MTSU program to educate students about sexual violence - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

MTSU program to educate students about sexual violence

MURFREESBORO, TN (WSMV) -

A number of high-profile rape cases and allegations have highlighted a culture that can be dangerous, violent and secretive.

Middle Tennessee State University Ty Hageman said he was raised to treat women with honor and respect.

"They are not objects, so I don't know why we go around think they are, doing whatever we want with them," Hageman said.

When he heard about an alleged rape on campus last week, his thoughts were with the victim.

"I feel sorry for her family, and I feel sorry for her that she has to go through that," Hageman said. "It's the first day of class, for crying out loud."

Hageman said he didn't notice sexual violence prevention posters in his dorm and around campus until Tuesday.

MTSU is partnering with the Tennessee Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence for the campaign, reaching out to male students in an effort to combat sexual violence against women.

"I completely agree with it, because as men, our part is to protect the women," Hageman said.

MTSU's June Anderson Center for Women and Non-Traditional Students will conduct the training.

"We're trying to raise awareness about the seriousness of this issue, and to get everyone informed," said Jimmy Hart, director of MTSU News and Media Relations.

Campus officials said male students will be taught what is consent, that no means no, and stop means stop.

"You hear about it, and it doesn't really happen near you," said Boston Weisgerber, a sophomore at MTSU. "When it actually happens somewhere you go, like MTSU, it really kind of opens your eyes and shows you it can really happen everywhere, and not something you hear about on TV."

University officials said the sexual assault prevention awareness campaign was already in the words before last week's alleged rape.

"There is a renewed effort on the federal level to address sexual violence against women on college campuses," Hart said.

Next month, MTSU is inviting educator and activist Tony Porter to campus. His presentation will address sexual violence toward women, and is targeted at men. The presentation is open to the public.

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