Thompson Rivers University’s men’s and women’s volleyball teams are stepping up to stand with victims of sexual assault in Kamloops with the #IBelieveYou campaign.
Kaitlin Lomas, who is a psychology major in her final year, has been playing with the TRU Women’s volleyball team for five years and has been a part of the #IBelieveYou campaign on campus.
The #IBelieveYou campaign first got its start in 2015 with the Association of Alberta Sexual Assault Services.
The athletics department has taken on a branch of the overall project running through campus with the help of Amber Huva, TRU’s Sexual Violence Prevention and Response manager and the Kamloops Sexual Assault Counselling Centre. This initiative is aiming to “not be a one-size fits all prevention project,” says Lomas.
The project aims to look at the needs of groups that may need different assistance such as indigenous and LGBTQ2S+ students.
“We have a great big policy that doesn’t always fit each community,” Lomas said.
Lomas believes that it’s important that the athletic department stands with the TRU sexual violence initiative because as student athletes they already have a strong stance and voice in the campus community. With the project, the teams had full control over the message they wanted to share.
“I believe you is really impactful because it’s so simple,” Lomas said.
Lomas and her team believe that even if not everyone agrees to the statements and initiatives put into place, this campaign opens up the lines of communication.
“Even if people disagree with what’s said, those disagreements give the opportunity to hash out those opinions and learn from each other,” she said.
For the future, Lomas will be creating a guide book for future teams to carry the project with the goal to make the #IBelieveYou campaign a legacy project.