Guiding Principles for Prevention & Education

Prevention Education

  1. Prevention and response training should be in-depth and ongoing. IPV, stalking, and sexual violence are common but very complex issues. In order to make the campus safer, staff, faculty, and students need this level of training. Learn More
  2. Education should be research-based, trauma-informed, and specific to your campus’ needs. Consultation and partnership with campus and/or local IPV experts is key. Learn More
  3. Messages should focus on reducing risk factors, come from all parts of campus, and reach constituents multiple times. Messages about primary prevention should focus on reducing risk factors for perpetrating intimate partner and sexual violence, not just on increasing protective factors for potential victims/survivors. These messages are also important for supporting victims/survivors. Learn More
  4. Prevention should be culturally relevant, appropriate, inclusive, and informed by students, especially victims/survivors. Efforts should be responsive to the needs of marginalized and oppressed groups represented on campus, especially LGBTQI+ students, students with disabilities, and students of color. Student input should be a predominant feature in educational or prevention messaging and curriculum development. Messaging should never reinforce negative stereotypes. Learn More
  5. Create a comprehensive, strategic plan for implementing, assessing, and evaluating prevention efforts. Developing a comprehensive plan, including evaluation, should be the first step of prevention work.  Learn More

Prevention in Real Life

  • Educating Employees

    Educating Employees

    Those on campus tasked with providing education on preventing and responding to IPV and other forms of gender-based violence continue Read More
  • Educating Students

    Educating Students

    It’s May and orientation sessions for the incoming classes of transfer students and international students are planned for mid-August.The campus Read More
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View additional resources related to this topic

For more information specifically on sexual violence, visit the North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault

Guiding Principles for Prevention

#1 Prevention and response training should be in-depth and ongoing. IPV, stalking, and sexual violence are common but very complex issues. In order to make the campus safer, staff, faculty, and students need this level of training.

What's Required

Provide Prevention Education Programs

Campus SaVE defines the following terms:

  1. Primary Prevention
  2. Awareness Programs
  3. On-going Prevention and Awareness Programming
  4. Current Students
  5. Employees

Primary prevention and awareness programs must include the following:

Description of Awareness Programs - A description of the type and frequency of programs designed to inform students and employees about campus security procedures and practices and to encourage students and employees to be responsible for their own security and the security of others.

Description of Prevention Programs - A description of programs designed to inform students and employees about the prevention of gender-based violence.

Institutional Statement - A statement that the institution prohibits sexual violence. (Campus SaVE’s definition of sexual violence includes IPV, stalking, and sexual violence)

Bystander Intervention Strategies - Safe and positive options for bystander interventions. Campus SaVE defines bystander interventions as “safe and positive options that may be carried out by an individual or individuals to prevent harm or intervene in situations of potential harm for another person; or to prevent institutional structures or cultural conditions that facilitate violence, including recognizing situations of potential harm, overcoming barriers to intervening, identifying safe and effective intervention options, and taking action to intervene.”

Risk Reduction Information and Warning Signs of Abusive Behavior - Campus SaVE defines risk reduction as options for mitigating risk factors through efforts designed to decrease victimization and bystander inaction, and to increase empowerment for victims through the augmentation of protective factors in order to promote safety and to help individuals and communities address conditions that facilitate violence.

Federal Definitions of Terms - The definitions of IPV, stalking, and sexual violence in their jurisdiction. The institution must follow federal definitions when collecting statistics for their Annual Security Report.

College/University Policy Definitions – The definitions for IPV, stalking and sexual violence. While institutions must provide students with state and federal laws, they must also provide students with the campus policy definitions of these terms. Institutions have the flexibility to define these terms themselves.

Definition of Consent - Institutions must include the definition of consent in their sexual misconduct policy or combined gender-based violence policy. Although Campus SaVE requires that a definition of consent must include both the college/university definition as well as the institution’s state statutory language regarding consent, the definition section of the Rape and Sex Offense statutes in North Carolina (N.C.G.S. 14-27.20) does not specifically define "consent." Rather, the many North Carolina rape and sex offense crimes and required consent have been interpreted by a multitude of case law.

All pertinent North Carolina statutes on domestic violence and sexual violence offenses are here:

Inclusive Definition of Sexual Violence - Institutions must include a clearly expanded definition of sexual violence to include IPV, stalking, and sexual violence.

Provide Training for Staff and Faculty

Individuals who are employed by the college/university should be required to attend training on sexual misconduct, intimate partner violence and stalking prevention and response. The Office for Civil Rights recommends that training be provided to any employees likely to witness or receive reports of sexual harassment and violence, including:

  • Instructors/Faculty
  • Law Enforcement
  • Administrators
  • Counselors
  • General Counsels
  • Health Personnel
  • Clergy
  • Resident Advisors

Additionally, an institution should provide Title IX training to any employee that a student might reasonably believe holds the power to take action in response to a disclosure of IPV or sexual violence. This could include graduate assistants, research assistants, study abroad employees, etc. Specific considerations for your campus might include factors such as the specific position of the employee and the formal and informal practices of the school. For more information on who should be deemed a Responsible Employee, visit the Reporting and Privacy Concerns section.

Schools need to ensure that their employees are trained so that they know to notify the appropriate school officials, and so that employees with the authority to address harassment know how to respond properly.

Training for employees should include practical information about how to identify and report sexual harassment and violence, as well as basic safety planning techniques.

What's Recommended

Develop Evidence-Informed Prevention Efforts Aimed at ALL Students

Utilize Evidence-informed Programming - Prevention efforts should rely on expert knowledge and research-supported programs that are tailored to the local campus community.

Measure the Climate of the Campus - Conduct regular research on aggregate student experience, including how students experience the climate of the campus. Research includes any method for listening carefully to student experience, e.g., through focus groups, surveys or meetings of student leaders. Use the results of the campus climate survey to guide and enhance prevention efforts that reflect the specific needs of your students.

Focus on Marginalized, Underrepresented and Especially Vulnerable Students - These groups will differ from campus to campus, and warrant special attention in prevention and education efforts. The list may include LGBTQI+ individuals, people of color, students with disabilities, students who are immigrants, sorority women, and international students.

Make Information Accessible and Easy to Understand - Provide policy and reporting information online with a minimal number of ‘click-throughs’ required to navigate web sites. Disseminate messages in many forms and forums to reach the entire student body (student orientation, curriculum infusion, resource center trainings, campus events, and public information materials).

Minimum Standards for Prevention Education Programming for all Incoming Students

Campuses should carefully consider how to ensure that all incoming students (first year students, transfer students, online students, etc.) will receive the mandatory education at and throughout orientation. It is essential for campuses to have a mechanism established to fully account for the participation of each student in the program. The prevention and education program can and should include a variety of methods – website, courses, presentations, seminars, theatre performance and discussions, letters home to parents, etc. The program should include information about intimate partner violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and stalking. Prevention professionals on campus should work in close collaboration with staff who address drug and alcohol issues.

Information provided in the program curriculum should cover a spectrum of topics including, but not limited to:

  • Student code of conduct and sexual misconduct policies
  • How to file internal administrative complaints and local criminal charges
  • Campus and community support services (legal, medical, mental health, transportation, etc.)
  • Prevention strategies
  • Common myths about the causes of gender-based violence
  • Common characteristics of abusers and rapists
  • The availability of resources for victims/survivors
  • How to support peers who are victims/survivors
  • Victims’/survivors’ responses and the healing process
  • Sanctions for offenders
  • The benefits of reporting of gender-based violence crimes

Campuses should coordinate closely with campus and community-based victim/survivor advocacy organizations in creating orientation programs. Staff at local IPV and sexual violence organizations often have the expertise to present information that is appropriate, sensitive, and respectful to victims’/survivors’ needs. Orientation programs should also state that offenders will be held accountable and present information on likely sanctions for offenders.

If possible, the college/university should support on-campus peer groups with training on the prevention of and response to sexual misconduct, stalking, and intimate partner violence, as well as peer support for concerned bystanders and those who are concerned about their own violence.

