Washington University in St. Louis Expands Programs Relating to Sexual Assault

Wustl-logoWashington University in St. Louis has taken several steps to enhance its programs to prevent sexual assault and to aid victims of such incidents on campus. Among the enhancements to current programs and initiatives are the hiring of a new counselor at the Relationship and Sexual Violence Prevention Center on campus who will focus on the LGBTQIA community and another staff member who will deal with issues at the university’s medical school.. In addition, two new Title IX officers will be hired.

The university has also decided to provide permanent funding for a student-led production that educates incoming students about sexual assault and dating violence and for a student-run anonymous hotline for victims of sexual misconduct. The university will also increase its bystander training programs and will beef up education for faculty and staff on sexual assault laws and regulations and the resources the university offers for victims of sexual assault.

davisa-2016Adrienne Davis, vice provost and the William M. Van Cleve professor of law at Washington University, vowed “we won’t turn back. We want our students to be the next generation of leaders and global citizens. To do that, they must have basic respect for one another. Combating sexual violence and setting a tone of autonomy, dignity and respect are fundamental values.”

In addition to enhancing existing programs, the university has announced that it is launching a new research initiative to develop and test solutions for dealing with campus sexual assault. The Campus Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence Assessment Initiative will bring together top researchers from the sciences, social work, engineering, law and other disciplines.

Professor Davis expects some of the research will be focused on LGBTQ students and graduate and professional students, who experience higher rates of relationship violence and sexual harassment. “Do different populations need different interventions?” Dr. Davis asked. “We assume so, but we won’t know until we pilot it and assess it. In the end, we hope to develop evidence-based practices that we can share with other universities.”

Dr. Davis has been on the Washington University faculty since 2008. Previously she taught at the law schools of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, American University in Washington, D.C. and the University of San Francisco. Professor Davis is a graduate of Yale University and Yale Law School.

Filed Under: Sexual Assault/Harassment


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