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Sexual Violence Task Force

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Presentation on theme: "Sexual Violence Task Force"— Presentation transcript:

1 Sexual Violence Task Force
Presented by: Holly Pilcavage, Emily Ziesenheim, & Brian Long

2 Plaguing College Campuses: Sexual Assault
Dear Colleague Letter (2011) Obama’s Task Force (2014) President Obama's Council on Women and Girls presented its report on sexual assault, calling it an epidemic especially on college campuses. This is far from the first time this administration has tried to address the problem, from pushing for the renewal of the Violence against Women Act to calling on military leaders to address the issue in the Armed Forces. This time, the focus is on high school and college campuses, and the report highlights not just the individual anguish but also the negative economic and health effects an assault can have over the long term. Provides guidance on the unique concerns that arise in sexual violence cases, such as the role of criminal investigations and a school’s independent responsibility to investigate and address sexual violence. Provides guidance and examples about key Title IX requirements and how they relate to sexual violence, such as the requirements to publish a policy against sex discrimination, designate a Title IX coordinator, and adopt and publish grievance procedures. Discusses proactive efforts schools can take to prevent sexual violence.

3 Institution Type Four-Year Public Institution similar to The University of Akron located in Akron, Ohio Approximately 27,000 students First-year students: 10,500 Residential Students: Approximately 2,800 Gender breakdown: 50% female, 50% male Full-time faculty and staff: Estimated 2,600 Part-time faculty and staff: Estimated 2,750 Surrounding community population: Roughly 200,000 people Institution receives Title IX funding Degree Types: Associate, Baccalaureate, Master’s, Doctoral, Law

4 Sexual Violence: What is it?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) sexual violence (SV) is “any act that is perpetrated against someone’s will” (CDC, 2014) Sexual Violence can be broken down into 4 categories: 1. A completed Sex Act 2. An Attempted (but not completed) sex act 3. Abusive sexual contact 4. Non-contact sexual abuse

5 Myths about Sexual Assault/Violence
Times have changed drastically over the years, from the Civil Rights Movement to the increased accessibility to higher education with acts like The Higher Education Act of 1965, and with that the student body at institutions have experienced vast changes as well. Myth: Women are the only ones who experience sexual assaults Truth: Anyone of any age can be a victim of sexual violence/misconduct, men, women, or transsexuals -According to RAINN(2009), 10% of men are sexually violated/assaulted each year -LGBT student run organizations have become more prevalent on many college campuses, with a notable presence at the institution the task force initiatives are aimed towards informing a diverse community

6 Myths about Sexual Assault/Violence
Myth: a person being teased or pressured into an act they don't want to do is ok if those involved are of the same sex Truth: Not only can same sex harassment, or unwanted sexual acts on same sex individuals be considered sexual violence, depending on what took place such actions could also be classified as rape.  Myth: Those accused of sexual assault/violence should be handled like they committed the offense Truth: Those accused of committing crimes related to sexual assault/violence are innocent until proven guilty

7 Who Can Sexual Violence Affect? Who’s Involved?
Sexual violence can happen to anyone of any gender, or orientation According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics (2001), around 80% of sexual assaults are committed by an acquaintance of the victim More alarmingly, 48.8% of college women who would be considered to have been raped would not identify what happened to them as rape (Bureau of Justice Statistics (2000) Rape: The unlawful compelling of a person through physical force or duress to have sexual intercourse (, 2014) The actual act of sex does not have to be completed for rape to occur. Rape can still occur in any of the four types of sexual violence as mentioned previously, which are as follows:

8 Potential Challenges Current culture and climate on campus
If there is an existing culture or climate on campus that does not constitute for an open environment when speaking on unpopular topics, such as sexual assault, sometimes it can be difficult to begin implementing change. There needs to be open communication before any real change can happen. Availability of budget Funds will eventually be needed for training, education, bringing outside speakers or trainers to campus, hiring personnel, and attending conferences Time Policies take time, implementing programs takes time, everything takes time Short-term and long-term planning should be implemented When programming… It can potentially be difficult to get students to participate It can be hard to compare programs because they are all different Keep in mind the “one size does not fit all” mindset when programming. Students will respond to various programming, while others will not. Programs will need to be planned from all different perspectives and from various approaches to make successful outreach to as much of the student body as possible.