Suggested Three Stage Prevention and Education Program (source):

The Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) recommends that campuses structure the prevention and education program for incoming students into three stages to maximize the number of incoming students reached, and engage them in as effective a way as possible. The three stages are:

  1. Pre-Orientation/Arrival
  2. Orientation/Arrival
  3. Post-Orientation/Ongoing.

Creating three stages allows the institutions to use a variety of media to reach students, encompass a greater depth of information, and work within a larger timeframe. Programs should consider how to track incoming students through these three stages to ensure participation and completion of the mandatory prevention and education program. Campuses must work in close collaboration with experts on IPV to address these issues in their programming.

OVW suggests the following:

1.  Pre-Orientation/Arrival Stage

OVW recommends that schools complete one or more of the following:

  • Send a peer-to-peer letter to every incoming student including information about services, institutional protocols and policies. Clear definitions of sexual and intimate partner violence and stalking should be included. The content and tone of letter should be appropriate for all student populations.
  • Include a section in the student and/or orientation handbook that details information about victim/survivor services, institutional protocols and policies, including clear definitions on what constitutes sexual and intimate partner violence and stalking. The content and tone of this section should be appropriate for underserved populations as well.
  • Invite incoming students to participate in an online peer forum. The peers staffing these forums should offer follow-up information on the prevention and education material provided in the pre-orientation letters. These sessions are for general information and should not cover individual victim/survivor issues. It is essential that institutions work with experts in developing this forum in the event that a victim/survivor discloses abuse.
  • Distribute flyers at incoming student orientation and various new student functions about sexual and intimate partner violence, services, policies and protocols.

2.  Orientation/Arrival Stage

Given the different types of campuses and their various orientation policies, there is no one size fits all solution. OVW recognizes that the orientation schedule for a large public university will be vastly different from that of a small rural community college.

Programs should be creative and use all of the campus resources available to reach the entire population of incoming students. For those schools that have a formal orientation session or class, the following issues should be considered while planning and implementing an orientation presentation:

  • Consult with representatives from various campus departments. For example, address policies/procedures around violence as they apply to Health and Counseling, Campus Police, Student Athletics, Student Life and Residence Halls. Instill the message that sexual violence and IPV issues are addressed campus-wide.
  • When planning and delivering the orientation program, bring in community response team members to help create the training materials and facilitate the trainings. In addition to reinforcing the partnerships, this will help students identify available community resources as well.
  • Be conscientious and encompass all different orientation sessions held on campus. Incoming students enter the campus every quarter, semester, and in addition, some unique groups may have their own separate orientations (such as athletes, specific residence halls, and international students).
  • Within the Orientation training, each program should consider employing two or more distinct formats to reach students in different ways. It is recommended that one of the strategies involves peer education, delivered by a campus men’s group or via peer theatre. Please note, especially in schools with mandatory orientation sessions, OVW does not consider the creation and distribution of electronic and print media alone to be sufficient. Incorporating student involvement and/or an interactive component is strongly encouraged.

For those schools that do not have a mandatory orientation class or session, it may be more challenging to meet this program requirement. These campuses should attempt to incorporate as many, if not all, of the recommendations above.  However, there are some additional recommendations for schools without mandatory orientation:

  • Require all incoming students to participate in an online training and/or quiz prior to registering for their classes.
  • Provide them with relevant information and materials before their matriculation.
  • Sponsor seminars, sessions or a “mixer” for new students where a block of time could be scheduled to speak about issues of IPV and campus services.

3.  Post-Orientation/Ongoing Stage

After the initial “arrival” of incoming students, campuses should continue to schedule activities connected to different campus events and located at a variety of campus venues.

The following activities are recommended throughout each year:

  • Be present at season-opening athletic events, Greek recruitment (”rush”) activities, new student fairs, and/or set up educational and awareness tables outside the bookstore or student union.
  • Have peer educators staff the educational and awareness tables and recruit students to get involved in peer education.
  • Connect with residence hall RAs and set up training for them and their residents.
  • Offer a peer theatre presentation for a large group of students.
  • Send out a follow up informational email regarding IPV and campus services to all newly registered students.
  • Establish a website for program information and resources.
  • Create a public education/social media campaign regarding gender-based violence that is informed by campus data as well as evaluation research.

#2 Education should be research-based, trauma-informed, and specific to your campus’ needs. Consultation and partnership with campus and/or local IPV experts is key.

What's Recommended

Develop Evidence-Informed Prevention Efforts Aimed at ALL Students

Utilize Evidence-informed Programming - Prevention efforts should rely on expert knowledge and research-supported programs that are tailored to the local campus community.

Measure the Climate of the Campus - Conduct regular research on aggregate student experience, including how students experience the climate of the campus. Research includes any method for listening carefully to student experience, e.g., through focus groups, surveys or meetings of student leaders. Use the results of the campus climate survey to guide and enhance prevention efforts that reflect the specific needs of your students.

Focus on Marginalized, Underrepresented and Especially Vulnerable Students - These groups will differ from campus to campus, and warrant special attention in prevention and education efforts. The list may include LGBTQI+ individuals, people of color, students with disabilities, students who are immigrants, sorority women, and international students.

Make Information Accessible and Easy to Understand - Provide policy and reporting information online with a minimal number of ‘click-throughs’ required to navigate web sites. Disseminate messages in many forms and forums to reach the entire student body (student orientation, curriculum infusion, resource center trainings, campus events, and public information materials).

Minimum Standards for Prevention Education Programming for all Incoming Students

Campuses should carefully consider how to ensure that all incoming students (first year students, transfer students, online students, etc.) will receive the mandatory education at and throughout orientation. It is essential for campuses to have a mechanism established to fully account for the participation of each student in the program. The prevention and education program can and should include a variety of methods – website, courses, presentations, seminars, theatre performance and discussions, letters home to parents, etc. The program should include information about intimate partner violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and stalking. Prevention professionals on campus should work in close collaboration with staff who address drug and alcohol issues.

Information provided in the program curriculum should cover a spectrum of topics including, but not limited to:

  • Student code of conduct and sexual misconduct policies
  • How to file internal administrative complaints and local criminal charges
  • Campus and community support services (legal, medical, mental health, transportation, etc.)
  • Prevention strategies
  • Common myths about the causes of gender-based violence
  • Common characteristics of abusers and rapists
  • The availability of resources for victims/survivors
  • How to support peers who are victims/survivors
  • Victims’/survivors’ responses and the healing process
  • Sanctions for offenders
  • The benefits of reporting of gender-based violence crimes

Campuses should coordinate closely with campus and community-based victim/survivor advocacy organizations in creating orientation programs. Staff at local IPV and sexual violence organizations often have the expertise to present information that is appropriate, sensitive, and respectful to victims’/survivors’ needs. Orientation programs should also state that offenders will be held accountable and present information on likely sanctions for offenders.

If possible, the college/university should support on-campus peer groups with training on the prevention of and response to sexual misconduct, stalking, and intimate partner violence, as well as peer support for concerned bystanders and those who are concerned about their own violence.

Suggested Three Stage Prevention and Education Program (source):

The Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) recommends that campuses structure the prevention and education program for incoming students into three stages to maximize the number of incoming students reached, and engage them in as effective a way as possible. The three stages are:

  1. Pre-Orientation/Arrival
  2. Orientation/Arrival
  3. Post-Orientation/Ongoing.

Creating three stages allows the institutions to use a variety of media to reach students, encompass a greater depth of information, and work within a larger timeframe. Programs should consider how to track incoming students through these three stages to ensure participation and completion of the mandatory prevention and education program. Campuses must work in close collaboration with experts on IPV to address these issues in their programming.

