N.H College Develops Sexual Assault MOU with City

The joint action taken by Keene State College and the city of Keene is modeled after recommendations on handling sexual assault released by the White House in January.

New Hampshire’s Keene State College has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the city of Keene to collaborate on sexual assault prevention and response.

The joint action, finalized September 2, allows the school to work with the Keene Police Department to respond to reports of sexual assault and further develop student safety programs.

The decision follows recommendations made by the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault and builds on existing programs and resources at the school.

A report with guidelines to create an agreement, titled “Building Partnerships among Law Enforcement Agencies, Colleges and Universities: Developing a Memorandum of Understanding to Prevent and Respond Effectively to Sexual Assaults at Colleges and Universities” was released by the White House task force in January of this year. The document says that partnerships “between local law enforcement agencies and IHEs, including those with campus police departments, can strengthen, and help sustain, their efforts to prevent and effectively respond to sexual assault using a fair, victim-centered, and trauma-informed approach.”

Existing programs at KSC include sexual assault and bystander awareness education; physical defense classes for women; the hiring of new college staff members to focus on education, prevention and intake of cases; confidential support services through the college’s Counseling Center, Center for Health and Wellness, 24/7 crisis phone line and online anonymous reporting portal; training for faculty, staff and students; educational events; and participation in the Cheshire County Sexual Assault Resource Team and other initiatives.

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