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Women's Council Media Backgrounder

Press Contact: Megan Stephens,stephe21@wwu.edu

Overview:

Women's Council is a nonprofit Associated Student club at Western Washington University. They strive to bring attention, awareness, and education to women's/gender binary issues. WC members believe in getting involved politically to try and see a change happen regarding women's rights. They want to break down the systematic structure of ingrained misogyny and sexism and collaborate to build an equality of the sexes, and also spread the word that everyone is affected by these issues, not just women. They

consist of seven student-run positions and a range of seven to 26 who show up to their weekly meetings on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. at Miller Hall. The president is Megan Stephens and the vice president is Brianna Pedicone. WC was established in spring of 2016 when it was founded by Kenyon Andres. ·https://www.facebook.com/wwuwomencouncil/

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Key Terms

Sexual assault is any kind of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without explicit consent from the recipient. This includes forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling and attempted rape. (Justice

2016).

Sexism is prejudice or discrimination based on sex. It is any behavior that

enforces social roles based on gender (Merriam-Webster 2016). Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior one partner inflicts on another

to gain control over them. This type of violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological threats. This includes behaviors that might intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, injure or wound someone (Justice 2016). Sexism is the prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex. Similarly, misogyny is dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women.

Women's Council Media Backgrounder Press Contact: ​ Megan Stephens, ​ ​ stephe21@wwu.edu Overview: Women's Council ishttps://www.facebook.com/wwuwomencouncil/ · ​ ​ http://asclubs.wwu.edu/show_profile/137322-womens-council ​ Key Terms ● ​ Sexual assault is any kind of sexual contact or behavior that occurs without explicit consent from the recipient. This includes forced sexual intercourse, forcible sodomy, child molestation, incest, fondling and attempted rape. (Justice 2016). ● Sexism is prejudice or discrimination based on sex. It is any behavior that ● enforces social roles based on gender (Merriam-Webster 2016). Domestic violence is a pattern of abusive behavior one partner inflicts on another ● to gain control over them. This type of violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological threats. This includes behaviors that might intimidate, manipulate, humiliate, isolate, frighten, injure or wound someone (Justice 2016). Sexism is the prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex. Similarly, misogyny is dislike of, contempt for, or ingrained prejudice against women. " id="pdf-obj-2-58" src="pdf-obj-2-58.jpg">

Feminism is the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social,

and economic equality to men. An ally is a person who is a “member of the ‘dominant’ group or ‘majority’ group who works to end oppression in his or her personal and professional life through support of, and as an advocate with and for, the oppressed population. (Patricia)

Current activities:

The Women’s Council began last spring is beginning to brainstorm events for this upcoming school year. Their main priority for this quarter is fundraising and getting the general word out to students that the club exists since it’s new. This fall they’d like to start offering self-defense classes to students so that they’ll know how to combat sexual assault. They’re also thinking about volunteering at homeless shelters and handing out feminine packets to women-in-need. Their main project that they’re hoping to accomplish by the end of the year is Take Back the Night which is a march around campus with the goal to spread awareness about how women don’t feel safe walking home alone at night. They are partnering with the Women’s Center and the Queer Resource Center on this event.

Women’s Council believes in:

· Community engagement Safe space for all genders Raise and promote awareness Enact change Educate about various gender issues Accurately informing the public

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Facebook:wwuwomenscouncil

Facts about Women’s Council:

Here you will find facts about the impact of sexual assault on female

students’ and educational pursuits, how disruptive it is and what the legal/ethical issues on the part of the universities to address this and the challenges. Students are still forced to face their alleged rapists even when there is a no-contact order, which poses many ethical/legal issues. Many students report their attacks and feel like their voice has not been heard

● Feminism is ​ the advocacy of women's rights on the grounds of political, social, ●

Sexual Assault happens to both women and men. Women’s Council seeks to advance women, but is open to all gender identities who have been victims of sexual violence. Women’s council is a safe place for sexual assault victims to come break their silence.

