How to Support National Hazing Prevention Week and Make a Difference

We're now in the midst of National Hazing Prevention Week (September 21 - 25, 2015). This is the big push when many anti-hazing organizations, fraternities and sororities are actively promoting various campaigns by writing articles, tweeting, posting Instagram images, and hosting webinars and events all geared towards gaining national awareness about this epidemic on our college campuses. How can you support these efforts?

You can do your part by adding your voice to the movement. End Hazing Now is circulating a Petition to end hazing and sexual violence on our college and university campuses. Among other things, the Petition requests the establishment of "an independent, truly confidential hotline so that incidents of hazing and sexual violence can be reported to university officials and law enforcement," and that meaningful annual resources be committed "for mandatory anti-hazing and anti-sexual violence training and awareness programs on campus." By signing the Petition, your voice will be heard by leaders and policy-makers, who are in a position to effect change. Your voice can help make college and university campuses safer environments. Your voice can make a difference.

Hazing is defined as any activity required of someone who is seeking to join or participate in a group that humiliates, degrades, abuses, or endangers regardless of the person's willingness to participate. Common hazing practices include alcohol/binge drinking, humiliation, isolation, sleep deprivation and sexual acts. Additional hazing rituals that may lead to traumatic injuries include beating, branding, consuming nonfood substances and simulated drowning. And while hazing is often associated with fraternities and sororities, it is not exclusive to them by any means. Statistics reveal that more than half of college students involved in clubs, teams and organizations experience hazing.

Any student can become the victim of hazing. And any student and parent can become a powerful force in the national movement to end hazing. There are a number of organizations devoted to promoting hazing awareness and prevention. In one study, it was reported that 95% of those students who are hazed, will choose not to report the incidents to campus officials because they don't want their group to get in trouble, they are afraid of negative consequences to them individually, they are afraid other members of the group would find out they reported it, and they didn't know where to report. You can join the movement demanding that schools not only require greater educational efforts but make incident reporting quick, confidential, and effective in stopping the practice.

Sign the Petition. Help to put an end to hazing on college and university campuses. Share the message with your friends and family.