Conversations around sexual assault on college campuses have helped many survivors -- and anyone concerned about gender-related violence -- come together for support, information and healing conversations. But activism doesn't start or end on the quad.
That's why the lovely folks at Know Your IX -- a group that educates people about the protections in the 1972 anti-gender discrimination law, Title IX -- created the High School Title IX Tool Kit to help get younger people in on the action.
"Know Your IX is a team made up entirely of young folks, most of whom were assaulted in college -- that's why we've organized and educated college students about their rights and protections," Know Your IX co-founder Dana Bolger told MTV News. "But whenever we'd put out a new resource on campus sexual assault, we'd get at least half a dozen tweets and comments and emails asking for resources for younger students."
Bolger adds that some schools don't even know what their Title IX obligations are -- and most students definitely don't. That's where this tool kit comes in. With easy-to-understand cheat sheets that cover everything from how to identify gender-based violence to the basic protections under Title IX law, guides to restraining orders and lawyers and other FAQs, a lot of the scary, mysterious parts of reporting violence and getting help become way more accessible (to both students and the people who love them.).
Even though Title IX is a pretty comprehensive federal law that protects students in kindergarden through 12th grade in addition to college students, Bolger said there still aren't a lot of resources centered around young people "that are reflective of [their] lived experiences on the ground."
"There's a lot that's similar about violence in high school and violence in college, but so much that's different. For minors, there are all sorts of mandatory reporting requirements that can be confusing and discouraging to victims who might otherwise come forward," Bolger said. "And, as much as colleges are failing to support survivors, high schools are even worse."