Local

From 2013-2015, there were eight forcible sex offenses on campus at WWU, five rapes, and seven stalkings. All of these statistics are only the reported cases. (Annual) WWU is one of more than 100 institutions in the country under investigation for their compliance with Title IX standards, which prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity. When men perceived consent before sexual activity to be a strong norm for both females and males, they were more likely to report that consent was personally imperative. (Patricia) WWU is now requiring all students to complete the EverFi Haven and AlcoholEdu trainings before registering for classes. (Bruce) A total of 12 forcible or non-forcible sex offenses were reported on or near WWU’s campus from 2012-14 (Higgins 2015) WWU requires all students to complete the EverFi Haven and AlcoholEdu trainings during their first quarter so that they have a better idea of how to recognize potential sexual assault and report it (Shepard and Wolter 2015). Within the last five years, no students have been expelled for sexual misconduct at WWU. (Criscione 2015) 29 percent of those counted as homeless in Whatcom County listed domestic violence as a reason. This amounts for a total of 102 households (Bellingham

2014).

WWU is currently under investigation for possible violation of federal law over handling sexual-violence and harassment reports (Higgins 2015)

Regional

Washington ranks sixth in the nation for open federal investigations under Title

IX law, aimed at discovering how colleges are mishandling sexual assault and rape issues. (Megan) In the 2007 the investigation found that WSU failed to properly include two forcible sex offenses in their annual report. Due to violations of statutory and

​ Sexual Assault happens to both women and men. Women’s Council seeks to advance women, butviolations of statutory and " id="pdf-obj-4-55" src="pdf-obj-4-55.jpg">

regulatory requirements, they were subsequently fined $82,500. The fine was later reduced to $15,000. (Megan) In 2011, Washington State University was chosen randomly to be investigated for

compliance under the Clery Act, a law that requires federally funded post secondary schools to disclose crime statistics. (Megan) WSU executive director for compliance and Title IX coordinator Kimberly

Anderson says the high number of open Title IX investigations are a good thing, indicating an empowered student body that is more likely to submit complaints. (Megan) Three universities with the highest number or rate of reported rapes in 2014

(WSU, UPS and Whitman) do not have climate surveys that are available to the public, or surveys that include questions relating to sexual assault. (Megan) In 2011 there were 46,444 reports of domestic violence in Washington (Bensley,

Hobart and Niolin 2013). Sixteen percent of women and six percent of men in Washington state reported

being physically harmed by their significant other at least once in their lives. (Bensley, Hobart and Niolin 2013). Twenty percent of women and 5 percent of men report being sexually assaulted

by physical force or while incapacitated (Anderson and Clement 2015). Factors associated with sexual assault include alcohol, being at least

acquaintances with the assaulter and being in a sorority or fraternity (Anderson and Clement 2015). Factors not associated with sexual assault include large vs. small schools, private vs. public, social class, attending worship services and living on vs. off campus (Anderson and Clement 2015).

National

As many as one in five women are raped or sexually assaulted in college. (Poll) Twenty percent of women and five percent of men have reported sexual assaults

in college. (Poll) Only nine percent of colleges in the United States have reported any instance of

rape, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking since 2014, when federal lawbegan requiring them to report annually on these crimes. (Poll) Of surveyed college women, about 90 percent of rape and sexual assault victims knew their attacker prior to the assault. (How)