OVW suggests the following:

1.  Pre-Orientation/Arrival Stage

OVW recommends that schools complete one or more of the following:

  • Send a peer-to-peer letter to every incoming student including information about services, institutional protocols and policies. Clear definitions of sexual and intimate partner violence and stalking should be included. The content and tone of letter should be appropriate for all student populations.
  • Include a section in the student and/or orientation handbook that details information about victim/survivor services, institutional protocols and policies, including clear definitions on what constitutes sexual and intimate partner violence and stalking. The content and tone of this section should be appropriate for underserved populations as well.
  • Invite incoming students to participate in an online peer forum. The peers staffing these forums should offer follow-up information on the prevention and education material provided in the pre-orientation letters. These sessions are for general information and should not cover individual victim/survivor issues. It is essential that institutions work with experts in developing this forum in the event that a victim/survivor discloses abuse.
  • Distribute flyers at incoming student orientation and various new student functions about sexual and intimate partner violence, services, policies and protocols.

2.  Orientation/Arrival Stage

Given the different types of campuses and their various orientation policies, there is no one size fits all solution. OVW recognizes that the orientation schedule for a large public university will be vastly different from that of a small rural community college.

Programs should be creative and use all of the campus resources available to reach the entire population of incoming students. For those schools that have a formal orientation session or class, the following issues should be considered while planning and implementing an orientation presentation:

  • Consult with representatives from various campus departments. For example, address policies/procedures around violence as they apply to Health and Counseling, Campus Police, Student Athletics, Student Life and Residence Halls. Instill the message that sexual violence and IPV issues are addressed campus-wide.
  • When planning and delivering the orientation program, bring in community response team members to help create the training materials and facilitate the trainings. In addition to reinforcing the partnerships, this will help students identify available community resources as well.
  • Be conscientious and encompass all different orientation sessions held on campus. Incoming students enter the campus every quarter, semester, and in addition, some unique groups may have their own separate orientations (such as athletes, specific residence halls, and international students).
  • Within the Orientation training, each program should consider employing two or more distinct formats to reach students in different ways. It is recommended that one of the strategies involves peer education, delivered by a campus men’s group or via peer theatre. Please note, especially in schools with mandatory orientation sessions, OVW does not consider the creation and distribution of electronic and print media alone to be sufficient. Incorporating student involvement and/or an interactive component is strongly encouraged.

For those schools that do not have a mandatory orientation class or session, it may be more challenging to meet this program requirement. These campuses should attempt to incorporate as many, if not all, of the recommendations above.  However, there are some additional recommendations for schools without mandatory orientation:

  • Require all incoming students to participate in an online training and/or quiz prior to registering for their classes.
  • Provide them with relevant information and materials before their matriculation.
  • Sponsor seminars, sessions or a “mixer” for new students where a block of time could be scheduled to speak about issues of IPV and campus services.

3.  Post-Orientation/Ongoing Stage

After the initial “arrival” of incoming students, campuses should continue to schedule activities connected to different campus events and located at a variety of campus venues.

The following activities are recommended throughout each year:

  • Be present at season-opening athletic events, Greek recruitment (”rush”) activities, new student fairs, and/or set up educational and awareness tables outside the bookstore or student union.
  • Have peer educators staff the educational and awareness tables and recruit students to get involved in peer education.
  • Connect with residence hall RAs and set up training for them and their residents.
  • Offer a peer theatre presentation for a large group of students.
  • Send out a follow up informational email regarding IPV and campus services to all newly registered students.
  • Establish a website for program information and resources.
  • Create a public education/social media campaign regarding gender-based violence that is informed by campus data as well as evaluation research.

Recommendations for Prevention Specialists

Work from a Framework that Recognizes Oppression is the Root Cause of Gender-Based Violence

Effective prevention must address the underlying structures and beliefs that support gender-based violence. Oppression in all its forms and intersections contributes to gender-based violence. Without addressing oppression and the social norms that accompany it, the culture of inequality and violence that supports gender-based violence cannot be changed.

  1. Prevention specialists should clearly and publicly articulate that intersectional anti-oppression work is a fundamental part of their approach to ending gender-based violence. They should consistently review their language and programming to hold themselves accountable to those expectations.
  2. Prevention specialists should analyze their programming to ensure the content is affirming and inclusive. They should also pay attention to the locations where they hold programs to ensure they are accessible and that victim/survivors from oppressed and marginalized groups feel physically and emotionally safe to attend.
  3. Prevention specialists should actively support departments and organizations serving oppressed and marginalized groups on campus. In addition to publicizing events on behalf of a group or co-sponsoring an activity, prevention specialists should attend and/or otherwise participate in those events as well as encourage others in their networks to participate.
  4. A thorough understanding of the ways in which oppressions function to marginalize certain groups is not possible without a simultaneous examination of the ways in which structures and norms advantage those in the dominant groups. Prevention specialists should examine their programming to discover how it is advantaging dominant groups in unmarked ways, and review these as specific opportunities for leveraging intersectional equity.
  5. The public health approach to gender-based violence prevention is based on mitigating risk factors and increasing protective factors. Many risk and protective factors are directly and indirectly connected to various forms of oppression. Having a thorough understanding of how various oppressive factors influence risk for gender-based violence aids prevention planning and education. For more information on risk and protective factors related to intimate partner and sexual violence, visit Prevent Violence NC and Connecting the Dots - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Develop a Comprehensive, Evidence-Informed Prevention Plan in Collaboration with Stakeholders

A prevention plan should be more than a listing of an institution’s gender-based violence programs. It should be the institution’s roadmap to reaching a particular end goal related to gender-based violence. The end goal should be specifically articulated, and the programs and initiatives that comprise the plan should build on one another to reach that goal.

  1. Prevention specialists should assess community needs, as well as community risk and protective factors, across the social ecology. Gender-based violence is so embedded into the culture that no single program will be able to address all needs. Prevention specialists should work with students and other stakeholders to prioritize the needs to address in the prevention plan.
  2. The particular protective and risk factors that are present in the community, as shown by your institution’s campus climate survey, should inform that process.
  3. Campus-based prevention specialists should create the prevention plan in collaboration with their community-based sexual and domestic violence agency. Prevention specialists from these agencies can often enhance the efficacy of the prevention plan through their expertise in gender-based violence prevention as well as their knowledge about the larger community.
  4. The resulting prevention plan should be trauma-informed. Prevention specialists should recognize the inherent power differential between students and employees and ensure that students are able to safely share their experiences and beliefs throughout the process. Additionally, the programs within the plan should be consistently reviewed to ensure they are empowering, and non-victim blaming. Victim-blaming is when a victim/survivor is treated as though they are completely or partially responsible for the unlawful action(s) perpetrated against them. Programs should also include resources for participants who may be triggered by the information.
  5. Evaluation should be a key component of the prevention plan and should be part of the planning process from the beginning. Prevention specialists should work with stakeholders to create the evaluation plan and should build evaluation opportunities into the overall prevention plan. 

    Links to evaluation resources
    1. Community Toolbox
    2. EvaluACTION 
    3. NSVRC
    4. PreventConnect elearning course
    5. Evaluating Social Innovation

For more information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on risk and protective factors related to intimate partner and sexual violence, visit:

For a free NCCADV webinar on shared risk and protective factors, visit https://nccadv.org/training/webinars

For an example Comprehensive Prevention Plan, visit page 24 of this Safety and Justice for All: Best Practices for VA Campuses Addressing Gender-Based Violence

Specifically Address the Needs of Historically Oppressed and Marginalized Populations

Gender-based violence disproportionately impacts oppressed and marginalized communities. Yet sexual violence, intimate partner violence, and stalking have historically been looked at in isolation from other forms of violence and oppression. In order to effectively address the context of oppressed and marginalized groups, prevention specialists should include programs that directly support the needs of those communities on their campus.

  1. All community members should be able to see themselves and their experiences reflected in the general prevention programming. Graphics, scenarios, and examples should include a wide variety of identities. Prevention specialists at all institutions should ensure that the images and voices of LGBTQI+ students, students with disabilities, and students from other oppressed and marginalized groups are visible in ways that do not reinforce negative stereotypes.
  2.  Prevention specialists should create and/or adapt programs to be specifically designed for oppressed and marginalized groups. Implementing programs developed for primarily white audiences with students of color will not effectively address their experiences and needs. The same concept applies to other groups of students. There are very few nationally marketed prevention programs designed specifically for students of color, LGBTQI+ students, or students from other marginalized groups. This means that prevention specialists must often design their own programs or significantly adapt existing ones. In these cases, prevention specialists should work with student organizations or community groups to develop the programs so that they are culturally relevant and effective.