9 Legislation and University Requirements: The Jeanne Clery Act (The Clery Act)
A federal law , which was previously known as the Campus Safety Act Requires that higher education institutions disclose information about crimes on, and around, the campus of the institution Sex Offenses for the Act fall into 2 categories: Forcible and Non-Forcible According to the Ohio Revised Code, sexual misconduct can occur when the victim is impaired by drugs, alcohol, or any mind-altering drug, An impaired person is considered to be unable to give consent Rights for the Victim A 1992 amendment to The Cleary Act added a requirement for schools to give basic rights to victims of sexual assault A 2008 amendment to The Cleary Act gives protection to victims and whistleblowers from retaliation 17,00-24,000-year contract

10 New Requirements for Higher Education Institutions: The Campus Sexual Violence (SaVE) Act
A variety of requirements will be implemented under the Campus SaVE Act, which is an amendment to the Clery Act, as of March 7, The Campus SaVE Act changes come from requirements imposed by the Violence Against Women’s Reauthorization Act Who Participates: The new Campus SaVE Act requirements must be followed if the institution receives Title IV funding Requirements under Campus SaVE Act (American Council on Education (ACE),n.d) Institutions must conduct annual reports with statistics from forcible/non-forcible sex offense, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking Under the Clery Act such instances must be included in the annual report if they were reported to campus security or the police If anyone is decimated from their national origin or gender identity it will now be considered a hate crime

11 Requirements (Cont’d) For Higher Education Institutions: The Campus SaVE Act
Parts two and three of the Campus SaVE Act require the institution receiving Title IV funding to implement new discipline requirements for students, and new requirements for educating students and employees about sexual violence (ACE, n.d.) Part II: Brings focus to a sexual violence victim’s rights It is the victim’s right to choose whether or not they want to report an occurrence of sexual violence to campus security or local police Part III: Requires institutions to provide programs aimed at bringing awareness to sexual violence, along with sexual violence prevention programs The essence of the Campus SaVE Act is to give an overall understanding of sexual violence, such as definitions of buzz words attributed with it, along with creating policies and procedures meant to guide the institution to an appropriate response

12 Title IX Mandates ATIXA (2013)
Federal law intended to end sex discrimination in all areas of education Applies to non-discrimination based on gender to all recipients of federal funds Applies to issues of program equity, such as in athletics, and also in sexual harassment and sexual assualt In addition to the importance clearly placed on policies and procedures, we believe that the investigation/conduct resolution is becoming an increasingly important aspect of Title IX compliance.

13 Once a school has notice of sexual harassment/sexual misconduct of a student, the school must:
Take immediate and appropriate steps to investigate what occurred Take prompt and effective action to: End the harassment Remedy the effects Prevent the recurrence Title IX Essential Compliance Elements ATIXA (2013)

14 Publish and disseminate a notice of nondiscrimination
Provide adequate, reliable and impartial investigation of all complaints Provide designated and reasonably prompt time frames Provide written notice of outcome Title XI Compliance Best Practices Checklist ATIXA (2013)

15 Steps to Prevent Sexual Violence and Correct its Discriminatory Effects on Complainant or Others
Education and Prevention Remedies and Enforcement Include education in orientation programs for students, faculty and staff, training for resident assistants, student athletes and coaches, and campus-wide awareness programs Information is included in curriculum for First Year Experience courses University has specific sexual violence materials for policies, rules, and resources, including employee and student handbooks. Immediate action to eliminate hostile environments Immediate action to protect complainants before final outcome Inform complainants of Title IX rights Have policies to protect against retaliatory harassment Create a committee to identify and implement education strategies For complainant: campus escort, insuring alleged perpetrator does not attend same classes, moving residence halls, counseling services, medical services, academic support services ATIXA (2013)

16 Guiding Investigation Principles
Keeping the campus Title IX coordinator in the loop Engaging in active accumulation of evidence Deliberately strategizing when we are going to question the accused student Sequestering witnesses and questioning sessions as necessary to minimize opportunities for fabrication Structuring the investigation in every effort to protect student privacy Keeping clear investigation notes of the schedule and reasons for delays/deviations Interviewing on neutral turf Emphasizing that retaliation will be dealt with seriously Cautioning parties and witnesses that discussing an investigation can result in policy violations Stating a conclusion resulting from the investigation ATIXA (2013)

