By Zachary Boetto
With recent news surrounding cultural figures allegedly involved in domestic violence, such as the NFL Dallas Cowboy’s running back Ezekiel Elliott and rapper XXXTentacion, it is important for students to know that there are places for them to find help.
Domestic violence is a sensitive subject to discuss, especially around a university, but you can find help on and off campus.
“It can be scary but we are here in a non-judgmental way,” said Caroline Prijatel-Sutton, Executive Director of the Coalition for Family Harmony.
CI has partnered with the Coalition for Family Harmony of Ventura County to establish a confidential emergency sexual assault and domestic violence hotline for CI students and employees to anonymously access resources including crisis counseling, exploring legal options and safety planning.
The Coalition has been working with the people of Ventura County for over 40 years and provides counseling, support groups, a domestic violence emergency safe house, a rape crisis center, a batterer’s intervention program, a juvenile probation program and a teen dating violence program.
Whether you are a student, an employee of the university or anyone affected by domestic violence, you can find information and help here in the area at any time.
“We offer the rape crisis center with Myriah Gonzales on campus that offers 10 free sessions of counseling and we also work with the Title IX Coordinator Brittany Grice,” Prijatel-Sutton said.
Title IX offers protection against discrimination on the basis of gender or sexual orientation including sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, gender based dating, domestic violence and stalking.
The Education Amendments Act of 1972 states: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”
On campus, the CI Police Department will be offering the R.A.D. (Rape Aggression Defense) class throughout the year for female students, staff and faculty. You can register for the class in Placer Hall.
New CI students have to complete implemented sexual harassment programs and a rape aggression defense program, while all continuing students in the CSU system must participate in a sexual misconduct and interpersonal violence prevention program each academic year in which they are enrolled.
Also, all new students beginning at CI in the fall of 2017 have been assigned the online 45-minute program entitled “Not Anymore,” which provides information about sexual violence prevention and the definitions of consent, sexual assault, rape, domestic violence and stalking. All other students are assigned a 25-minute refresher version of the training called “Every Choice Refresher.”
“Please take advantage of all of the resources including the confidential bilingual hot line available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Someone is always here,” Prijatel-Sutton said.
If you need help or know someone who needs help, please call (805) 656-4439.