MDC SHARK Initiative aims to prevent sexual assault, intimate partner violence, and stalking of all kinds on all eight MDC campuses. The Initiative coordinates training and events focused on preventing and intervening in instances of sexual violence, intimate partner violence, and stalking. MDC recognizes that sexual violence is serious and have impacted a multitude of lives in various ways.
We may have:
- experienced violence
- a friend or family who have experienced violence
- heard about sexual violence on the news or in the media
- volunteered with an organization to assist survivors of violence
The SHARK Initiative team believes that violence is preventable, and you can play an essential role in helping us to prevent violence on and off-campus and support those who have been impacted. Through promoting safety, humility, action, respect, and kindness – we believe we can truly decrease victimization and prevent violence. It is important to know that we at MDC are Sharks, and Sharks swim together!
We offer training to the MDC community regarding the topics below and customized training tailored to your participant needs. Topics include:
- Sexual Violence Overview and How to Prevent Violence
- Anti-oppression and Gender-based Violence
- Bystander Intervention
- Gender Norms and Sexuality
How can you help to end sexual violence before it happens?
MDC recognizes the importance of preventing sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking before an incident occurs. MDC Sharks can help to prevent violence by:
- Practicing individual and community Safety
- Violence whether physical, emotional, financial, or verbal is never okay. MDC Sharks can prevent violence in relationships by practicing healthy communication instead of resorting to violence of any form.
- Exhibiting Humility by recognizing value in others and assisting those in need
- Humility or humbleness can be displayed on campus and in our community. Consider volunteering at a local crisis response center, starting a fundraiser or food drive to support those impacted by violence, or simply educating yourself about how to help a friend. Be sure to check out our "How to Help a Friend" page for more information.
- Taking Action in high risk situations
- It can be very difficult to find the courage to take action when you see someone in a high-risk situation but, it is important to know that you can truly make a difference by assisting a potential victim in a safe manner. Whether it be directly asking someone to stop harmful behavior or calling public safety for help when there is a potential victim, you can make a difference! Attend our MDC Sharks Against Violence training to learn more about bystander intervention techniques.
- Respecting an individual's boundaries and needs
- Asserting boundaries and communicating needs are essential to healthy relationships, friendships and even work interactions. Always respect individual boundaries, ask for consent before entering someone's personal space, and communicate individual needs.
- Expressing Kindness for everyone regardless of their race, religion, gender, nationality, class, or sexual orientation
- The MDC community is filled with an array of diverse members. It is important that each MDC Shark exbibits respect for each other regardless of the person's race, religious beliefs, gender, nationality, class, or sexual orientation. Unique experiences and identities are what makes MDC a vibrant community.
Additional proactive behaviors include practicing healthy relationship skills; creating awareness through discussing how to end violence with friends and family members; and examining your own views regarding sexual violence. If you would like more information about these topics, contact the Office of Sexual Violence Prevention to discuss scheduling a training, request materials, or do learn how to help!
What is consent?
Along with safety, humility, action, respect, and kindness – consent is an essential element of sexual violence prevention. Consent is when someone voluntarily agrees to a proposed activity. Consent is intelligent, knowing, and should never be coerced. It is important that both people understand what activity is being agreed upon and decides to engage freely.
- MDC Policy 1-20
Confused about consent?
Check out the video below for a quick explanation on consent!
Are you ready to intervene?
Bystander intervention is when someone recognizes a potentially harmful incident and chooses to respond in a positive way to reduce harm to the potential victim. Here are some simple steps to keep in mind when thinking about intervention options.
Remember, Sharks SWIM together!
- Speak up - If you see someone in an uncomfortable situation, speak up! Whether it be direct or indirect intervention, don't ignore the potential danger.
- Work together - Work together with other allies such as friends or a trusted party to distract the offending person from a potentially dangerous situation.
- Inquire - Check in to see what safety options are available such as exits, emergency alerts, and public safety.
- Monitor – Keep an eye on the situation as best as you can as you call for additional assistance if needed.
Request our full bystander intervention training for your class, club, or group of friends at email@example.com!
Empowering Self- Defense Tips!
No one has a right to have sex or sexual contact with you without your full, knowing, and voluntary consent, even if that person is your spouse or a previous or current intimate partner. Additionally, you are NOT expected or required to fight the perpetrator or scream for assistance and must give consent to sexual contact. The video below provides helpful self-defense tips to empower MDC community members and take along with you each day!
Sign our pledge and tell us one thing you can do to prevent sexual violence!
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information about upcoming training, events, and ways to prevent sexual violence!