Reframing the conversation around interpersonal violence

Pick up a paper, turn on the news, or open a browser today and there will no doubt be a story about sexual violence. Interpersonal violence is a serious topic – and one that Colorado State University is committed to combating.reframe number 5 for source

Reframe, a new campus-wide effort, is aimed at getting community members to start thinking and acting differently to help end interpersonal violence. The initiative is intended to help all students, faculty, and staff at CSU reframe the conversation about sexual and interpersonal violence in a way that teaches consent and provides skills for intervening and ways to respond to problematic language and behaviors.

“We know that the only person responsible for sexual assault is the person who commits it — and we know that everyone has a role in prevention,” Colorado State President Tony Frank said. “We also know that learning how to talk about and fully understand these issues and the dynamics around them can be difficult. The Reframe campaign is designed to empower all of us to get involved and help make our campus a safer place for everyone.”

“Here, at CSU, we know that 60 percent of incoming students had some level of experience with interpersonal violence,” said Monica Rivera, assistant director for Prevention and Education Programs for the Women and Gender Advocacy Center. “CSU’s work to prevent interpersonal violence on campus begins here – addressing common myths, encouraging difficult conversations and empowering us all to take the action needed to make our campus a safer place for everyone.”

Reframe seeks to refocus the conversation toward the perpetrator rather than on what the victim should do as well as create an understanding about the basics of healthy relationships. The initiative officially launched with 10 reframes – statements meant to redirect how people think about interpersonal violence – at Ram Welcome in August, but first-year students were introduced to it during Ram Orientation this past summer.reframe number 7 cropped for source

“Students feel this has really resonated with them,” Rivera said. “They’re looking for ways to display or share their passion for the issue – I have students who have ripped out every page of the reframe booklet and put it on their walls as posters.”

Each semester, a new reframe will be launched to tackle a commonly held myth about interpersonal violence.

“The ultimate goal is for all facets of campus to embrace and own elements of Reframe as a way to engage with people they interact with the most,” said Kathy Sisneros, director of the Women and Gender Advocacy Center. “To reframe our conversations and understanding about interpersonal violence, everyone on campus needs to feel connected to the conversation and know that they can take an active role in ending interpersonal violence.”

United with CSU’s Reframe initiative, the City of Fort Collins, led by Councilmember Gino Campana, recently became the first city in the country to join It’s On Us – a sexual assault prevention campaign developed by the White House originally for college campuses. CSU, the City, and a number of local government, nonprofit and business groups are joining together to support the goals of It’s on Us.

For more information about Reframe, visit