Douglas County has an alarming problem with domestic abuse, stalking, and sexual assault. In one recent year alone, according to the Department of Human Services, the county called in domestic violent reports 2,316 times. The county also reported 27 instances of stalking and 161 calls of sexual assault.
UCC’s Veronica Joyce is trying to reduce these crimes and help the people hidden behind the numbers. As part of her efforts, she is putting on “A Window Between Worlds:” A Kiss is Not a Promise” Monday, Feb. 11 and Wednesday, Feb. 13 from 10:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. in the Student Center.
“Everybody has different boundaries, and a kiss means different things to different people. This project facilitates how to have that conversation, Joyce said. “People are not wrong about what intimacy means to them or what their sexual boundaries are, but it is important that there is consent,” Veronica Joyce said.
Oregon sexual consent laws are complex. Consent is important because, without it, sexual violence is being committed. According to Oregon Laws, the age of consent is 18 years old. If individuals are 17 years old or younger, they are not legally able to consent to sexual activity. Intimacy with them may be “statutory rape,” if prosecuted. Statutory rape in Oregon is defined as “sexual contact with an individual who is below the legal age of consent.” Rape in the first degree is defined as “a person who has sexual intercourse with another. The person commits the crime of rape in the first degree if the victim is subjected to forcible compulsion by person, if the victim is under 12 years of age, if the victim is under 16 years of age and the person’s sibling or whole or half blood or the person’s child or person’s spouse’s child; or if the victim is incapable of consent by reason of mental defect, mental incapacitation or physical helplessness.”
Consent plays an important role in what makes up a healthy relationship, according to Joyce. The Kiss is Not a Promise project is intended to help students learn how to have the conversation about boundaries and the importance of consent within their relationships. The Battered Persons Advocacy will provide materials about healthy relationships and consent at the event.
Joyce is also a CARE advocate for Douglas County’s Battered Persons Advocacy board. “The Battered Persons Advocacy is always available to help people with domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. These are the three mission statements of ours. Additionally, art programs (such as “A Window Between Worlds”) help people with trauma,” Joyce said.
For more information regarding this event, contact Veronica Joyce at 541-440-7866 or visit the information booth at the Student Center on Campus.