By Kayla Lutes, Features Editor
As well as filling the role of Kresge’s new resident director, Kim Martin is the first victim advocate and safe-relationships educator on Asbury’s campus. Though this role is new to Asbury, it is not new to Martin, who was a graduate assistant in the victim advocacy office at Ball State University.
Of her time there, Martin said, “Since I’d never really been educated on, experienced or known much about this topic, I had a lot to learn. It was great to be able to quickly learn necessary things to tell incoming students who didn’t know otherwise.”
As the name implies, Martin’s role is two-fold: she educates students on what unsafe relationships look like and advocates for students who may have experienced an unsafe relationship.
“I’ll be doing presentations regarding topics of sexual assault, stalking and relationship abuse just to educate students on what this looks like and how to make sure we’re not the ones promoting this,” Martin said of the educational part of her role.
The education portion will also focus on giving students “a better understanding of what consent is when it comes to sexual assault, because a lot of people don’t understand that concept.”
“Asbury does a great job of putting in place community standards, not just to have rules, but to have rules that have meaning,”
Of the advocacy part of her role, Martin said, “It’s not that we see a lot of these cases, but every institution has to have this role, so we’re providing a necessary outlet for students who may encounter sexual assault, stalking or abuse while they’re here on campus.”
Compared to a state university, where Martin previously worked, Asbury students are less likely to have these experiences. Martin highlighted community standards as a reason for this.
“Asbury does a great job of putting in place community standards, not just to have rules, but to have rules that have meaning,” Martin said.
She cited Asbury’s stance against alcohol as an example.
“Statics show that 75-85 percent of the time when there is sexual assault, there is also somebody drinking alcohol,” Martin said. “I think we already negate a lot of those horrible situations through our community standards.”
“I want the choice to be back on students who experienced something horrible, that they have the power to choose what happens after that,” Martin said. “Situations happen outside of community standards, and we still have support and grace for those students. If somebody goes through this situation, we want to make sure to have support and the correct things in place to allow them to continue their experience here, and remove anyone who shouldn’t be here as well.”
Martin highlighted the importance of Asbury’s community standards as a safeguard against sexual abuse.
“We value not drinking alcohol and not having sex before marriage, and we do those things for a reason,” she said. “The Bible gives us guidelines, and we will flourish and draw closer to the Lord if we abstain from certain things.”