Saturday, September 21, 2019

UTSA earns top state award for its commitment to ending sexual violence

UTSA earns top state award for its commitment to ending sexual violence

UTSA Police Cpl. Maranda Tupper and Ruben Puente, assistant director, UT System Police

(June 23, 2017) -- The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) has been recognized statewide for its efforts to stop sexual violence. The Texas Association Against Sexual Assault (TAASA) has honored UTSA with its annual Excellence in Campus Advocacy and Action Award for developing and administering programs and resources aimed at raising awareness of and preventing sexual violence involving students.

UTSA began providing training programs to faculty, staff and students on sexual harassment in 2006. Since then, more than 40 unique educational initiatives and large-scale events have been developed by the university to raise awareness of and prevent sexual misconduct and sexual assault involving students, encourage greater reporting of incidents and teach students how alcohol and drugs can impair decision-making.

The university’s Beaks Up. Speak Up. initiative coordinates and provides bystander education opportunities to students through training, other programs and social media. The initiative teaches students how to recognize a harmful situation and how to respond in a way that could positively influence the outcome of that situation.

Another UTSA program, Bringing in the Bystander, helps students identify the continuum of inappropriate sexual behavior, develop empathy for sexual violence survivors, understand their role in bystander intervention, understand barriers to intervention and how to overcome them, and develop skills to intervene as an active bystander.

Other initiatives include Sexual Assault Awareness Month events and It’s on Us Call to Action Day, which are offered each April, and Take Back the Night, held each fall. Recently, UTSA Police Department intern and UTSA student-athlete Randy Bermea partnered with UTSA Athletics to become a One Love Peer Facilitator to bring awareness of the signs and actions of dating violence, along with how to report and receive assistance.

“Together, we have worked very hard to create new sexual violence awareness programs, update existing training efforts, improve services and create a safe environment for students to learn, discover and grow, ” “said Gerald Lewis, UTSA associate vice president of public safety and chief of police.

Members of the UTSA Police Department and UTSA Office of Equal Opportunity Services accepted the award while attending the TAASA University Police Sexual Assault Training held during the National Sexual Assault Conference in Dallas earlier this month.

UTSA was commended for its success in creating university-wide collaborations, including partnerships with student organizations and Bexar County community agencies, to reduce sexual violence and provide resources and services to sexual assault survivors. Last year, the UTSA Police Department earned the TAASA Community Engagement Award.

University of Texas System Police Director Michael Heidingsfield was also honored at the TAASA conference with the Harold Cottle Justice Award. Heidingsfield received the honor for his collaborative commitment in the support and development of “The Blueprint for Campus Police: Responding to Sexual Assault” and several other distinguished accomplishments.


Learn more about UTSA prevention partners.

Learn more about UTSA awareness campaigns.

Learn more about UTSA training for students.

Learn more about UTSA training for faculty and staff.

Connect with UTSA online at Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and LinkedIn.



UTSA Today is produced by University Communications and Marketing, the official news source of The University of Texas at San Antonio. Send your feedback to news@utsa.edu. Keep up-to-date on UTSA news by visiting UTSA Today. Connect with UTSA online at Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram.


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