VAYD’s New Board Took A Stand Against Sexual Assault As Our Very First Act – Here’s Why That Matters


April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and unfortunately, young people are disproportionately affected by sexual violence. Young women in college are 3 times more likely than other women to experience sexual violence. 21 percent of transgender, genderqueer, or gender non-conforming college students have been sexually assaulted.

#MeToo gave some survivors of sexual violence a platform to share their stories for the first time. That movement is a powerful force in changing the narrative around sexual assault.

VAYD recognizes that while we fight for public policy that supports survivors and teaches consent, we must also lead by example.

In our first official act as an executive team, we took a stand against sexual assault. The 2018 Code of Conduct & Safe Space Policy we adopted at our first meeting on April 8 states in no uncertain words that our organization will not tolerate sexual harassment of any kind. And while our VAYD Constitution describes grounds for removing board members, our newly-approved policy goes further by specifying a process for handling incidents of harassment.

Here are three things to know about the policy:

  • Every VAYD member is responsible for looking out for each other and reporting to the Executive Board if you are aware of a violation.

  • VAYD’s Executive Board will meet expediently to discuss and take action on any incident brought to our attention.

  • The party or parties affected by harassment will have the option to remain anonymous and their consent is required for proceedings to move forward.

Read the full 2018 Code of Conduct & Safe Space Policy online here.

VAYD is the largest partisan youth organization in the Commonwealth, and we are powerful. The leadership we showcase within our own organization sets a standard for what we expect all of our elected and community leaders to demonstrate as well.

Please take a moment to read through the policy. Through education and accountability we can change our culture and we can end sexual assault.