17 Collaborative Efforts for a More Educated Campus Community: Haven
The task force will incorporate a digitally based service called Haven to further the institutions outreach to students and employees about sexual violence. Haven is part of the EverFi education platform that also provides services for important campus topics like education of alcohol use. Cost: A year contract of Haven for an institution the size of The University of Akron would range from $17, 000-$24,000 annually (J. Davidson personal communication, February 19, 2014) Benefits: Haven follows the guidelines of the Campus SaVE Act requirements to offer a variety of outlets for information on sexual violence, prevention, and possible responses (Haven, 2013) Methods: Webinars are available for administrators and students, bystander training for students, use of previous knowledge to build upon, a variety of teaching methods, timely implementation (before students are at “high risk”)

18 Haven: Funds/Rationale
Decreased funding to institutions of higher education raise questions about how new initiatives like Haven can be implemented. In order to cover up to $24,000 of annual cost for Haven, the institution will look at decreasing money given to upper level management in the form of bonuses. Rationale: The “Ivory Tower” view of higher education is quickly fading Awarding bonuses during times of financial struggle can make it harder to begin to re-establish trust in the society higher education so closely interacts, even if the bonuses were truly deserved

19 Addressing a Case of Sexual Assault/Violence
When a student, faculty member, or other does come forward with a claim of being sexual assaulted/violated, the institution will follow the correct procedures to ensure the student's claims are filed appropriately with previously established laws and codes, such as the Ohio Revised Code.  Any case, or claim, should be addressed promptly and professionally while respecting the rights of the victim and the accused. It is necessary for administrators and police involved with any case derived from sexual misconduct to follow the correct procedures.  Convincing a presumed victim to drop a case, or insisting the victim is lying, or could be lying, will not be tolerated.  Those found to be involved with an action as such will be subject to disciplinary action from the institution at a minimum.

20 Addressing a Case of Sexual Assault/Violence
Procedures to be followed/implemented: File the correct paper work for what the victim is claiming If the victim is in the same class or work setting as the person accused, make arrangements so the two don't have to be in the same space at the same time If the victim needs any medical attention or wants to be medically evaluated for purposes of determining if rape happened, make this possible Take action to investigate the claim if the victim chooses so Coordinate with campus legal council and student judicial affairs to ensure rights of victim and the accused are being met, while also ensuring the correct steps are being taken to handle the case Make victim aware of services available if they feel they want/need extra assistance; e.g. counseling on campus, support groups in the community, etc.

21 Sexual Violence: Alcohol
-Due to The Ohio Revised Code identifying sexual acts with someone who is impaired as sexual assault, since consent can't be given, a collaborative effort with an alcohol awareness program, such as, can help students to recognize when someone may be in a compromising position -By having alcohol awareness by students, the institution will have an active student body that can assist in recognizing when others around them may be getting in a compromising position, or when to say no if an event occurred where the student felt pressured to be involved sexually with another person 1

22 Educating the Campus Community: First-Year Freshman
Utilization of orientation, which is already in place, as a guaranteed time and place to give useful information on sexual violence for incoming freshman Freshman students go through a lot of changes when starting their first year in higher education, this can be seen in Schlossberg's Transition Theory, which includes anticipated events, non-anticipated events, and non-events (Evans, Forney, Guido, Patton & Renn, 2010) Recognizing that events are likely to occur, either good or bad, for first-year students is important when considering the services that should be made available to respond to such events. According to Koss (1988), 74% of those convicted of sexual misconduct, and 55% of rape victims had been drinking prior to the assault

23 Educating the Campus Community
Programming efforts will: Introduce students to university and community resources Help define and understand sexual assault and consent Help to development meaningful relationships Provide appropriate social activities and model safe behaviors Increase collaboration between existing campus departments and the surrounding community We should want to reduce the stigma of… The fear of talking about sexual assault Being hesitant or afraid to use resources before and after an incident Thinking it only happens to women

24 Educating the Campus Community
Short term and long term programming will be important! First, it will be important to get information out with smaller programming by the end of this first semester, then we must begin implementing more in depth programming in following year and beyond. We will use this first year as a base year and begin to evaluate and assess how these programs are impacting our students. Changes can be made in following years to better suit the needs of our students. Programs should always be FREE for students