● <a href=regulatory requirements ​ , they were subsequently fined $82,500. The fine was later reduced to $15,000. (Megan) In 2011, Washington State University was chosen randomly to be investigated for ● compliance under the Clery Act, a law that requires federally funded post secondary schools to disclose crime statistics. (Megan) WSU executive director for compliance and Title IX coordinator Kimberly ● Anderson says the high number of open Title IX investigations are a good thing, indicating an empowered student body that is more likely to submit complaints. (Megan) Three universities with the highest number or rate of reported rapes in 2014 ● (WSU, UPS and Whitman) do not have climate surveys that are available to the public, or surveys that include questions relating to sexual assault. (Megan) In 2011 there were 46,444 reports of domestic violence in Washington (Bensley, ● Hobart and Niolin 2013). Sixteen percent of women and six percent of men in Washington state reported ● being physically harmed by their significant other at least once in their lives. (Bensley, Hobart and Niolin 2013). Twenty percent of women and 5 percent of men report being sexually assaulted ● by physical force or while incapacitated (Anderson and Clement 2015). Factors associated with sexual assault include alcohol, being at least ● acquaintances with the assaulter and being in a sorority or fraternity (Anderson and Clement 2015). Factors not associated with sexual assault include large vs. small schools, private vs. public, social class, attending worship services and living on vs. off campus (Anderson and Clement 2015). National As many as one in five women are raped or sexually assaulted in college. (Poll) ● ​ Twenty percent of women and five percent of men have reported sexual assaults ● ● in college. (Poll) Only nine percent of colleges in the United States have reported any instance of ● rape, sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking since 2014, when ​ federal law ​ began requiring them to report annually on these crimes. (Poll) Of surveyed college women, about 90 percent of rape and sexual assault victims knew their attacker prior to the assault. (How) " id="pdf-obj-5-78" src="pdf-obj-5-78.jpg">

National surveys of adults suggest that between 9-32 percent of women and 5-10 perfect of men report that they were victims of sexual abuse and/or assault during their childhood. (How) The ratio of boy-centered stories to girl-centered stories is five to two, according to the 1972 Princeton Chapter of the National Organization of Women Study. (John) Eighty-five percent of all elementary school teachers are women; 79 percent of all elementary school principals are men. (John) One out of every six women are raped or sexually assaulted in their lifetime (Lowen 2016) Intimate partner violence is most common among women between the ages of 18-24. (Truman and Morgan 2014) One in three women and one in four men have experienced some form of physical violence by an intimate partner within their lifetime (Black 2011) By the end of 4 college years, 88% of women experience at least one incident of physical or sexual violence in their lifetimes (Ottens 2001) Women who experienced sexual violence reported high levels of psychological distress (Ottens 2001)

Bios:

Megan Stephens

Megan Stephens is the president of the Women’s Council and is a sophomore at WWU. She is planning to major in Political Science and Women’s Studies. She joined the club because she felt the issues facing women today hit close to home and she wanted to create a safe space for people who’ve also experienced sexual assault. She wants the club to be more inclusive to all gender identities. Email: stephe21@wwu.edu

Bri Pedicone

Bri Pedicone is the vice president of Women’s Council and is a senior English and Creative Writing major at WWU. She’s an RA who says that she sees sexual assault every day and wants to raise an awareness to an issue that is still very prevalent on campus. Email: pedicob@wwu.edu

● ​ National surveys of adults suggest that between 9-32 percent of women and 5-10 perfect

Boilerplate:

Women’s Council is a WWU AS Club founded in April 2016 by Kenyon Andres. Their mission is to create a safe space for students of all gender identities to come together and discuss women’s issues while taking political action in the community. They currently have recruited twelve members since the club began last spring and they meet every Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Miller Hall room 225. Megan Stephens is the current president of Women’s Council. For more information, see their orgsync page at:

https://orgsync.com/137322/chapter

Sources:

"Sexual Assault." U.S. Department of Justice. April 1, 2016. Accessed October 6, 2016. https://www.justice.gov/ovw/sexual-assault.

"Domestic Violence." U.S. Department of Justice. October 5, 2016. Accessed October 6,

Criscione, Wilson. "Students Decry WWU Sexual Assault Reporting Process;

Investigation Underway." Bellinghamherald. October 31, 2015. Accessed October 6,

Ottens, Allen J., and Kathy Hotelling. Sexual Violence on Campus: Policies, Programs, and Perspectives. New York: Springer, 2001.

Lowen Women's Issues Expert, Linda. "10 Shocking Facts That Show the Difficulties

Women Face." About.com News & Issues. February 7, 2016. Accessed October 10, 2016.

htm.

