Victims Might Seek Off-Campus Help
Students must have resources available to help themselves or their friends who might be assaulted. These resources help victims find avenues for healing and options for justice.
Women's centers, student health services and campus sexual assault services can be helpful for students who have been victimized. However, it is also important to have a solid connection with your county's rape crisis and domestic violence centers should students feel uncomfortable seeking help on campus. There are centers affiliated with every county across the country, and each typically provides a 24-hour hotline and free counseling and hospital, police and legal accompaniment.
Each person who might deal with sexual assault survivors on your campus — including everyone in law enforcement, public safety and student affairs, as well as academic and resident advisors — should all have training on how to support survivors and to assist in reporting and seeking help. Educate campus personnel on victim behavior and on the resources available to survivors.
A survivor who is met with a positive, supportive response when she discloses sexual violence is far more likely to find healing than those met with a negative response. Each person the survivor comes into contact with on your campus as she works through the aftermath of sexual violence has the potential to greatly affect her healing journey.
SOC Launches National Campaign Against Sexual Violence
This year, Security On Campus Inc. has partnered with Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment (PAVE) to launch a national campaign against sexual violence beginning in September for National Campus Safety Awareness Month and continuing throughout the year. The campaign offers colleges tangible tools to raise awareness of sexual violence and to create a safer, more supportive campus for survivors. Survivors will be educated on how to make informed choices to report and speak out about the crimes against them. Visit www.strongvoicescampaign.org for more information.
Additional educational materials on campus sexual violence can be found at SOC's www.securityoncampus.org.
Melissa Lucchesi is the outreach education coordinator and lead victim advocate at Security On Campus Inc. (SOC). She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.