By Rachel Yehoda, Program Coordinator (Prevention & Education)
Colleges and universities are continuously strategizing ways to improve campus sexual assault prevention and response efforts, and there is a growing need to develop inclusive and comprehensive prevention efforts that serve diverse campus communities. Many traditionally underserved populations tend to experience sexual violence at higher rates than the norm, and, as colleges and universities work to reach these student populations with their prevention and response efforts, they are encountering many challenges.
MCASA’s College Consortium provides a forum for colleges and universities to discuss strategies to improve prevention and response efforts for all students on their campuses. The College Consortium provides a space for individuals from colleges and universities from across Maryland to network and collaborate on ideas to effectively prevent sexual violence. At the most recent College Consortium Roundtable discussion held on January 12, 2018, professionals from nine different colleges came together to engage in a discussion about effective prevention and response efforts to reach underserved student populations. Discussions centered on the importance of addressing intersectionality, privilege, and cultural humility in sexual violence prevention work. Participants also had opportunities to talk about what challenges they have faced on their campuses when trying to reach traditionally underserved students. Several common challenges included reaching international students and students who identify as LGBTQ, and overcoming barriers to reporting for these student groups while also helping them to access appropriate resources. Prevention strategies were discussed at the conclusion of the roundtable, and participants learned about the nine principles of effective prevention and recommended strategies for developing inclusive prevention materials.
Colleges and universities that are looking to improve their sexual violence prevention efforts can benefit from becoming a member of MCASA’s College Consortium. Members of the Consortium receive free trainings from MCASA staff on topics related to sexual assault prevention and response, and also have access to MCASA materials, resource-sharing emails, and invitations to roundtable events! Interested in joining MCASA’s College Consortium? Click here for more information or contact us at 301-328-7023.