Harvey Weinstein case sparks safety awareness on and off-campus

Kendra Johnson, Arts Editor

Over the past month, much of the national arts news has been almost overshadowed by more solemn news as the number of individuals accusing Hollywood executive Harvey Weinstein of sexual harassment and assault keep rising.

Harvey Weinstein has been one of the most influential men in Hollywood, as the (now former) executive of Miramax. His name can be seen in the credits of numerous films and television shows including: “Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers,” “Shakespeare In Love” and “The King’s Speech.”

According to the BBC, the New York Times published an article Oct. 5 “detailing decades of allegations of sexual harassment against Harvey Weinstein.”

The L.A. Times reported Weinstein was voted out of the Motion Picture Academy less than a week after the New York Times article was published.

By the start of November, the number of accusations against him had mounted to the dozens.

Nov. 3, L.A. Times published a piece that quoted NYPD chief of detectives, Robert Boyce, who said that if Weinstein were in New York and the case wasn’t about events from seven years prior, they would have considered the evidence they had as enough to arrest Weinstein.

Unfortunately, stories like this are not uncommon, not only in the arts, but on college campuses.

According to Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, almost one of four undergraduate women and more than one of 20 undergraduate men have experienced rape or sexual assault.

However, as bleak as these statistics sound, and are, these situations are not hopeless. Many universities have policies in place in an effort to prevent sexual assault and sexual harassment and to protect their students and employees.

Oklahoma Baptist University’s protective policies can be found in the student handbook, The Green Book. Numerous resources are available to students, both for their protection, and to help students who have experienced sexual assault find hope and healing.

These resources include the OBU Campus Police 405.878.6000; the Shawnee Police 911 or 405.273.2121.

The University Counseling office is another great source. According to the OBU Green Book University Counseling “offers free, confidential services for students at any time during the recovery process.” They can be contacted by phone at 405.585.5260.

Other campus resources include the Dean of Students office, 405.585.5250; Campus Nurse, 405.585.5263; and the Title IX Coordinator, Mike Johnson 405.585.5130.

National resources for prevention and help are also available to the OBU community, including the National Sexual Assault Hotline, 800.656.HOPE; and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

Project Safe is a local non-profit organization. According to their webpage, “We provide services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and staking to men, women, and children.” They can be contacted by phone at 405.273.9953 and their webpage.

The Harvey Weinstein investigation serves as an important reminder of why sexual assault prevention is necessary, and that even in the darkest of places, there can still be hope.


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