Level Three: Educating Providers

Level 3: Educating Providers
Informing providers who will transmit skills and knowledge to others and model positive norms
Understanding who has influence in your community is critical. Faculty, staff, and student leaders are key allies in sexual violence prevention work. Campus healthcare providers, discipline officers, law enforcement or security personnel, advocates, resident advisors, and student government leaders are often important campus resources. These individuals play a key role in setting the campus culture and modeling social norms for the campus community. By having these leaders on board with prevention activities, and ensuring that they understand the impact their actions and words have on others around them, your messages can reach a wider audience more quickly and with greater impact.

The type of training and the content provided to individuals in this category will depend on the specific needs and gaps in knowledge. Some individuals may be primarily concerned with providing direct services to victims of sexual violence, or in handling the disciplinary process after an assault. Prevention messages for these individuals could emphasize the importance of listening and counteracting common myths about victims and perpetrators of sexual violence. For those that interact more often with students in a general setting (e.g., residence hall staff or student government leaders), messages about healthy relationship promotion and respect could be incorporated into existing trainings on sexual violence.   The NSVRC has developed three customizable fact sheets that combine awareness and prevention messages for campus administrators, faculty and staff, and campus healthcare providers. Visit http://www.nsvrc.org/saam/campus-fact-sheets (available in Word and PDF formats) to access these new resources. 

University of Michigan’s Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center (SAPAC) developed a toolkit specifically for individuals working in student conflict resolution on campus to help increase their understanding and familiarity with the issues of sexual assault and intimate partner violence. With funding from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women, SAPAC collected information from other universities to develop this tool and also worked closely with a local domestic violence shelter, SafeHouse Center, in Ann Arbor, MI.

The toolkit provides both general and legal definitions of sexual assault, discusses consent, coercion, common rape myths, campus sexual violence statistics, under-reporting, and policies for UM specifically. The toolkit provides a section on common survivor responses (including counterintuitive responses), what to say to survivors, and information about sexual violence in multicultural communities. Additionally, a section is dedicated to perpetrators, including how perpetrators might respond, male socialization, personality characteristics of offenders, and recidivism. The document includes a separate section on dating and domestic violence on campus.
In developing this toolkit, SAPAC staff aimed to combine awareness messages and primary prevention information into one training tool. By educating providers about the underlying causes of sexual violence, like gender socialization and victim-blaming culture, disciplinary personnel will understand the larger context in which sexual violence occurs and be able to act as change agents in the future. In addition, they will be better prepared to handle sexual violence cases in a victim-centered and sensitive manner, demonstrating administrative support for victims on campus and increasing the chances that survivors will come forward and report their experiences.

SAPAC has used this toolkit to train arbiters in the Office on Student Conflict Resolution and has begun to offer trainings to other campus staff, including law enforcement. They will continue to expand the reach of the training and develop support materials over the next few years.

To obtain a free copy of the toolkit, please contact Anne Handeyside at annekh@umich.edu or (734) 998-9368.

For more information about SAPAC, visit http://www.umich.edu/~sapac/.