As Virginia’s leading voice on sexual and domestic violence, the Virginia Sexual & Domestic Violence Action Alliance believes all college students have the right to learn and live in an educational environment where they are safe and treated equally. This is the overarching spirit of Title IX, the Clery Act, and Virginia campus safety legislation. The presence of sexual violence, dating/domestic violence, stalking, and other gender-based violence threatens this right. We also know that institutional and societal oppressions compound the negative effects of violence on students of color and other historically marginalized groups. We have heard from Virginia’s colleges and universities that you/they are hungry for concrete guidelines and examples of promising and best practices in Virginia and nationwide; to respond to this gap in resources, we researched and wrote a set of best practices guides for Virginia’s college and university campuses.
What makes these guides different from the other best practices guides for campuses?
The Safety and Justice for All guides outline best-practice recommendations to help campus professionals move beyond regulatory compliance and to institute trauma-informed and racial justice oriented prevention and responses to gender-based violence.
Recommendations are based on specific roles on campus
Key recommendations included in the guides are organized into six groups:
- advocates (both on- and off-campus);
- faculty and other instructional employees;
- Title IX coordinators and campus disciplinary professionals;
- campus law enforcement and security officers; and
- prevention specialists.
We created an edition specifically for Community Colleges
Due to the unique context of Virginia’s Community Colleges, we created a separate guide for those institutions. The structure and framework for the Community College guide are the same; several recommendations in this guide were adapted to address Community College specific concerns and utilize Community College examples.
Virginia’s colleges, universities, and community colleges are doing excellent work to respond to and prevent gender-based violence. These guides feature concrete examples of ways that institutions and organizations have implemented these recommendations, with the majority of the examples coming from Virginia institutions.