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May 12, 2014

A&M-Commerce coordinates with community to prevent sexual assault

(Continued)

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“We currently have an active Title IX committee that is addressing new ways of prevention and support programs for our community. A new campus initiative for fall 2014 will show how as a bystander you can help prevent sexual assault,” she said, adding assault cases need to be reported as soon as possible to prevent any further injuries to the victim. “There is an immediate concern of physical injury, which may be extensive enough to require medical treatment or hospitalization.  Becoming pregnant or being exposed to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are also concerns. The survivor may experience emotional trauma which can affect the student’s academic achievement.”

Under the Texas A&M University system regulation, all A&M-Commerce employees who are affiliated with sex discrimination in any capacity are required to report it to Vieira. 

Although not all of them can guarantee confidentiality, only counselors and medical personnel can, Vieira said any person who comes forward to an employee is treated with respect and the information is limited to a need-to-know basis. 

Vieira said A&M-Commerce staff are well-trained in addressing sexual assault.

“All campus employees are required to take nondiscrimination and sexual harassment training,” she said. “Key members of the campus community are taking both investigative and administrative training to enhance their role in preventing and addressing sexual assault.”

Vieira said a high priority in sexual assault cases is providing counseling and support for the survivors. 

“We work directly with the campus counseling center to provide support for our survivors,” she said. “We can also make referrals to other support groups in the community.”

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