannon Royster

Shannon Royster

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Shannon is the weekend anchor at NewsChannel 5. You can catch her behind the anchor desk weekend evenings, and reporting during the week. Shannon comes to us from Shreveport, LA where she was an evening anchor for KSLA.