The University of Maryland, College Park is preparing to roll out a sexual assault prevention pilot program that could soon be mandated for all incoming students.

The program, dubbed Violence Intervention and Prevention (VIP), will reach 300 to 600 of this fall’s incoming freshman students. VIP gives students a comprehensive education on sexual assault and rape culture, including bystander intervention techniques that students can use on campus to eradicate sexual violence.

It’s set to begin in late within the next month, and Maryland’s University Senate will vote in October on whether or not to expand the pilot program to reach every new student. Activists expect a full mandate to be approved.

The program was created by sexual assault survivor Lauren Redding this past spring during her last semester at the university. Redding now works as the Feminist Majority Foundation’s online communications associate and is leading the creation of FMF’s first campus sexual violence prevention campaign.

Media Resources: The Diamondback 9/4/3013, 5/11/2013, 2/4/2013

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