Trainings are available on related topics through the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Recommendations for Faculty Regarding Education on IPV

Recommendations for Faculty Regarding Education on IPV

Engage Students in the Issues Both Inside and Outside of the Classroom

For violence-supporting cultures to change, students must encounter gender-based violence information frequently and in multiple contexts. Instructional staff can help by exposing students to academic components of gender-based violence through class discussions and assignments, modeling healthy and respectful interactions through positive classroom management, and engaging students in action through service learning and student organizations.

For more information on Principles of Effective Prevention, visit this link.

  1. If instructional employees cover gender-based violence topics in class, they should consider bringing in campus or community advocates and/or prevention specialists to lead the discussion. These professionals are often highly trained on the issues and are experienced in leading discussions that are informative as well as safe and inclusive. Additionally, inviting advocates and/or prevention specialists to the classroom exposes students to these resources and increases the likelihood of students accessing their services in the future. Instructional employees should also look for ways to connect students with these organizations outside of the classroom in order to further their learning.
  2. Instructional employees should understand that oppression is the root cause of gender-based violence and that to effectively eliminate it, they must also work to eliminate other oppressions such as racism and homophobia. They should ensure that the information and perspectives presented in class reflect this framework.
  3. Instructional employees should set clear guidelines for in-person and online class discussions at the beginning of the term and refer back to them throughout the term. Instructional employees should explicitly state that racist, homophobic, sexist, violent, and rape-culture promoting language will not be tolerated. In addition to enforcing these expectations with their students, instructional employees should also hold themselves accountable to the guidelines. Some professionals encourage the addition of a syllabus note explaining the instructional employee’s responsibility to notify the institution of the abuse. Some professionals also encourage the use of content warnings in courses where gender-based violence is a topic. These practices are common on some campuses and discouraged on others. Regardless of whether or not instructional employees include this information in their syllabi, they should make sure students know what to do if they are re-traumatized or otherwise upset by class information or discussions. More information on trauma-informed approaches.

    An example syllabus note:
    Mandatory responsibility of faculty members to notify the college/university of incidents of sexual misconduct and IPV:

    It is important for students to know that all faculty members must notify the college/university s of any incident of sexual misconduct or relationship violence (e.g., sexual assault, sexual exploitation, harassment, stalking, and intimate partner violence). This means that faculty cannot keep information about sexual misconduct/violence confidential if you share that information with them. They must share this information immediately with the institution’s Title IX Coordinator. In addition, department chairs, deans, and other unit administrators are required to notify the institution’s Title IX Coordinator of any incident of sex- or gender-based discrimination. Once the paperwork is submitted, you will receive important information on your options to report to law enforcement, on campus and off campus resources, no-contact orders, residence modifications, and academic accommodations.

    If you would prefer to speak with someone confidentially for support and to discuss your options, contact [INSERT INFO ON YOUR INSTITUTION’S CONFIDENTIAL RESOURCES]

    For more information on the institution’s policies related to Sexual Misconduct and IPV, please visit [LINK TO APPROPRIATE URL]

    For more information about the institution’s Title IX process, please visit [LINKTO APPROPRIATE URL]

Recommendations for Title IX Coordinators and Campus Disciplinary Professionals

Recommendations for Title IX Coordinators and Campus Disciplinary Professionals

Ensure All Professionals Involved in the Title IX and Disciplinary Process Receive Trauma-Informed and Racial Justice Oriented Training

Each institution structures its Title IX and campus disciplinary process in a different way; therefore, there is no one-size-fits-all list of who should be trained. Commonly included groups are: Title IX and deputy Title IX coordinators, Title IX investigators, hearing officers, appellate officers, advisors, advocates, and case managers. If students have roles in the institution’s process, they should be trained as well.

  1. The training should be extensive, ongoing, research-based, and should include in-depth information on
    1. the dynamics of gender-based violence
    2. the use of alcohol/drugs as a tool to facilitate sexual assaults
    3. the pattern of power and control in abusive relationships
    4. the use of technology in stalking
    5. the role of social media
    6. overcoming victim/survivor-blaming attitudes 
  2. The training should cover the neurobiology of trauma, and trauma-informed interviewing techniques should be highlighted. Specifically, participants should learn how trauma impacts brain functioning and the ways this affects victims’/survivors’ actions during an assault, their behavior and decision making after an assault, and how they remember and report the assault.
  3. All trainings should be racial justice oriented and reflect the understanding that gender-based violence is rooted in oppression. Specific information on culturally relevant interviewing techniques should be highlighted. Additional content should include dismantling barriers to resources that marginalized groups face and working with students in culturally relevant and inclusive ways.
  4. Title IX coordinators should ensure that trainings are planned in collaboration with community-based sexual and domestic violence agencies and campus-based advocates (if applicable). Community-based agency staff members have experience training allied professionals on these issues. Along with campus-based advocates, they will also have a sense of how victims/survivors experience the system and where breakdowns commonly occur.

Minimum Standards of Training for Campus Disciplinary and Judicial Boards

Review of Campus Code

For additional guidance, visit The NCCADV Guidance and Model Policy Documents


General Training Topics

All members of campus disciplinary boards, including faculty, staff, students, and administrators should receive expert training on gender-based violence prevention and response. Training topics could include:


General Considerations

The structure of campus disciplinary boards or judicial boards varies widely. Some boards are made up of faculty and administration officials while others are comprised of student representatives. Campuses should design all trainings in close collaboration with experts on gender-based violence issues.

When designing and implementing training programs, campuses should consider the following issues:

  • The differences between the processes of the criminal justice system and those involved in the academic judicial/disciplinary system
  • Ensuring that the training is continuous and ongoing so that all new members of the judicial/disciplinary boards receive information, especially if the board is appointed on a rotation
  • Maintaining retention of “trained” board members given the complexities and difficulties of such cases
  • Creating training that is effective and does not “promote bias” for either victims/survivors or offenders
  • Ensuring that all judicial/disciplinary cases are pursued in the same manner, regardless of who the victim/survivor and/or offender may be
  • Confidentiality issues
  • Working with law enforcement officials from the local jurisdiction
  • States laws on sexual and intimate partner violence and stalking:

Specific Training Topics

When developing trainings for disciplinary or judicial boards, campuses should also address the following specific topics:

Minimum Standards of Training for Campus Security Personnel

It is recommended that institutions train campus police to respond effectively in intimate partner violence, sexual assault, and stalking cases. The Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) recommends that training programs should be developed in collaboration with campus or community-based victim/survivor advocacy programs and should include information about:


General Training Topics

OVW recommends that campus security personnel trainings incorporate as many of the following general topics addressing intimate partner violence as possible:


Intimate Partner Violence Considerations

OVW recommends that campus security personnel training on intimate partner violence includes the following specific topics:


Sexual Assault Considerations

OVW recommends that campus security personnel training on sexual assault include the following specific topics:

  • Specific procedures for sexual assault exams and for evidence collection at the crime scene
  • “Known” perpetrator investigations
  • Communicating with victims/survivors about the course of the investigation
  • Appropriate interviewing techniques when questioning sexual assault victims/survivors 
  • Appropriate discussion with the victims/survivor regarding prosecution decisions
  • Specifics of rape trauma syndrome and its effects on victims/survivors
  • Relevant rape shield laws
  • Departmental decisions on how appropriately to handle victims/survivors who are facing issues of other violations in connection with their assault – such, as underage consumption or marijuana and other illegal substance possession.
  • Coordination between campus security personnel and campus health units or local hospitals working with Sexual Assault Forensic Examiner or Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner protocols.

For campus specific sexual assault considerations, visit the NCCASA Campus Resources page.


Stalking Considerations

OVW recommends that campus security personnel training on stalking include the following specific topics:

Campuses should carefully coordinate and plan training sessions for campus security personnel, and should design all trainings in close collaboration with experts on gender-based violence issues. The emphasis of the trainings should be that the response to victims/survivors needs to be timely, appropriate, sensitive, and respectful. Programs should work closely with campus security personnel to schedule convenient programming events to ensure attendance by the maximum number of officers.


