In working to continually find better ways to prevent and respond to cases of sexual harassment, assault and misconduct, the University of Cincinnati is adding to the range of options it already offers in the form of advocacy, training, prevention and resources related to
In a new agreement between UCs Division of Student Affairs and Women Helping Women (WHW), the community organization will provide an on-call, confidential campus advocate/response to provide comprehensive support to those who have or are experiencing (or have witnessed) gender-based violence, such as sexual assault, domestic violence or stalking. That 24/7 on-call service begins this week, and will be available to all students, not just women. The service will also be available to all faculty and staff.
WHW will provide confidential services that are focused on the survivor and include individual crisis intervention, hospital accompaniment, campus reporting assistance, accompany students through Title IX and law enforcement or legal processes, assist with campus-based accommodations, provide referrals for health and wellness services, and assist survivors who seek interim measures. Again, while primarily focused on serving students, the advocate will also be available to campus faculty and staff as well.
- An on-call campus advocate from Women Helping Women can be reached 24/7 at 513-381-5610, the WHW hotline.
By Oct. 30, a full-time WHW campus advocate will be housed on campus, in an office in the Steger Student Life Center.
- With the start of the new school year, UC is also expanding prevention options with new bystander training.
- With the start of the new school year, UC has developed a Support Services Coordination Team to bring together all those addressing gender-based violence and sexual assault.
- UC has added two Title IX investigators and just hosted (on Aug. 15-16) a level-one Title IX investigator training session, led by the Association of Title IX Administrators.
- Annually, incoming UC students take 'Think About It' online training highlighting the role alcohol often plays in terms of sexual assault. That training also focuses on accountability and consequences, laws and policies governing sexual assault.
- The new offerings add to those already available to students, including confidential medical services, UCPDs victim services coordinator, and UCs Counseling and Psychological Services Center 24/7 service to students in crisis due to sexual harassment, misconduct and assault. For a complete list of resources, visit UCs Title IX site.
Our new advocate, to be dedicated to serving the campus community, will provide confidential support for students. We believe survivors, and we support survivors. The advocate's role is to listen to the survivor, outline options, link survivors to services that they want and to focus on empowerment," said Kristin Smith Shrimplin, president and CEO of WHW.
According to Debra Merchant, vice president of UCs Division of Student Affairs, students need a variety of support options, and this new partnership with WHW provides another confidential support on campus, in the same way that there are counselors in UCs Counseling and Psychological Services who specifically provide assistance to survivors of sexual assault or harassment.
She stated, This adds to what we can provide to students. Some of the support is what we call confidential (like that offered by a counselor or this advocate). Some of it is what we call non-confidential or of public record, like going to UCPD. In order to provide the best service, its important to provide these confidential options as well.
The main responsibilities of the on-call campus advocate are as follows:
- Provide direct crisis-intervention services to campus survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking.
- Provide telephone and one-on-one crisis intervention, hospital advocacy, civil and criminal court accompaniment, campus-based referrals, and accompaniment to campus hearings.
- Assist students with safety planning and provide information and referrals with each student as appropriate.
- Accompany clients to proceedings/appointments/meetings as needed to provide information, advocacy, support and safety.
- Advocate for survivors based on survivor-defined goals and with the consent of the survivor.