LMU Office of Institutional Compliance Promotes Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Abe in a Teal Suit

Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) joined the nation in celebrating Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). The goal of SAAM is to raise public awareness about sexual violence, educate communities on how to prevent it and bolster prevention efforts throughout the year.

“The national theme for SAAM this year is ‘We can build safe spaces online,’ which is very fitting for all that has been happening online during the pandemic. It’s important to remember that sexual violence can often start as online threats, and sexual harassment often occurs in cyberspaces.” said Title IX Coordinator/Institutional Compliance Officer Kelly Hawk. “Our goal at LMU is to foster a safe environment, always. We are committed to providing awareness and prevention training throughout the year to our faculty and staff as well as our students. In April alone, over 150 students and staff have gone through a Title IX training. As a new member of this academic community, I am excited to promote national initiatives like Sexual Assault Awareness Month, but as this month comes to a close, I want to remind our community that our office is here year-round to help.”

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) has commemorated SAAM in April since 2001. The 20th anniversary campaign “We Can Build Safe Online Spaces” highlights how to practice consent online and build respectful online communities. The internet has become the new public square where people connect with romantic partners, friends, family, co-workers and strangers. This year’s campaign shares how people can build online spaces free of sexual harassment and abuse.

Hawk encourages the LMU community to commemorate SAAM and show support for survivors of sexual harassment and abuse by wearing teal – the color of sexual violence prevention – and taking a photo to post on social media. Wearing teal signals support for survivors. Additionally, Hawk’s office can provide various resources, training and information for groups interested in learning more about sexual assault prevention.

The Office of Institutional Compliance at LMU is committed to upholding the values of the University’s mission as well as LMU’s equal opportunity, affirmative action and nondiscrimination policies. The Office of Institutional Compliance also investigates allegations of prohibited discrimination, harassment and retaliation involving members of the LMU academic community. The Office oversees the University’s compliance with federal law and handles all complaints of discrimination. The Title IX Coordinator is designated to oversee LMU’s compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and coordinates the University response to alleged discrimination on the basis of sex, including sexual harassment, sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence and stalking.

Hawk joined the University last year. She holds a juris doctor from Stetson University College of Law, a Master of Science in Counseling from Carson-Newman University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Maryville College. Hawk has previously worked as an associate attorney at Graves Thomas Rotunda Injury Law Group in Vero Beach, Florida. She is joined in the Office of Institutional Compliance by Deputy Title IX Compliance Coordinator Troy Poore.

Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. The main campus is located in Harrogate, Tennessee. For more information about the undergraduate and graduate programs available at LMU, contact the Office of Admissions at 423-869-6280 or email at [email protected].

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