Truman, Jennifer and Morgan, Rachel. “Nonfatal Domestic Violence, 2003-2012.” U.S.

Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics. April

Black, Michele, Basile, Kathleen, Breiding, Matthew, Smith, Sharon, Walters, Mikel, Merrick, Melissa, Chen, Jieru, and Stevens, Mark. “The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: 2010 Summary Report.” National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. November 2011.

​ ​ ​ Boilerplate: Women’s Council is a WWU AS Club founded in April 2016 byhttps://www.justice.gov/ovw/sexual-assault ​ . "Domestic Violence." U.S. Department of Justice. October 5, 2016. Accessed October 6, 2016. ​ https://www.justice.gov/ovw/domestic-violence ​ . Criscione, Wilson. "Students Decry WWU Sexual Assault Reporting Process; Investigation Underway." Bellinghamherald. October 31, 2015. Accessed October 6, 2016. ​ http://www.bellinghamherald.com/news/local/article42031710.html. Ottens, Allen J., and Kathy Hotelling. ​ Sexual Violence on Campus: Policies, Programs, and Perspectives . New York: Springer, 2001. Lowen Women's Issues Expert, Linda. "10 Shocking Facts That Show the Difficulties Women Face." About.com News & Issues. February 7, 2016. Accessed October 10, 2016. http://womensissues.about.com/od/feminismequalrights/a/Top10FactsAboutWomen. htm ​ . Truman, Jennifer and Morgan, Rachel. “Nonfatal Domestic Violence, 2003-2012.” ​ U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics. April 2014. ​ http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/ndv0312.pdf Black, Michele, Basile, Kathleen, Breiding, Matthew, Smith, Sharon, Walters, Mikel, Merrick, Melissa, Chen, Jieru, and Stevens, Mark. “The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey: 2010 Summary Report.” ​ National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. November 2011. http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/nisvs_report2010-a.pdf " id="pdf-obj-7-73" src="pdf-obj-7-73.jpg">

Higgins, John. "Western Washington University under Review in Sexual-violence Case." The Seattle Times. April 29, 2015. Accessed October 10, 2016.

Anderson, Nick, and Scott Clement. "Poll Shows That 20 Percent of Women Are Sexually Assaulted in College." Washington Post. June 12, 2015. Accessed October 6,

2016.

olated/.

"Annual Crime Statistics 2013-2014-2015," Western Washington University, accessed October 9, 2016, http://www.wwu.edu/vpess/crimestatistics.shtml.

Bruce Shepard and Annika Wolters, “EverFi and Western Washington University.” Prevention & Wellness Services, Western Washington University (2015), http://www.wwu.edu/pws/everfi_wwu.shtml.

"How often does it happen?" Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs, accessed October 9, 2016. http://www.wcsap.org/how-often-does-it-happen.

John R. Kazalunas, Sexism in Education (1978), 388-391.

Megan Murnane, "Exposing sexual violence at Washington colleges," Crosscut:

News of the Great Nearby (2016), accessed October 9, 2016.

Patricia M. Fabiano PhD , H. Wesley Perkins PhD, Alan Berkowitz PhD, Jeff Linkenbach EdD & Christopher Stark MS (2003) Engaging Men as Social Justice Allies in Ending Violence Against Women: Evidence for a Social Norms Approach.

"Poll: One in 5 women say they have been sexually assaulted in college," Washington Post (2015), accessed October 9, 2016.

