What We've Been Up To: Outreach with HCC Athletes
Raven, one of our victim advocates, has been working with student-athletes and coaches at Hutchinson Community College. She's provided a great recap on how that's been going and had the opportunity to put our new consent wheel to use!
Working with HCC athletic teams thus far has included presentations to all but one of the athletic teams and to the student-athlete trainers. Teams were receptive to the conversation and most of the questions centered around consent and scenarios of whether or not there was consent. A lot of the athletes are not from Kansas and even the ones that are, do not even know the legal age someone can actually give their consent in the state of KS.
Consent is probably the most important topic I cover with them because it seems like there has not been a conversation at the high school or middle school level, which is scary to think. We talk about social media, "Netflix and Chill", and how the hook-up culture has changed the dynamics of a sexual relationship.
-The football team had a lot of questions about false reporting and what to do if they are falsely accused of rape.
-The baseball team had more questions on how to know if they had consent or not.
-The men's basketball team really focused on false reporting and how they believed it happened 50% or more of the time.
-The women's track and cross country teams were a little quiet and spent most of the time just listening. They were pretty shocked, as some of the other groups, that false reports are not very high.
-The student-athlete trainers spoke of past issues with athletes placing their foot on their chest area in an inappropriate manner (even the head trainer did not realize that would fall under a sexual battery).
-The women's basketball team was under the same impression as the men's team with false reporting being very high.
-The men's track and cross country team focused a lot on false reporting, but I also had an athlete say if a female was dressed a certain way it meant she was down for sex
Overall the teams asked very good questions on consent and false reporting. It definitely taught me a few things as well on how rape culture is very alive today, but that HCC is trying to make their campus a safer place. I have also scheduled 7 sessions to speak with students on campus in their orientation classes over the same topics.
I have been surprised at how receptive the athletes and even the coaches have been to the discussion we have been having. I would say presentation/outreach, but it has truly provided some amazing discussions with these athletes and their coaching staff. The outline I prepared for these discussions have been:
BrightHouse and what we do.
Defining Sexual Assault and why it is called the umbrella term.
Discuss consent and the relevance it has on campus today.
Understand what a true false report is and isn't
Healthy relationships and red flags (we normally do not get much time if any to discuss this).