An effective university or college-wide response to violence against women requires comprehensive training, delivered by qualified professionals, to the variety of systems that students may encounter. Universities must include an effective first response to survivors, an effective plan for perpetrator (those who choose to harm) accountability, and prevention programming and education.
The following individuals should receive training to strengthen effective security and investigation strategies, to educate, and to prevent and or prosecute/adjudicate dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking:
- Judicial Affairs staff
- Judicial Affairs panelists
- Public Safety Officers
- Title IX officers
For more information on Judicial Affairs Training, click here.
The following departments should receive training to effectively educate students, respond to and provide referrals for survivors:
- Residential staff
- Clinical care providers
- Medical staff
- Counseling staff
- Student affairs staff
- Athletic staff and coaches
In addition, the following individuals should receive training:
Senior management, including presidents, provosts, chancellors, vice provosts, and other senior management, should be educated on these issues in order to effectively monitor programming as well as accurately represent the University’s stance on these issues. This training should heighten consistency between actual practice and the face of the university, including ensuring that senior management do not make victim-blaming statements to the public.
Human Resources staff should receive training to ensure that staff is equipped to respond to coworkers experiencing domestic violence.
Sexual Violence and Relationship Abuse Advisers from each department should be established and should receive in depth training to be resources and first responders for their respective communities.
Sample Training Recommendations
Every individual who is a decision-maker in any capacity in cases involving sexual assault, sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, dating violence, stalking must receive evidence-based, comprehensive training on sexual assault and dating violence. This training should meet the standards outlined by the White House Office of Violence Against Women. This includes:
- Title IX Coordinator
- Any private investigators (i.e., from Pilsbury or otherwise) hired to conduct such investigations
- All administrators who decide appeals, members of the Office of General Counsel, the Provost, and the President, if they make decisions in such cases
- All members of campus disciplinary boards
- All other pertinent administrators must receive comprehensive training, including residence deans and resident fellows
As mentioned above, administrators who decide appeals must receive extensive (minimum 8 hours) training according to standards outlined by the Office of Violence Against Women on domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. This training must include the importance of avoiding victim blaming.
The National Center for Higher Education Risk Management (NCHERM) recommends two days for judicial board training on sexual assault and dating violence. A university must meet this basic standard of training in order to uphold a fair and just judicial process; moreover, this will also allow the university to avoid lawsuits from victims, whose rights would potentially otherwise by violated through institutional negligence.
All administrators who deal with these issues must be transparent around the training they have received and meet adequate victim-centered training standards. This includes the Title IX Coordinator.
A dominant aggressor analysis should be included in training. LERC provides an 8 hour training (can be purchased online here) that should be given to all decision makers (particularly before 8 hour in person trainings can be coordinated).
Comprehensive, evidence-based training and education in the form of mandatory training for all staff (including all Residence Deans, Resident Fellows, and RAs) and students. This training should meet the standards of the White House Office of Violence Against Women.
See Prevention vs Awareness for best practices in student education and program language.