Serving Victims on Campus
When designing victim services and advocacy programs, campuses must consider the needs of specific victims, with particular emphasis on the demographic makeup of the school. Most important, the services must be accessible to and appropriate for the many populations that make up the campus community (e.g., students, faculty and staff, men, individuals with disabilities, cultural and religious minorities, lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender individuals, commuting students, students who are parents, older students). In addition, response services should be available through both campus- and community-based organizations.
Serving Victims of Campus Crime, a National Criminal Justice Association project, identified several critical elements needed for a comprehensive victim services program on college and university campuses, including the following:42
- A centralized telephone hotline available 24/7, staffed by qualified and trained personnel.
- Services provided regardless of whether victims report to law enforcement.
- Forensic and medical care by trained and certified forensic health care professionals.
- Specialized emergency medical and mental health support services (both on and off campus).
- Followup services for every emergency call related to sexual assault.
- Peer counseling programs.
- Timely adjudication processes.
- Coordination among campus and community public safety agencies to enforce no-contact orders for victims.