In this upcoming academic year BU is making a concerted effort to combat discrimination and harassment on campus. The Brandon University Sexual Violence Education and Prevention Office is ensuring through its “I Believe You” campaign, which it launched right at the beginning of the year, that sexual assault is treated in the proper serious manner. The idea is to encourage victims of sexual assault to come forward and disclose the trauma they suffered, thereby beginning the healing process and seeing to it that justice is served. This year will mark the last of the campaigns 4 year running period. All together the participation throughout the years, numbering in the millions, would indicate that the program was a huge success. The reason for this campaign is that many victims of sexual harassment are reluctant to talk about what they went through by fear of facing disbelief and ridicule if they do take a stand. It is in combating this phenomena that the campaign was particularly successful as there has been an increase in reporting of Sexual Harassment cases.
On the 11th of September there was a #IBelieveYou selfie booth set up on the Courtyard where students would stop to take a picture with a temporary #IBelieveYou tattoo which could later be uploaded to social media. The Farm 101.1 FM as well as Star 94.7 FM radio stations were on the scene as well handing out free Subway coupons amongst other stuff for those that decided to stop by. Furthermore Bystander training was held on campus to teach students more about how to intervene and prevent sexual assault from happening.
According Brandon Universities Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Policy "every member of the University community must adhere to University policies and support the aim of the University to create a climate of understanding and respect for the dignity and rights of all,” as well as "support the University's efforts to ensure that the working and learning environment is free of discrimination and harassment". With this in mind all of us should take care that we do our best to create a campus that is a safe environment for everyone to study at. It is events the “I Believe You” campaign that can provide the training and awareness needed to effectively approach a case and correctly deal with it. We all benefit from the awareness surrounding the struggles of different people. It both ensures that actions are taken to reduce the number of victims created and allows those already victimized to heal.