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IU partners with ICESA for StepIn initiative

The Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault has two important goals. 

They are to make sure victims of sexual assault or trafficking have the resources they need and to start changing the narrative of how sexual assault can be ended, Tracey Horth Krueger, chief executive officer of ICESA said. 

StepIn asks students to stop, think, engage and prevent. For about three years, the StepIn initiative has been implemented in different schools across Indiana. This year, IU is joining in on this step toward ending sexual violence. 

“It also sends a very very powerful message to residents across the state when a campus like IU steps up and makes the decision to step in,” Krueger said. 

The mission of StepIn is to reach as many people as possible across Indiana. Kreuger said because of the IU campus size, more people can be reached, and she is very grateful for the partnership with IU.

This initiative is not limited to IU. She said students and faculty who take part in StepIn can take what they learn outside of IU into the Bloomington community and wherever they reside when they’re not at IU. 

Kreuger said it is particularly important around this time of year: Homecoming. She said they really push prevention around particular times of the year when sexual assault increases. 

“We’re becoming more strategic in our efforts,” Kreuger said. 

But, Kreuger said helping to prevent sexual assault is not that hard. She said it starts with being aware of your surroundings and not being afraid to help a friend. 

The issues StepIn deals with are more than just violence. Prevention also includes stopping rape culture, which includes making inappropriate jokes to cat-calling. Instead of allowing it to continue and escalate, she said to set the bar high in terms of how people treat and respect one another.

“This is not to make people feel bad,” Kreuger said. “This is to empower all of us.”

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article misdentified Tracey Horth Krueger's title. She is the chief executive officer of ICESA. The IDS regrets this error.

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