Possible Challenges

In designing training programs for campus security personnel, campuses should be flexible and earnestly consider the following possible challenges:

  • Recognize that some campuses must work with public safety units, not campus “police,” and that some public safety officers are “non-sworn.” As first responders on a case, public safety officers have the ability to request mutual aid from the jurisdiction of record and the appropriate investigative law enforcement agency.
  • Provide training that is Police Officer Standard Training (POST) certified or training that is required in the jurisdiction in order for officers to receive credit towards meeting their continued education requirements.
  • Determine whether a longer training on broad topics such as intimate partner violence, sexual assault, and stalking is preferable to a series of trainings on specific topics such as drug-facilitated rape cases or cyberstalking.
  • Coordinate training, easing competition for time, by working with other campus police “trainers” to infuse gender-based violence issues in other areas of ongoing and pre-scheduled routine training.
  • Include, if possible, in every training, a cross section of supervisors, patrols, and detectives. This will help ensure that the information is given to all levels of rank and will facilitate the institutionalization of training protocols and procedures.
  • Promote effective collaboration and community-wide participation in all training events addressing intimate partner violence on campus.

Additional Recommendations for Campus Law Enforcement Training

Participate in Trauma-Informed and Social Justice/Racial Justice Oriented Training

When campus law enforcement and security officers are aware of common trauma reactions, they better understand the reasons behind victim/survivor behavior. Trauma-informed interviewing helps elicit pertinent information about the assault/incident and the victim’s/survivor’s experience. Social justice/racial justice oriented training helps officers better understand how historical trauma and systemic oppression impact survivors from oppressed and marginalized groups. All of this information leads to more successful investigations.

THE NATURE OF GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE CRIMES REQUIRES PREVENTION MESSAGING THAT IS BASED ON IDENTIFYING SUSPICIOUS PREDATORY BEHAVIORS, RATHER THAN CHANGING POTENTIAL VICTIM/SURVIVOR BEHAVIORS.

  • The training should cover the neurobiology of trauma and trauma-informed interviewing techniques should be highlighted. Specifically, officers should learn how trauma impacts brain functioning and the ways this affects victims’/survivors’ actions during an assault, their behavior and decision making after an assault, and how they remember and report the assault.
  • All trainings should be social justice/racial justice oriented and reflect the understanding that gender-based violence is rooted in oppression. Information on culturally relevant interviewing techniques should be highlighted. Additional content should include dismantling barriers that marginalized groups face when seeking help and working with survivors in culturally relevant and inclusive ways.
  • Staff members responsible for the training schedule should ensure training on gender-based violence issues is regular and ongoing. Whenever appropriate, the content should also be integrated into other trainings to reinforce the information.
  • The training coordinator should ensure that trainings are planned in collaboration with community-based sexual and domestic violence agencies and campus-based advocates (if applicable). Community-based agencies often have experience training law enforcement officers and other allied professionals on these issues. Along with campus-based advocates, they might also have a sense of how victims/survivors experience the system and where breakdowns commonly occur.

#3 Messages should focus on reducing risk factors, come from all parts of campus, and reach constituents multiple times. Messages about primary prevention should focus on reducing risk factors for perpetrating intimate partner and sexual violence, not just on increasing protective factors for potential victims/survivors. These messages are also important for supporting victims/survivors.

What's Required

Provide Prevention Education Programs

Campus SaVE defines the following terms:

  1. Primary Prevention
  2. Awareness Programs
  3. On-going Prevention and Awareness Programming
  4. Current Students
  5. Employees

Primary prevention and awareness programs must include the following:

Description of Awareness Programs - A description of the type and frequency of programs designed to inform students and employees about campus security procedures and practices and to encourage students and employees to be responsible for their own security and the security of others.

Description of Prevention Programs - A description of programs designed to inform students and employees about the prevention of gender-based violence.

Institutional Statement - A statement that the institution prohibits sexual violence. (Campus SaVE’s definition of sexual violence includes IPV, stalking, and sexual violence)

Bystander Intervention Strategies - Safe and positive options for bystander interventions. Campus SaVE defines bystander interventions as “safe and positive options that may be carried out by an individual or individuals to prevent harm or intervene in situations of potential harm for another person; or to prevent institutional structures or cultural conditions that facilitate violence, including recognizing situations of potential harm, overcoming barriers to intervening, identifying safe and effective intervention options, and taking action to intervene.”

Risk Reduction Information and Warning Signs of Abusive Behavior - Campus SaVE defines risk reduction as options for mitigating risk factors through efforts designed to decrease victimization and bystander inaction, and to increase empowerment for victims through the augmentation of protective factors in order to promote safety and to help individuals and communities address conditions that facilitate violence.

Federal Definitions of Terms - The definitions of IPV, stalking, and sexual violence in their jurisdiction. The institution must follow federal definitions when collecting statistics for their Annual Security Report.

College/University Policy Definitions – The definitions for IPV, stalking and sexual violence. While institutions must provide students with state and federal laws, they must also provide students with the campus policy definitions of these terms. Institutions have the flexibility to define these terms themselves.

Definition of Consent - Institutions must include the definition of consent in their sexual misconduct policy or combined gender-based violence policy. Although Campus SaVE requires that a definition of consent must include both the college/university definition as well as the institution’s state statutory language regarding consent, the definition section of the Rape and Sex Offense statutes in North Carolina (N.C.G.S. 14-27.20) does not specifically define "consent." Rather, the many North Carolina rape and sex offense crimes and required consent have been interpreted by a multitude of case law.

All pertinent North Carolina statutes on domestic violence and sexual violence offenses are here:

Inclusive Definition of Sexual Violence - Institutions must include a clearly expanded definition of sexual violence to include IPV, stalking, and sexual violence.

 

What's Recommended

Develop Evidence-Informed Prevention Efforts Aimed at ALL Students

Utilize Evidence-informed Programming - Prevention efforts should rely on expert knowledge and research-supported programs that are tailored to the local campus community.

Measure the Climate of the Campus - Conduct regular research on aggregate student experience, including how students experience the climate of the campus. Research includes any method for listening carefully to student experience, e.g., through focus groups, surveys or meetings of student leaders. Use the results of the campus climate survey to guide and enhance prevention efforts that reflect the specific needs of your students.

Focus on Marginalized, Underrepresented and Especially Vulnerable Students - These groups will differ from campus to campus, and warrant special attention in prevention and education efforts. The list may include LGBTQI+ individuals, people of color, students with disabilities, students who are immigrants, sorority women, and international students.

Make Information Accessible and Easy to Understand - Provide policy and reporting information online with a minimal number of ‘click-throughs’ required to navigate web sites. Disseminate messages in many forms and forums to reach the entire student body (student orientation, curriculum infusion, resource center trainings, campus events, and public information materials).

Minimum Standards for Prevention Education Programming for all Incoming Students

Campuses should carefully consider how to ensure that all incoming students (first year students, transfer students, online students, etc.) will receive the mandatory education at and throughout orientation. It is essential for campuses to have a mechanism established to fully account for the participation of each student in the program. The prevention and education program can and should include a variety of methods – website, courses, presentations, seminars, theatre performance and discussions, letters home to parents, etc. The program should include information about intimate partner violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and stalking. Prevention professionals on campus should work in close collaboration with staff who address drug and alcohol issues.

Information provided in the program curriculum should cover a spectrum of topics including, but not limited to:

  • Student code of conduct and sexual misconduct policies
  • How to file internal administrative complaints and local criminal charges
  • Campus and community support services (legal, medical, mental health, transportation, etc.)
  • Prevention strategies
  • Common myths about the causes of gender-based violence
  • Common characteristics of abusers and rapists
  • The availability of resources for victims/survivors
  • How to support peers who are victims/survivors
  • Victims’/survivors’ responses and the healing process
  • Sanctions for offenders
  • The benefits of reporting of gender-based violence crimes

Campuses should coordinate closely with campus and community-based victim/survivor advocacy organizations in creating orientation programs. Staff at local IPV and sexual violence organizations often have the expertise to present information that is appropriate, sensitive, and respectful to victims’/survivors’ needs. Orientation programs should also state that offenders will be held accountable and present information on likely sanctions for offenders.

