A Blueprint for Sexual Assault Prevention and Response
In April 2013, UW President Michael K. Young convened a Task Force to study how the UW could better respond to and prevent sexual assault on campus. The Task Force, which included leaders from the Counseling Center, HR, Athletics, Academic Units, Student Government, Housing and Food Services, UWPD, Harborview, and Bothell and Tacoma campuses, put out a comprehensive report on its findings in October 2013. Given the current national attention focused on the issue of sexual assault on college campuses, and the need for a comprehensive response, the UW’s report can be seen as a blueprint for creating a successful sexual assault prevention and response program.
Here are the eight major goals for any sexual assault prevention and response program, as outlined by the report:
- Have a visible, robust, easily-accessible, collaborative network of response and intervention services for students in need
- Educate all students about sexual assault
- Create a community that knows how to respond and provide support
- Provide an investigation and disciplinary process appropriate for sexual assault
- Demonstrate compliance with all applicable federal and state laws, regulations, and guidance
- Generate data, metrics and reporting that allow for sound decision making
- Establish policies and procedures that set direction, clarify intent, and guide coordinated work
- Provide effective oversight and following guiding principles to ensure common direction
The Task Force also included 18 concrete and specific recommendations, including hiring a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner at the UW Medical Center, providing better sexual assault prevention training to students and staff at orientation, and revising UW policies related to sexual assault, to ensure that these goals are met. It also gave a list of funding priorities, such as hiring a consultant to overhaul the Student Conduct Code, funding the UWPD Victim Advocate and a Sexual Assault Investigator, and funding training and materials. The group will convene again in October to give a status update to the President, and will have periodic meeting after that to measure progress and define new goals and recommendations.
To read the Task Force’s full report, please click here.