25 Clubs and Organizations
Team of safety liaisons The members of this team will spread decision making tips They will be well versed in all of the safety tips that can help students, staff, and faculty be safe on campus They will know what is available to assist with safety on campus to help benefit the students This includes the best lit areas, where the blue call boxes are located to make calls in the case of an emergency, and how to contact University Police This team will also prepare presentations for various campus activities or classroom lectures. They will differentiate between the normal lecture style and approach the information in a “fun” way

26 Behavioral Intervention Team (Care Team)
Why is it important? Care Team Concept Sometimes we can’t prevent threats, but we can identify factors that mitigate risk Can help de-escalate situations Helps create a culture of awareness about what’s going on and placing situations in context Encourages “See something… say something” Helpful in creating bystanders An avenue to funnel concerns about students Anyone could express a concern in the spirit of community Would intentionally cast a “wide net” Would involve representatives from all major campus resources Collaborative consultation/joint recommendations Low-cost solution to safety Connects people in need with necessary resources

27 Who and How? Academic Partners Counseling Center Staff
International Student Support Legal Counsel Residence Life/Housing Law Enforcement Community Health Agencies Materials: brochures, business cards, magnets, cups, social media Develop allies: Greek life, athletics, graduate student services, library staff, academic deans, student affairs staff, graduate assistants, teaching assistants, residential housing, community law enforcement

28 Accommodating the Unique Needs of Survivors
There will be programs tailored to the victims of sexual assault on campus. Group meetings/discussions will be held to promote an open forum to disclose information and help one another through difficult times. A counselor or trained member of the sexual awareness team will be present at these meetings Another option will be to connect with the local battered women’s shelter Victims can connect with other victims in the community Any student interested in learning more about sexual assault will also be welcome to join The overall idea of this approach is to remind victims that they are not alone while also promoting awareness to those student interested in learning more about the issue.

29 Sexual Awareness Month
According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (2013), “In the United States April marks Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM). During SAAM activists raise awareness about sexual violence and educate communities and individuals on how to prevent it.” Since April is a short time away, short term programming efforts can be implemented at low to no cost. The CARE Team, focus groups, or anyone else thoroughly trained on sexual assault should be full force during this month. Some ideas to get the word out into the campus community: Presentations about sexual assault on main areas of campus Posting post-it notes with facts and figures of sexual assault information in heavy trafficked areas Visiting classes to handout information about upcoming events and to speak about the topic for a few minutes

30 Spreading Awareness through Programming
Clothesline Project - What is needed: T-shirts - Students can be asked to bring a shirt or they can be provided depending on the existing budget Markers or Paint String Clothes Pins Students, faculty, and staff can write their thoughts, a quote, words of encouragement, their feelings, or anything else pertaining to sexual assault. The shirts will be hung around the main area of campus for all to see and read. Main purpose: spreading awareness and opening eyes to the unknown feelings and ideas of sexual assault. Also, this event helps to create a sense of community on campus as people come together to show support for those who have been victimized.

31 Spreading Awareness through Programming
Take Back The Night – Students can support the spread of sexual assault awareness by taking part in this event. There are many approaches to planning this event which include: Hosting a rally Candlelit walk for survivors Bringing community speakers or agencies to the event to speak and share resources with the students Having students, faculty, and/or staff sign a pledge Have various organizations on campus host a booth or give donations to help promote collaboration and cross-campus support If budget allows, there are shirts, bracelets, and other items that can be purchased for students, faculty, and staff to wear to show their support

32 Awareness Week Fair - April
Brochures or pamphlets handed out around campus and at fair Define consent Have tips to sexual assault prevention in them Have students quoted throughout with their views and opinions on healthy relationships, sexual awareness, and sexual assault Information tables Have various people at these tables Students, victims, staff, faculty, counselor, staff and faculty from care team to relay information and answer any questions University Police will be in attendance Information to have available: What do to if sexual assault occurs? What is the direct number to contact University Police? What other safety precautions or features are on campus for students? For example: Blue Call Boxes

33 Other Programming Efforts
Layout monthly programming These programs should be all-inclusive and campus-wide to reach as many students as possible Within Residence Halls Teams of three to four trained students visit the freshman residence halls beginning in September. The conversations facilitated by these teams include the topics of: healthy relationships, relationship violence, stalking, sexual assault, consent, and campus resources By-Stander Program Empowering the bystander is an important piece to preventing sexual assault. Holding a program to educate students on different signs to be aware of while out with friends, at a party, or other various situations can help to further prevent sexual assault.

