Serving Victims on Campus
Campus and Community Collaboration
Campuses need not work alone when developing and delivering sexual assault services. They can partner with representatives from local SART agencies, campus ministries and local faith-based groups, campus ombudspersons, faculty and students, and representatives of diverse cultural and religious groups on campus.48
Colleges and universities may choose to49
- Support services on campus.
- Establish referral relationships with local rape crisis centers.
- Bolster their services with more comprehensive, community-based services (e.g., a local rape crisis center may agree to serve students, faculty, and staff at night, when many campus-based programs are closed).
Communication at a national level among colleges and universities can reinforce efforts to develop community and campus intervention and prevention programs. The following listservs/forums can connect institutions of higher education with like-minded service providers nationally:
- The National SART Listserv promotes ongoing dialogue and information sharing among community and professional organizations and agencies that respond to sexual violence. It supports the safety, justice, and autonomy of all victims and survivors of sexual violence, works to meet the needs of underserved and marginalized service providers in the development of SARTs, and creates a forum to enhance the response to systems advocacy and sexual violence prevention initiatives among sexual assault response teams.
- The Prevention Connection Listserv is a forum for discussing the newest efforts related to preventing violence against women. Topics include developing prevention strategies, identifying and assessing prevention materials, discussing policy initiatives, and developing partnerships for prevention and community organizing strategies.
- The Sexual Assault Prevention Coordinator Listserv is for college and university employees who have key responsibilities concerning sexual and domestic violence and stalking. These employees include student affairs personnel, faculty, health center staff, women's center staff, law enforcement officers, and others. Individuals who are not part of a campus environment may also subscribe if they work directly with college or university campuses.
National Sexual Violence Resource Center's Sexual Assault Awareness Month Materials Promotes the awareness and prevention of sexual violence.
The tips listed here can help schools increase their campus community's awareness of sexual assault at and around the school:50
- Publicize campus guidelines through student handbooks, faculty and staff handbooks, campus Web sites, and orientation materials. Include information about students' rights and services (including contact information) both on campus and in the community.
- Provide faculty and staff with training and policies that address all campus members as potential victims or perpetrators.
- Educate students, faculty, and staff about the problem of sexual assault and dating violence. Provide adequate training on victims' legal rights and available resources.
- Develop specialized training for target groups (e.g., new students, fraternities and sororities, athletes).
- Infuse curriculums with information on sexual violence and victimization.
- Educate the campus community on expected standards of behavior, the definition of consent, and myths about sexual assault.51
- Educate the campus community about the targeting behaviors that sex offenders exhibit prior to committing a sexual assault and the role alcohol plays in the crime.
- Create programming on how bystanders can intervene in and communities can prevent sexual assault.
- Provide all incoming students with mandatory prevention and education programs that include campus- and community-based victim advocacy agencies.52
- Train students to be sexual assault peer educators.