• ANNA BURLESON, Standard-Examiner Staff

Weber State to introduce LGBTQ assault prevention program during Pride Week

OGDEN — Weber State University is launching LGBTQ-specific sexual assault prevention programming.

The school received a one-year, $49,810 grant from the Utah Department of Health to develop the programming, which has been ongoing over the school year.

What sets this program apart is that it speaks to the lives of those in the LGBTQ community, said Weber State Women’s Center Director Stephanie McClure.

“Every single thing we’ve done really is focused around gender and sexual identity as it relates to consent,” she said.

Five student researchers administered surveys and ran focus groups in an effort to identify community needs and build the LGBTQ-specific curriculum around it. The consent curriculum will teach teach 18 to 25-year-olds who identify as LGBTQ healthy ways to navigate consent in relationships.

“We found the more people in our community who received prevention education actually do a better job at getting consent within their relationships,” McClure said.

Society generally has a binary take on gender, which McClure said can mean those who act outside of perceived male and female norms are discriminated against.

“We talk about consent relating to folks who are asexual, lesbian, gay, bi, pansexual, cisgender, transgender or gender conforming,” McClure said.

The program also addresses stereotypes and myths that can affect the LGBTQ community. McClure used the example of homosexual men being perceived as particularly promiscuous.

“This stereotype can lead to assumptions relating to consent and sexual interactions which can be very harmful, so we talk through some of those things,” she said.

This is meant to build on the school's existing Safe@Weber program, which requires all Weber State students to take online sexual violence prevention and awareness courses.

The LGBTQ violence prevention programming will be presented at 1 p.m. Thursday, June 1, as part of Pride Week in the Student Services Center.

It will also be live-streamed to the Women's Center Facebook page at facebook.com/weberstatewomenscenter.

The Women's Center is applying for another grant to create a training program and distribute programming to organizations across the state.

Contact education reporter Anna Burleson at aburleson@standard.net. Follow her on Twitter at @AnnagatorB or like her on Facebook at Facebook.com/BurlesonReports.


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