Activism to Advocacy. Services for Sexual Assault Survivors at Gonzaga University

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1 Activism to Advocacy Services for Sexual Assault Survivors at Gonzaga University

2 Gonzaga University is a private liberal arts college located in Spokane, WA. Providing a Catholic liberal arts education, we are dedicated to the Jesuit, Catholic, humanistic ideals of educating the mind, body, and spirit to create men And women for others. Located on the north bank of the Spokane River, Gonzaga University inspires and transforms people to shape a better world through Education, character, service, and faith. Established in 1887 Total enrollment 7,572 Campus size 152 acres 72 fields of undergraduate study 23 master s degrees 3 doctoral programs

3 LCS Northwest has offices in many cities in Washington and Oregon, and one office in Boise, Idaho. Each office provides services unique to their community. LCS Northwest Spokane has three programs: 1. Child Welfare 2. SAFeT Clinical 3. Victim Advocacy & Education LCS Northwest Spokane: Sexual Assault & Family Trauma Response Center

4 In about a week, the small handful of young women at the front of the room have started a conversation about sexual assault on Gonzagaʹs campus, calling on their fellow students to ʺcause a f ing scene,ʺ scheduling protests and creating a list of specific demands: guaranteed punishments for campus rapists, better access to counseling, a support group for victims and more. After informal conversations, the group held a meeting that drew 100 students. They planned a protest that drew 145 people on Facebook (it was later rescheduled because of concerns it could be triggering for victims) and are taking survivorsʹ stories anonymously on Tumblr. Now, it seems the schoolʹs administration may be ready to listen. Soon after the group formed, the president of the university, Thayne McCulloh, sent out an to every student on campus calling it ʺthe Universityʹs responsibility to do all that can be done. The Inlander 11/19/14 Cause A Scene: The Students

5 The concerns of the Cause A Scene student group first manifested in a public posting of an individual s picture and the word s Gonzaga protects rapists! There a was shock and confusion There was a need for context (information gathering) There was a mix of emotion An opportunity for listening was created There was a lack of trust (on many sides) A response of what if was established A long haul commitment was imagined Leaning on our shared Mission! The University Responds

6 LCS Northwest Responds Listening Meetings with GU s Interim Title IX Coordinator Meetings with Student Organizers Find a method to give voice to the many students who had connected via social media Respect campus culture

7 Event Outline for Student Promoted Forum 1. Introduce myself and LCS Northwest. 2. Introduce advocacy services including strengths and limitations. 3. Ask the questions. 4. Listen. 5. Make a plan and follow up. Student Needs Assessment

8 Be Flexible. Given what you know about CBVA, what s the best way to proceed? What kind of services would be most helpful? What do you need to feel safe working with a CBVA? Where would you feel safe meeting? When do you need an advocate to be available? Be Respectful. What s the most important thing to you in this process? What s the best way to let the community know about a new service? The Questions

9 Results: Confidentiality Meaningful part of the campus community Accessibility and flexibility in scheduling Independence Understand campus culture, history and values Group and individual support for survivors Ease staff and faculty reporting burden Participate in education and prevention measures

10 Value your potential clients enough to work for what they ask for. Write a job description. Determine FTE Look for places you can compromise in responsibilities and budget Communicate. Schedule meetings with GU staff Meet with students to tell them what you re working on

11 HOW TO MAKE A PARTNERSHIP SUSTAINABLE Long before the most recent statements published by Vice president Joe Biden (Jan. 13, 2017), in which he recommended that colleges and universities seek the hiring of confidential advocates for assisting victims of sexual violence, Gonzaga University and LCS Northwest were well on their way in establishing a strong model for a sustainable partnership. Identifying the major stakeholders in the organizations Looking at budget constraints and funding requirements Be open to creative options Looking for win win win situations Drafting a flexible MOU Keeping a central focus on shared purpose Open lines of communication and evaluation Show the benefits (service, fiscal, community)

12 Addressing anxiety, anticipation and rumors: Addressing common concerns for universities: What if this doesn t work out? What will happen when you and/or your client disagree with the university? Creating Realistic Expectations for CBVA s

13

14 Celebrate and write that MOU! Spell out exactly what each party needs. Include language that protects your work.

15 Implementation Basics

16 Campus Culture Be genuinely interested in the school s history & spirit Be respectful of school s hierarchy/chain of command Spend time on campus Learn about the student population/demographics Primary Contact Person at University First things first Gonzaga s Title IX Coordinator Has a background in trauma informed care & advocacy Fully understands & respects the importance of confidentiality Meet weekly with contact person

17 Get your name out there! Meet with various departments During each meeting Provide education on advocacy, confidentiality, & privileged communication Brainstorm ideas on how to best work together to assist student survivors Develop an easy to use referral system Marketing Advertise Interview with school newspaper Fliers in new staff/faculty orientation folders Put up tear off fliers all around campus Present to various audiences Join school led activities Word of mouth /phone number specifically for campus work Business cards Rack card

18 Basics Vendor designation ID Badge Background check Parking permit Logistics Office Space Confidential, secure location Desk, chairs, computer, bookshelf Meet students to avoid the need for them to check in

19 Learn, learn, learn! Schools must: Red Zone The Clery Act Title IX VAWA re authorization Campus SaVE Act Campus Sexual Assault Victims Bill of Rights Be proactive Have an established procedure Take immediate action Campus Regulations

20 Adapt Remember! Survivor Centered Collaboration & engagement You already have amazing skills!

21 Know Your IX The National Alliance to End Sexual Violence (NAESV) The Clery Center Office for Civil Rights Resources

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