If possible, the college/university should support on-campus peer groups with training on the prevention of and response to sexual misconduct, stalking, and intimate partner violence, as well as peer support for concerned bystanders and those who are concerned about their own violence.

Suggested Three Stage Prevention and Education Program (source):

The Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) recommends that campuses structure the prevention and education program for incoming students into three stages to maximize the number of incoming students reached, and engage them in as effective a way as possible. The three stages are:

  1. Pre-Orientation/Arrival
  2. Orientation/Arrival
  3. Post-Orientation/Ongoing.

Creating three stages allows the institutions to use a variety of media to reach students, encompass a greater depth of information, and work within a larger timeframe. Programs should consider how to track incoming students through these three stages to ensure participation and completion of the mandatory prevention and education program. Campuses must work in close collaboration with experts on IPV to address these issues in their programming.

OVW suggests the following:

1.  Pre-Orientation/Arrival Stage

OVW recommends that schools complete one or more of the following:

  • Send a peer-to-peer letter to every incoming student including information about services, institutional protocols and policies. Clear definitions of sexual and intimate partner violence and stalking should be included. The content and tone of letter should be appropriate for all student populations.
  • Include a section in the student and/or orientation handbook that details information about victim/survivor services, institutional protocols and policies, including clear definitions on what constitutes sexual and intimate partner violence and stalking. The content and tone of this section should be appropriate for underserved populations as well.
  • Invite incoming students to participate in an online peer forum. The peers staffing these forums should offer follow-up information on the prevention and education material provided in the pre-orientation letters. These sessions are for general information and should not cover individual victim/survivor issues. It is essential that institutions work with experts in developing this forum in the event that a victim/survivor discloses abuse.
  • Distribute flyers at incoming student orientation and various new student functions about sexual and intimate partner violence, services, policies and protocols.

2.  Orientation/Arrival Stage

Given the different types of campuses and their various orientation policies, there is no one size fits all solution. OVW recognizes that the orientation schedule for a large public university will be vastly different from that of a small rural community college.

Programs should be creative and use all of the campus resources available to reach the entire population of incoming students. For those schools that have a formal orientation session or class, the following issues should be considered while planning and implementing an orientation presentation:

  • Consult with representatives from various campus departments. For example, address policies/procedures around violence as they apply to Health and Counseling, Campus Police, Student Athletics, Student Life and Residence Halls. Instill the message that sexual violence and IPV issues are addressed campus-wide.
  • When planning and delivering the orientation program, bring in community response team members to help create the training materials and facilitate the trainings. In addition to reinforcing the partnerships, this will help students identify available community resources as well.
  • Be conscientious and encompass all different orientation sessions held on campus. Incoming students enter the campus every quarter, semester, and in addition, some unique groups may have their own separate orientations (such as athletes, specific residence halls, and international students).
  • Within the Orientation training, each program should consider employing two or more distinct formats to reach students in different ways. It is recommended that one of the strategies involves peer education, delivered by a campus men’s group or via peer theatre. Please note, especially in schools with mandatory orientation sessions, OVW does not consider the creation and distribution of electronic and print media alone to be sufficient. Incorporating student involvement and/or an interactive component is strongly encouraged.

For those schools that do not have a mandatory orientation class or session, it may be more challenging to meet this program requirement. These campuses should attempt to incorporate as many, if not all, of the recommendations above.  However, there are some additional recommendations for schools without mandatory orientation:

  • Require all incoming students to participate in an online training and/or quiz prior to registering for their classes.
  • Provide them with relevant information and materials before their matriculation.
  • Sponsor seminars, sessions or a “mixer” for new students where a block of time could be scheduled to speak about issues of IPV and campus services.

3.  Post-Orientation/Ongoing Stage

After the initial “arrival” of incoming students, campuses should continue to schedule activities connected to different campus events and located at a variety of campus venues.

The following activities are recommended throughout each year:

  • Be present at season-opening athletic events, Greek recruitment (”rush”) activities, new student fairs, and/or set up educational and awareness tables outside the bookstore or student union.
  • Have peer educators staff the educational and awareness tables and recruit students to get involved in peer education.
  • Connect with residence hall RAs and set up training for them and their residents.
  • Offer a peer theatre presentation for a large group of students.
  • Send out a follow up informational email regarding IPV and campus services to all newly registered students.
  • Establish a website for program information and resources.
  • Create a public education/social media campaign regarding gender-based violence that is informed by campus data as well as evaluation research.

Recommendations for Prevention Specialists

Work from a Framework that Recognizes Oppression is the Root Cause of Gender-Based Violence

Effective prevention must address the underlying structures and beliefs that support gender-based violence. Oppression in all its forms and intersections contributes to gender-based violence. Without addressing oppression and the social norms that accompany it, the culture of inequality and violence that supports gender-based violence cannot be changed.

  1. Prevention specialists should clearly and publicly articulate that intersectional anti-oppression work is a fundamental part of their approach to ending gender-based violence. They should consistently review their language and programming to hold themselves accountable to those expectations.
  2. Prevention specialists should analyze their programming to ensure the content is affirming and inclusive. They should also pay attention to the locations where they hold programs to ensure they are accessible and that victim/survivors from oppressed and marginalized groups feel physically and emotionally safe to attend.
  3. Prevention specialists should actively support departments and organizations serving oppressed and marginalized groups on campus. In addition to publicizing events on behalf of a group or co-sponsoring an activity, prevention specialists should attend and/or otherwise participate in those events as well as encourage others in their networks to participate.
  4. A thorough understanding of the ways in which oppressions function to marginalize certain groups is not possible without a simultaneous examination of the ways in which structures and norms advantage those in the dominant groups. Prevention specialists should examine their programming to discover how it is advantaging dominant groups in unmarked ways, and review these as specific opportunities for leveraging intersectional equity.
  5. The public health approach to gender-based violence prevention is based on mitigating risk factors and increasing protective factors. Many risk and protective factors are directly and indirectly connected to various forms of oppression. Having a thorough understanding of how various oppressive factors influence risk for gender-based violence aids prevention planning and education. For more information on risk and protective factors related to intimate partner and sexual violence, visit Prevent Violence NC and Connecting the Dots - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Develop a Comprehensive, Evidence-Informed Prevention Plan in Collaboration with Stakeholders

A prevention plan should be more than a listing of an institution’s gender-based violence programs. It should be the institution’s roadmap to reaching a particular end goal related to gender-based violence. The end goal should be specifically articulated, and the programs and initiatives that comprise the plan should build on one another to reach that goal.

  1. Prevention specialists should assess community needs, as well as community risk and protective factors, across the social ecology. Gender-based violence is so embedded into the culture that no single program will be able to address all needs. Prevention specialists should work with students and other stakeholders to prioritize the needs to address in the prevention plan.
  2. The particular protective and risk factors that are present in the community, as shown by your institution’s campus climate survey, should inform that process.
  3. Campus-based prevention specialists should create the prevention plan in collaboration with their community-based sexual and domestic violence agency. Prevention specialists from these agencies can often enhance the efficacy of the prevention plan through their expertise in gender-based violence prevention as well as their knowledge about the larger community.
  4. The resulting prevention plan should be trauma-informed. Prevention specialists should recognize the inherent power differential between students and employees and ensure that students are able to safely share their experiences and beliefs throughout the process. Additionally, the programs within the plan should be consistently reviewed to ensure they are empowering, and non-victim blaming. Victim-blaming is when a victim/survivor is treated as though they are completely or partially responsible for the unlawful action(s) perpetrated against them. Programs should also include resources for participants who may be triggered by the information.
  5. Evaluation should be a key component of the prevention plan and should be part of the planning process from the beginning. Prevention specialists should work with stakeholders to create the evaluation plan and should build evaluation opportunities into the overall prevention plan. 

