By Beth Wynkoop, Prevention and Education Policy Advocate
MCASA is committed to ending sexual violence in Maryland, so we are very pleased to be partnering on a statewide project to enhance environmental sexual assault prevention on college and university campuses. With support from the CDC, we are launching a new initiative with Johns Hopkins University (JHU) and the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) to conduct research on Hot Spot Mapping for sexual violence prevention at Maryland’s higher education institutions. Hotspot Mapping has recently emerged as a very promising community-based intervention for interpersonal violence prevention; it involves asking community members to physically map the spaces and places where they feel safe and unsafe, based on both physical structures and social norms. This data can then guide preventionists in creating safe, protective spaces and spreading positive social norms throughout a community. We talked about the evidence around Hotspot Mapping in our Winter 2020 edition of Frontline and its effectiveness in reducing rates of interpersonal violence.
As part of our partnership with JHU and MDH, we will be developing tools for hotspot mapping, speaking with students, faculty, staff, and administration across the state, and implementing these new innovative tools on select campuses. By using hotspot mapping approaches, we have the opportunity to significantly reduce the number of college students in Maryland who experience sexual violence. As we embark on this new project, we need the help of campuses across the state! Is your campus implementing, planning or interested in environmental change strategies like Hot Spot Mapping for sexual violence prevention? We are still looking for campus partners to collaborate with us and to contribute to this initiative!
As a campus partner, you would have the opportunity to
If you interested in learning more or getting involved, please contact Dr. Michele R. Decker at [email protected] or Ms. Paté Mahoney at [email protected]. You can also contact us at MCASA at [email protected].