The Missing Piece in Many Student (and Parent) Orientations

Most students, and many parents, participate in an Orientation session (sometimes multiple days) at the beginning of the college journey. Colleges work hard to help students and parents understand what to expect, learn about resources, and be prepared for the road ahead.

But for many students and their families, there may be a missing (or under-emphasized) piece – information about campus sexual violence.

It’s a topic that makes many of us, especially as parents, uncomfortable. We don’t like to think about it, we assume it won’t be an issue for our student, and as long as it is at least touched upon during Orientation we assume and hope that is enough.

It may not be.


Fact: 1 in 4 female students, 1 in 15 male students, and 1 in 5 gender nonconforming students are sexually assaulted during their college year.

Fact: What experts refer to as “the red zone”, the time between the start of the fall semester through Thanksgiving break is a time when more than 50% of all college sexual assaults are statistically found to occur. This is the time of parties, Greek “rush” events and a time when first-year students are particularly vulnerable because of their unfamiliarity with the campus and lack of a strong on-campus support group.

Fact: More than 90% of these incidents are perpetrated by repeat offenders.

Fact: Less than 10% of sexual assaults are reported.

Find out more

This year, there’s a remedy for some of the lack of information parents and students have. Callisto, an organization whose mission is to provide resources and to empower survivors of sexual assault, is hosting a series of four dialogues to equip parents and students with tools and resources that address the continuum from prevention education to post-assault support.

College Parent Central is pleased to be a sponsor of this series and we encourage all parents (and their students) to attend. We need to be aware. We need to educate ourselves. We hope we will never need to be, but we need to talk to our students and we need to be ready.

The dialogue series is free and virtual.

Event #1: Transition to College & Sexual Assault and Prevalence on Campus

August 30th at 8PM EST

Speakers: Dr. Susan B. Sorenson & Lucia Hadsall, Callisto Ambassador

Welcome to this new place and experience called college life. College is a time for self-exploration and exploring this new frontier called “adulthood.” This IG & Facebook Live will center the challenges and opportunities of entering collegiate life, and bring forward the realities of sexual violence on campus. The goal of this discussion is to help prepare you and/or your students as to what you might expect.

Event #2: Consent and Healthy Relationships

September 19th at 8PM EST

Speaker: Jenna Almonte, The I AM Journey –

Nothing says respect and empowerment like engaging in experiences in college that positively support your personal growth and sexual health. During this IG & Facebook Live, we will be exploring some of the ABC’s of healthy relationships and the importance of consent and boundaries as we navigate new experiences.

Event #3: Campus Survivor Rights

November 7th at 8PM EST

Speaker: Cari Simon, Esq.

There are a number of federal regulations in place to hold institutions accountable for preventing and addressing sexual misconduct on college campuses. This webinar will educate parents and students about the legal protections and institutional processes available to you and/or your student, if an incident of sexual violence occurs.

Event #4: Navigating Disclosure and Post-Assault Support Tools and Resources 

November 9th at 8PM EST

Speakers: Dr. Susan B. Sorenson

Telling is a choice. Who and what to tell is a choice that is made over and over again. During this IG & Facebook Live, we will address key issues related to disclosure and post-assault resources and tools for students and parents. We will share 3 recommendations for navigating what can sometimes be tricky terrain.

Find out more about the dialogue series or join the live events on Instagram and Facebook at

You can find out more about Callisto and what they do by going to

You might also want to listen to our podcast interview with Susan Sorenson, author of After Campus Sexual Assault: A Guide for Parents. Dr. Sorenson will be a speaker at two of these sessions. Check out our podcast episode – #053 – Campus Sexual Assault: A Discussion with Author and Public Health Expert Susan Sorenson

Related articles:

The Importance of the First Six Weeks of College

The Culture Shock of Adjusting to College

Friends Along the Way: Your College Student’s Search for Friends

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