​ ​ ​ ​ Higgins, John. "Western Washington University under Review in Sexual-violence Case." The Seattlehttp://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/education/western-washington-university- under-review-in-sexual-violence-case/ ​ . Anderson, Nick, and Scott Clement. "Poll Shows That 20 Percent of Women Are Sexually Assaulted in College." Washington Post. June 12, 2015. Accessed October 6, 2016. http://www.washingtonpost.com/sf/local/2015/06/12/1-in-5-women-say-they-were-vi olated/ ​ . "Annual Crime Statistics 2013-2014-2015," Western Washington University, accessed October 9, 2016, ​ http://www.wwu.edu/vpess/crimestatistics.shtml ​ . Bruce Shepard and Annika Wolters, “EverFi and Western Washington University.” ​ Prevention & Wellness Services, Western Washington University (2015), http://www.wwu.edu/pws/everfi_wwu.shtml ​ . "How often does it happen?" Washington Coalition of Sexual Assault Programs, accessed October 9, 2016. ​ http://www.wcsap.org/how-often-does-it-happen ​ . John R. Kazalunas, ​ Sexism in Education (1978), 388-391. Megan Murnane, "Exposing sexual violence at Washington colleges," ​ Crosscut: News of the Great Nearby (2016), accessed October 9, 2016. Patricia M. Fabiano PhD , H. Wesley Perkins PhD, Alan Berkowitz PhD, Jeff Linkenbach EdD & Christopher Stark MS (2003) Engaging Men as Social Justice Allies in Ending Violence Against Women: Evidence for a Social Norms Approach. "Poll: One in 5 women say they have been sexually assaulted in college," Washington Post (2015), accessed October 9, 2016. " id="pdf-obj-8-66" src="pdf-obj-8-66.jpg">

Women’s Council Top 10 FAQs

  • 1. What is Women’s Council?

Women’s Council is an associated student Western Washington University women’s rights clubs. We are a safe space for people of all identities to raise awareness of gender issues and enact change in our community!

  • 2. Why should I get involved?

We believe feminism and sexism affect everyone and it is up to all of us to change it-

together.

  • 3. What is feminism?

Feminism is the belief in equality of genders, so chances are, you’re already a feminist!

  • 4. How can I get involved?

We have weekly meetings Wednesdays at 7 p.m. in Miller Hall 139. We also have a

newsletter for everyone involved, whether or not you can attend meetings!

  • 5. Who can I contact and where can I find information?

Our president is Megan Stephens. You can contact her via email at stephe21@wwu.edu.

We also have some social media presences! Follow for updates and information. AS website:​ ​http://asclubs.wwu.edu/show_profile/137322-womens-council Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/wwuwomencouncil Instagram: wwuwomencouncil

  • 6. What are your upcoming events?

We are currently gearing up for a series of self-defense classes as well as a panel with

some wonderful educators. Furthermore, we are planning a Take Back the Night Walk at the end of spring quarter. Anyone can participate!

  • 7. What is the Take Back the Night Walk?

Take Back the Night Walk is a march through campus to raise awareness about sexual violence and show support for survivors of rape and sexual assault. We are partnering with the A.S. Women’s Center to host this event and we’re always looking for more help!

​ Women’s Council Top 10 FAQs 1. What is Women’s Council? Women’s Council is an associatedhttp://asclubs.wwu.edu/show_profile/137322-womens-council Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/wwuwomencouncil Instagram: wwuwomencouncil 6. What are your upcoming events? We are currently gearing up for a series of self-defense classes as well as a panel with some wonderful educators. Furthermore, we are planning a Take Back the Night Walk at the end of spring quarter. Anyone can participate! 7. What is the Take Back the Night Walk? Take Back the Night Walk is a march through campus to raise awareness about sexual violence and show support for survivors of rape and sexual assault. We are partnering with the A.S. Women’s Center to host this event and we’re always looking for more help! " id="pdf-obj-9-49" src="pdf-obj-9-49.jpg">

8.

Do I have to know anything about politics or gender issues to join?

Nope! We are all here to learn! You may even know some information that we don’t. That is what is so great about a group of people coming together who are from all different backgrounds! All we ask of you is to be passionate about what we are working towards and express your knowledge/ideas during our meetings!

  • 9. I’m not a woman, can I still join?

Of course! Yes, we are passionate about women's issues, but we are passionate about all

gender issues, and women's issues affect everyone in the end.

10.Are there any fees?

Nope ...

zero. Aren't we all supposed to be broke college students?