    Links to evaluation resources
    1. Community Toolbox
    2. EvaluACTION 
    3. NSVRC
    4. PreventConnect elearning course
    5. Evaluating Social Innovation

For more information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on risk and protective factors related to intimate partner and sexual violence, visit:

For a free NCCADV webinar on shared risk and protective factors, visit https://nccadv.org/training/webinars

For an example Comprehensive Prevention Plan, visit page 24 of this Safety and Justice for All: Best Practices for VA Campuses Addressing Gender-Based Violence

Specifically Address the Needs of Historically Oppressed and Marginalized Populations

Gender-based violence disproportionately impacts oppressed and marginalized communities. Yet sexual violence, intimate partner violence, and stalking have historically been looked at in isolation from other forms of violence and oppression. In order to effectively address the context of oppressed and marginalized groups, prevention specialists should include programs that directly support the needs of those communities on their campus.

  1. All community members should be able to see themselves and their experiences reflected in the general prevention programming. Graphics, scenarios, and examples should include a wide variety of identities. Prevention specialists at all institutions should ensure that the images and voices of LGBTQI+ students, students with disabilities, and students from other oppressed and marginalized groups are visible in ways that do not reinforce negative stereotypes.
  2.  Prevention specialists should create and/or adapt programs to be specifically designed for oppressed and marginalized groups. Implementing programs developed for primarily white audiences with students of color will not effectively address their experiences and needs. The same concept applies to other groups of students. There are very few nationally marketed prevention programs designed specifically for students of color, LGBTQI+ students, or students from other marginalized groups. This means that prevention specialists must often design their own programs or significantly adapt existing ones. In these cases, prevention specialists should work with student organizations or community groups to develop the programs so that they are culturally relevant and effective.

Trainings are available on related topics through the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Recommendations for Title IX Coordinators and Campus Disciplinary Professionals

Recommendations for Title IX Coordinators and Campus Disciplinary Professionals

Ensure All Professionals Involved in the Title IX and Disciplinary Process Receive Trauma-Informed and Racial Justice Oriented Training

Each institution structures its Title IX and campus disciplinary process in a different way; therefore, there is no one-size-fits-all list of who should be trained. Commonly included groups are: Title IX and deputy Title IX coordinators, Title IX investigators, hearing officers, appellate officers, advisors, advocates, and case managers. If students have roles in the institution’s process, they should be trained as well.

  1. The training should be extensive, ongoing, research-based, and should include in-depth information on
    1. the dynamics of gender-based violence
    2. the use of alcohol/drugs as a tool to facilitate sexual assaults
    3. the pattern of power and control in abusive relationships
    4. the use of technology in stalking
    5. the role of social media
    6. overcoming victim/survivor-blaming attitudes 
  2. The training should cover the neurobiology of trauma, and trauma-informed interviewing techniques should be highlighted. Specifically, participants should learn how trauma impacts brain functioning and the ways this affects victims’/survivors’ actions during an assault, their behavior and decision making after an assault, and how they remember and report the assault.
  3. All trainings should be racial justice oriented and reflect the understanding that gender-based violence is rooted in oppression. Specific information on culturally relevant interviewing techniques should be highlighted. Additional content should include dismantling barriers to resources that marginalized groups face and working with students in culturally relevant and inclusive ways.
  4. Title IX coordinators should ensure that trainings are planned in collaboration with community-based sexual and domestic violence agencies and campus-based advocates (if applicable). Community-based agency staff members have experience training allied professionals on these issues. Along with campus-based advocates, they will also have a sense of how victims/survivors experience the system and where breakdowns commonly occur.

Intimate Partner Violence: Risk and Protective Factors

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#4 Prevention should be culturally relevant, appropriate, inclusive, and informed by students, especially victims/survivors. Efforts should be responsive to the needs of marginalized and oppressed groups represented on campus, especially LGBTQI+ students, students with disabilities, and students of color. Student input should be a predominant feature in educational or prevention messaging and curriculum development. Messaging should never reinforce negative stereotypes.

What's Recommended

Develop Evidence-Informed Prevention Efforts Aimed at ALL Students

Utilize Evidence-informed Programming - Prevention efforts should rely on expert knowledge and research-supported programs that are tailored to the local campus community.

Measure the Climate of the Campus - Conduct regular research on aggregate student experience, including how students experience the climate of the campus. Research includes any method for listening carefully to student experience, e.g., through focus groups, surveys or meetings of student leaders. Use the results of the campus climate survey to guide and enhance prevention efforts that reflect the specific needs of your students.

Focus on Marginalized, Underrepresented and Especially Vulnerable Students - These groups will differ from campus to campus, and warrant special attention in prevention and education efforts. The list may include LGBTQI+ individuals, people of color, students with disabilities, students who are immigrants, sorority women, and international students.

Make Information Accessible and Easy to Understand - Provide policy and reporting information online with a minimal number of ‘click-throughs’ required to navigate web sites. Disseminate messages in many forms and forums to reach the entire student body (student orientation, curriculum infusion, resource center trainings, campus events, and public information materials).

Recommendations for Prevention Specialists

Work from a Framework that Recognizes Oppression is the Root Cause of Gender-Based Violence

Effective prevention must address the underlying structures and beliefs that support gender-based violence. Oppression in all its forms and intersections contributes to gender-based violence. Without addressing oppression and the social norms that accompany it, the culture of inequality and violence that supports gender-based violence cannot be changed.

  1. Prevention specialists should clearly and publicly articulate that intersectional anti-oppression work is a fundamental part of their approach to ending gender-based violence. They should consistently review their language and programming to hold themselves accountable to those expectations.
  2. Prevention specialists should analyze their programming to ensure the content is affirming and inclusive. They should also pay attention to the locations where they hold programs to ensure they are accessible and that victim/survivors from oppressed and marginalized groups feel physically and emotionally safe to attend.
  3. Prevention specialists should actively support departments and organizations serving oppressed and marginalized groups on campus. In addition to publicizing events on behalf of a group or co-sponsoring an activity, prevention specialists should attend and/or otherwise participate in those events as well as encourage others in their networks to participate.
  4. A thorough understanding of the ways in which oppressions function to marginalize certain groups is not possible without a simultaneous examination of the ways in which structures and norms advantage those in the dominant groups. Prevention specialists should examine their programming to discover how it is advantaging dominant groups in unmarked ways, and review these as specific opportunities for leveraging intersectional equity.
  5. The public health approach to gender-based violence prevention is based on mitigating risk factors and increasing protective factors. Many risk and protective factors are directly and indirectly connected to various forms of oppression. Having a thorough understanding of how various oppressive factors influence risk for gender-based violence aids prevention planning and education. For more information on risk and protective factors related to intimate partner and sexual violence, visit Prevent Violence NC and Connecting the Dots - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Develop a Comprehensive, Evidence-Informed Prevention Plan in Collaboration with Stakeholders

A prevention plan should be more than a listing of an institution’s gender-based violence programs. It should be the institution’s roadmap to reaching a particular end goal related to gender-based violence. The end goal should be specifically articulated, and the programs and initiatives that comprise the plan should build on one another to reach that goal.

  1. Prevention specialists should assess community needs, as well as community risk and protective factors, across the social ecology. Gender-based violence is so embedded into the culture that no single program will be able to address all needs. Prevention specialists should work with students and other stakeholders to prioritize the needs to address in the prevention plan.
  2. The particular protective and risk factors that are present in the community, as shown by your institution’s campus climate survey, should inform that process.
  3. Campus-based prevention specialists should create the prevention plan in collaboration with their community-based sexual and domestic violence agency. Prevention specialists from these agencies can often enhance the efficacy of the prevention plan through their expertise in gender-based violence prevention as well as their knowledge about the larger community.
  4. The resulting prevention plan should be trauma-informed. Prevention specialists should recognize the inherent power differential between students and employees and ensure that students are able to safely share their experiences and beliefs throughout the process. Additionally, the programs within the plan should be consistently reviewed to ensure they are empowering, and non-victim blaming. Victim-blaming is when a victim/survivor is treated as though they are completely or partially responsible for the unlawful action(s) perpetrated against them. Programs should also include resources for participants who may be triggered by the information.
  5. Evaluation should be a key component of the prevention plan and should be part of the planning process from the beginning. Prevention specialists should work with stakeholders to create the evaluation plan and should build evaluation opportunities into the overall prevention plan. 

