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Education and Prevention Programs

The programs to prevent Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking mean comprehensive, intentional, and integrated programming, initiatives, strategies, and campaigns intended to end Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking that:

  • Are culturally relevant, inclusive of diverse communities and identities, sustainable, responsive to community needs, and informed by research or assessed for value, effectiveness, or outcome;
  • Consider environmental risk and protective factors as they occur on the individual, relationship, collegial, community, and societal levels.

Programs to prevent Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking include both primary prevention and awareness programs directed at incoming students and new employees, and ongoing prevention and awareness campaigns directed at students and employees.

The College continues to develop an annual educational campaign consisting of presentations and distribution of educational materials to all new students; presentations and distribution of materials to all new employees during new employee orientation; and ongoing presentation of materials and educational sessions to employees and students through the academic year.

The College offered the following primary prevention and awareness programs in 2020:

For Sexual Assault, Dating/Domestic Violence, and Stalking, the College Haven* and Haven for employee’s programs. These VAWA topics are also discussed at student orientation. The College also offers SafeZone Training, Trans101 Workshop, and Bystander training upon request.

Awareness events held previously, such as the Clothesline Project, the Luminaria Vigil and the poster campaign as part of our ‘It’s On Us’ initiative, were not held in 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions.

All new employees are required to complete Workplace Harassment Training from United Educators, a comprehensive program designed to identify harassment and provide guidance in situations involving prohibited behavior.

*Haven is a program addressing the critical issues of sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking, and sexual harassment – among students, faculty and staff. Created in collaboration with leading campus practitioners, researchers and national thought leaders including renowned expert Dr. Alan Berkowitz, Haven reaches 700,000 individuals at over 650 institutions across the country.

Bystander Intervention Training

Bystander intervention offers safe and positive options that may be carried out by an individual or individuals to prevent harm or intervene when there is a risk of Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking. Bystander intervention includes recognizing situations of potential harm, understanding cultural conditions that facilitate violence, overcoming barriers to intervening, identifying safe and effective intervention options, and taking action to intervene. Such action should be prudent and with regard for one’s own safety. Contact law enforcement, and seek assistance from faculty, staff or other persons in authority to end the abuse.

How to Be an Active Bystander

Bystanders play a critical role in the prevention of sexual and relationship violence. They are “individuals” who observe violence or witness the conditions that perpetuate violence. They are not directly involved but have the choice to intervene, speak up, or do something about it. We want to promote a culture of community accountability where bystanders are actively engaged in the prevention of violence without causing further harm. We may not always know what to do even if we want to help. Below is a list of some ways to be an active bystander. If you or someone else is in immediate danger, dial 911. This could be when a person is yelling at or being physically abusive toward another and it is not safe for you to interrupt.

  • Watch out for your friends and fellow students/employees. If you see someone who looks like they could be in trouble or need help, ask if they are ok.
  • Confront people who seclude, hit on, try to make out with, or have sex with people who are incapacitated.
  • Speak up when someone discusses plans to take sexual advantage of another person.
  •  Believe someone who discloses sexual assault, abusive behavior, or experience with stalking.
  •  Refer people to on- or off-campus resources listed in this document for support in health, counseling, or with legal assistance.

Risk Reduction

With no intent to victim blame and recognizing that only abusers are responsible for their abuse, the

following are some strategies to reduce one’s risk of sexual assault or harassment:

  • Be aware of your surroundings. Knowing where you are and who is around you may help you find a way to get out of a bad situation.
  • Try to avoid isolated areas. It is more difficult to get help if no one is around.
  • Walk with purpose. Even if you don’t know where you are going, act like you do.
  • Trust your instincts. If a situation or location feels unsafe or uncomfortable, it probably isn’t the best place to be.
  • Try not to load yourself down with packages or bags as this can make you appear more vulnerable.
  • Make sure your cell phone is with you, charged, and that you have cab money.
  • Don’t allow yourself to be isolated with someone you don’t trust or someone you don’t know.
  • Avoid putting music headphones in both ears so that you can be more aware of your surroundings, especially if you are walking alone.
  • When you go to a social gathering, go with a group of friends. Arrive together, check in with each other throughout the evening, and leave together. Knowing where you are and who is around you may help you to find a way out of a bad situation.
  • Trust your instincts. If you feel unsafe in any situation, go with your gut. If you see something suspicious, contact law enforcement immediately (local authorities can be reached by calling 911).
  • Don’t leave your drink unattended while talking, dancing, using the restroom, or making a phone call. If you’ve left your drink alone, just get a new one.
  • Don’t accept drinks from people you don’t know or trust. If you choose to accept a drink, go with the person to the bar to order it, watch it being poured, and carry it yourself. At parties, don’t drink from the punch bowls or other large, common open containers.
  • Watch out for your friends, and vice versa. If a friend seems disoriented, is overly intoxicated for the amount of alcohol they’ve had, or is acting out of character, get him or her to a safe place immediately.
  • If you suspect you or a friend has been drugged, contact law enforcement immediately (local authorities can be reached by calling 911. Be explicit with emergency/medical personnel so they can give you or your friend the correct tests (you may need a urine test and possibly others).
  • If you need to get out of an uncomfortable or scary situation, here are some things that you can try:

Remember that being in this situation is not your fault. You did not do anything wrong; it is the person who is making you uncomfortable that is to blame. Be true to yourself. Don’t feel obligated to do anything you don’t want to do. “I don’t want to” is always a good enough reason. Do what feels right to you and what you are comfortable with.