8. Do I have to know anything about politics or gender issues to join? Nope! We

Logo with Tagline

For the time being, this is the logo Women’s Council is using. The arrow represents moving forward and enacting change on campus and in the community. The arrow is always white surrounded by a bold purple. The name of the club, “Women’s Council,” is always below the arrow.

Another logo is in the works. The sketch is provided below the current logo to give you a general idea of what the new logo will look like.

The tagline is, “This Life is Rightfully Yours.”

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Logo with Tagline For the time being, this is the logo Women’s Council is using. The
Logo with Tagline For the time being, this is the logo Women’s Council is using. The
Logo with Tagline For the time being, this is the logo Women’s Council is using. The

Potential Feature Story Ideas

  • 1. Director/president profile

Women’s Council is a new club on campus as of last spring with a mission to create a safe spacefor people of all identities to raise awareness of gender issues and enact change in our community.President sophomore Megan Stephens came to Western to pursue an environmental science degree until she noticed the lack of women in STEM fields. She has also experienced sexual violence in the past and chose to lead the Women’s Council because gender inequality hits close to home. She hopes the club will grow in size so that they’ll have opportunities to host more events and possibly take political action by lobbying in Olympia.

2. Member profile

Jessica Lederman was a leading force in starting up The Women’s Council at WWU. Once she transferred to Western last spring, she immediately got to work in establishing the club. She’s not an official leader of the club but she plays a huge role in leading club discussions and events. In a sense, she’s their communications advisor and the heart of the club.

3. Mission/ issue story

The Women’s Council’s main mission is to create a safe space for people of all identities to raise awareness of gender issues and enact change in the community. One of those main issues is sexual violence on campus. At Western there have been some cases where students have reported sexual abuse and no investigation or punishment followed. The Women’s Council is doing their part to host a Take Back the Night Walk on April 21st to spread awareness about the ongoing issue throughout our country’s college campuses with sexual violence.

Potential Feature Story Ideas 1. Director/president profile Women’s Council is a new club on campus as

Scripts for Radio and Video PSAs

Western Washington University Women’s Council Script:

  • 30 sec. Radio PSA

Who needs the gender binary? Not Women’s Council, a new Associated Student club on the W-W-U campus. We strive to bridge inequalities between all genders and foster a safe community so we can all fight back, together. Whatever level of involvement is right for you, we’ve made it simple to be included, any gender or species you may be! Women’s Council [pause] This life is rightfully yours. Visit W-W-U Women’s Council on Facebook for more information.

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Tagline (currently): This life is rightfully yours. Soundcloud link: https://soundcloud.com/beckabrooke/womens-council-radio-psa

Western Washington University Women’s Council Script:

  • 30 sec. Video PSA

When you leave the library on campus after a long night of studying, you shouldn’t have to worry about your safety. Unfortunately, every two minutes, someone is sexually assaulted. Hello, I am Alexa. I’m here to tell you about Women’s Council, an associated students club that provides a safe space for all gender identities and victims of sexual violence who have been silenced. Learn more by liking our Facebook page and join us in fostering community and campus awareness about sexual violence. Women’s Council:

This life is rightfully yours.

Scripts for Radio and Video PSAs Western Washington University Women’s Council Script: 30 sec. Radio PSAhttps://soundcloud.com/beckabrooke/womens-council-radio-psa Western Washington University Women’s Council Script: 30 sec. Video PSA When you leave the library on campus after a long night of studying, you shouldn’t have to worry about your safety. Unfortunately, every two minutes, someone is sexually assaulted. ​ Hello, I am Alexa. I’m here to tell you about Women’s Council, an associated students club that ​ provides a safe space for all gender identities and victims of sexual violence who have been silenced. Learn more by liking our Facebook page and join us in fostering community and campus awareness about sexual violence. Women’s Council: This life is rightfully yours. " id="pdf-obj-13-29" src="pdf-obj-13-29.jpg">

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Tagline:This life is rightfully yours, Info Force: https://www.rainn.org/statistics

### Tagline: ​ This life is rightfully yours, ​ Info Force: ​ https://www.rainn.org/statistics