34 Other Programming Efforts
Stop Sexist Remarks – Tailor a program based on the ideas presented at this website. This is based on starting conversations about sexist remarks and standing up to them with the intent to educate the person making the sexist remark(s). Survivor Panel Have survivors create a panel and have students come to hear their stories and ask questions firsthand of the victims. Heel Walk Men can show support against women’s sexual assault by walking around in heels for a full day This diminishes stereotypes and shows the campus community there is support from all angles Denim Day Students wear denim for a day to show support against rape. This began after a case was overturned in the court of law because a woman’s pants were too tight which means she would have helped take them off which the court said resulted in consensual sex. This day would be a reminder that there is never an excuse or reason that would make rape “okay.”

35 Our learning outcomes must be: Specific Measurable Aspirational
Reasonable Time-specific A combination of learning expectations from student affairs, academic affairs and the students themselves Useful in assessing the success of the program in order to use the results to better the institution and student learning in the future Learning Outcomes In order to assess and evaluate the relevance and success of our programs, we must consider our learning outcomes.

36 Social Media The incorporation of social media is important when connecting with today’s students. The institution will need to create various social network accounts to meet students halfway. These would include: Facebook Twitter YouTube Tumblr Pinterest Instagram Information pertaining to events can be broadcasted on each of these social networks. Also, available resources can be linked to them. Weekly tips to staying safe and aware can be promoted through them as well. Students can be asked to start up conversations, post informative links, change their profile pictures to show support, and more! Open communication, even in the form of social media, will help to spread awareness and push the importance of this topic.

37 Anonymous Social Media Approach
Even through copious amounts of effort, the topic of sexual assault will remain a difficult one for many students. This next idea comes from the popular idea behind ( Students will be able to go to a website and submit questions, comments, or stories anonymously. They will have the option to have what they send in posted on the public webpage or not. Either way, it is an outlet for students to take things from their minds and say it to someone in the world, even if they do not know who is going to read it. Free websites to use: There is the option of streaming this to the university safety/sexual assault page as well

38 Student Blog The idea: To start, 5-7 students will be chosen to begin a public blog through the university. Within their blogs they will be asked to write on various topics, including sexual assault, overall safety, and healthy relationships, each week and will be given the freedom to speak openly and freely. The purpose: This can help to build a stronger campus community through peer-to-peer sharing.

39 Budgeting Considerations
Training The more trained personnel or student staff the better to keep the campus community informed, but at the same time this can become costly. It also has to be decided whether or not it will be a requirement for all employees to be trained upon entering a job at the institution. How do we go about training the already existing employees? Conferences There are local, regional, and national conferences that can be attended. Costs associated with conferences tend to include registration fees, lodging fees, transportation fees, and meals at a minimum. Materials needed for programming efforts Brochures and pamphlets along with any materials needed for programming, short or long term, will cost the institution money.

40 Changing the Paradigm A proactive stance needs to be taken when approaching the topic of sexual assault with college-level students. This topic can create a lot of anxiety and fear just through conversation, so ensuring there are various techniques implemented will help to relieve this anxiety and fear while making positive, influential outreach to the students. How to do this: Buy-in from higher level administrators Provide comprehensive response and prevention policies Actually talk about the issue

41 Institutional Website
The institutional website should include: Information about Sexual Assault and Awareness Resources available On-campus Off-campus Upcoming events The website should be accessible and prominent when visiting the main website. It should include helpful tips Videos would be beneficial t0 illustrate different scenarios and to provide different information. Adding a flair of humor throughout a serious topic can help students to relate more freely and feel more comfortable with the topic at hand. There should be a tab for each type of students – undergraduate: freshman, sophomore, junior, senior; graduate; doctoral The institution needs to show that it is priority to keep the campus and its students safe

42 National Resources These are resources that can be utilized by students, administrators, and parents alike. Campus Clarity - Haven - One Student - Rape, Abuse, and Incent National Network – National Sexual Violence Resource Center – Men Can Stop Rape – Getting students involved: (free for students!) Getting administrators involved: Other sources used: Clery center: For security on campus. (2012). Retrieved from Centers for disease control and prevention. (2014, January 02). Retrieved from (2013). Retrieved from Lawriter ohio laws and rules. (2007, April 04). Retrieved from Sarah lawrence college: Sexual assault and college campuses-statustics. (2013). Retrieved from

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