    Links to evaluation resources
    1. Community Toolbox
    2. EvaluACTION 
    3. NSVRC
    4. PreventConnect elearning course
    5. Evaluating Social Innovation

For more information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on risk and protective factors related to intimate partner and sexual violence, visit:

For a free NCCADV webinar on shared risk and protective factors, visit https://nccadv.org/training/webinars

For an example Comprehensive Prevention Plan, visit page 24 of this Safety and Justice for All: Best Practices for VA Campuses Addressing Gender-Based Violence

Specifically Address the Needs of Historically Oppressed and Marginalized Populations

Gender-based violence disproportionately impacts oppressed and marginalized communities. Yet sexual violence, intimate partner violence, and stalking have historically been looked at in isolation from other forms of violence and oppression. In order to effectively address the context of oppressed and marginalized groups, prevention specialists should include programs that directly support the needs of those communities on their campus.

  1. All community members should be able to see themselves and their experiences reflected in the general prevention programming. Graphics, scenarios, and examples should include a wide variety of identities. Prevention specialists at all institutions should ensure that the images and voices of LGBTQI+ students, students with disabilities, and students from other oppressed and marginalized groups are visible in ways that do not reinforce negative stereotypes.
  2.  Prevention specialists should create and/or adapt programs to be specifically designed for oppressed and marginalized groups. Implementing programs developed for primarily white audiences with students of color will not effectively address their experiences and needs. The same concept applies to other groups of students. There are very few nationally marketed prevention programs designed specifically for students of color, LGBTQI+ students, or students from other marginalized groups. This means that prevention specialists must often design their own programs or significantly adapt existing ones. In these cases, prevention specialists should work with student organizations or community groups to develop the programs so that they are culturally relevant and effective.

Trainings are available on related topics through the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence

#5 Create a comprehensive, strategic plan for implementing, assessing, and evaluating prevention efforts. Developing a comprehensive plan, including evaluation, should be the first step of prevention work. 

What's Required

Provide Prevention Education Programs

Campus SaVE defines the following terms:

  1. Primary Prevention
  2. Awareness Programs
  3. On-going Prevention and Awareness Programming
  4. Current Students
  5. Employees

Primary prevention and awareness programs must include the following:

Description of Awareness Programs - A description of the type and frequency of programs designed to inform students and employees about campus security procedures and practices and to encourage students and employees to be responsible for their own security and the security of others.

Description of Prevention Programs - A description of programs designed to inform students and employees about the prevention of gender-based violence.

Institutional Statement - A statement that the institution prohibits sexual violence. (Campus SaVE’s definition of sexual violence includes IPV, stalking, and sexual violence)

Bystander Intervention Strategies - Safe and positive options for bystander interventions. Campus SaVE defines bystander interventions as “safe and positive options that may be carried out by an individual or individuals to prevent harm or intervene in situations of potential harm for another person; or to prevent institutional structures or cultural conditions that facilitate violence, including recognizing situations of potential harm, overcoming barriers to intervening, identifying safe and effective intervention options, and taking action to intervene.”

Risk Reduction Information and Warning Signs of Abusive Behavior - Campus SaVE defines risk reduction as options for mitigating risk factors through efforts designed to decrease victimization and bystander inaction, and to increase empowerment for victims through the augmentation of protective factors in order to promote safety and to help individuals and communities address conditions that facilitate violence.

Federal Definitions of Terms - The definitions of IPV, stalking, and sexual violence in their jurisdiction. The institution must follow federal definitions when collecting statistics for their Annual Security Report.

College/University Policy Definitions – The definitions for IPV, stalking and sexual violence. While institutions must provide students with state and federal laws, they must also provide students with the campus policy definitions of these terms. Institutions have the flexibility to define these terms themselves.

Definition of Consent - Institutions must include the definition of consent in their sexual misconduct policy or combined gender-based violence policy. Although Campus SaVE requires that a definition of consent must include both the college/university definition as well as the institution’s state statutory language regarding consent, the definition section of the Rape and Sex Offense statutes in North Carolina (N.C.G.S. 14-27.20) does not specifically define "consent." Rather, the many North Carolina rape and sex offense crimes and required consent have been interpreted by a multitude of case law.

All pertinent North Carolina statutes on domestic violence and sexual violence offenses are here:

Inclusive Definition of Sexual Violence - Institutions must include a clearly expanded definition of sexual violence to include IPV, stalking, and sexual violence.

Provide Training for Staff and Faculty

Individuals who are employed by the college/university should be required to attend training on sexual misconduct, intimate partner violence and stalking prevention and response. The Office for Civil Rights recommends that training be provided to any employees likely to witness or receive reports of sexual harassment and violence, including:

  • Instructors/Faculty
  • Law Enforcement
  • Administrators
  • Counselors
  • General Counsels
  • Health Personnel
  • Clergy
  • Resident Advisors

Additionally, an institution should provide Title IX training to any employee that a student might reasonably believe holds the power to take action in response to a disclosure of IPV or sexual violence. This could include graduate assistants, research assistants, study abroad employees, etc. Specific considerations for your campus might include factors such as the specific position of the employee and the formal and informal practices of the school. For more information on who should be deemed a Responsible Employee, visit the Reporting and Privacy Concerns section.

Schools need to ensure that their employees are trained so that they know to notify the appropriate school officials, and so that employees with the authority to address harassment know how to respond properly.

Training for employees should include practical information about how to identify and report sexual harassment and violence, as well as basic safety planning techniques.

What's Recommended

Develop Evidence-Informed Prevention Efforts Aimed at ALL Students

Utilize Evidence-informed Programming - Prevention efforts should rely on expert knowledge and research-supported programs that are tailored to the local campus community.

Measure the Climate of the Campus - Conduct regular research on aggregate student experience, including how students experience the climate of the campus. Research includes any method for listening carefully to student experience, e.g., through focus groups, surveys or meetings of student leaders. Use the results of the campus climate survey to guide and enhance prevention efforts that reflect the specific needs of your students.

Focus on Marginalized, Underrepresented and Especially Vulnerable Students - These groups will differ from campus to campus, and warrant special attention in prevention and education efforts. The list may include LGBTQI+ individuals, people of color, students with disabilities, students who are immigrants, sorority women, and international students.

Make Information Accessible and Easy to Understand - Provide policy and reporting information online with a minimal number of ‘click-throughs’ required to navigate web sites. Disseminate messages in many forms and forums to reach the entire student body (student orientation, curriculum infusion, resource center trainings, campus events, and public information materials).

Minimum Standards for Prevention Education Programming for all Incoming Students

Campuses should carefully consider how to ensure that all incoming students (first year students, transfer students, online students, etc.) will receive the mandatory education at and throughout orientation. It is essential for campuses to have a mechanism established to fully account for the participation of each student in the program. The prevention and education program can and should include a variety of methods – website, courses, presentations, seminars, theatre performance and discussions, letters home to parents, etc. The program should include information about intimate partner violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment, and stalking. Prevention professionals on campus should work in close collaboration with staff who address drug and alcohol issues.

Information provided in the program curriculum should cover a spectrum of topics including, but not limited to:

  • Student code of conduct and sexual misconduct policies
  • How to file internal administrative complaints and local criminal charges
  • Campus and community support services (legal, medical, mental health, transportation, etc.)
  • Prevention strategies
  • Common myths about the causes of gender-based violence
  • Common characteristics of abusers and rapists
  • The availability of resources for victims/survivors
  • How to support peers who are victims/survivors
  • Victims’/survivors’ responses and the healing process
  • Sanctions for offenders
  • The benefits of reporting of gender-based violence crimes

Campuses should coordinate closely with campus and community-based victim/survivor advocacy organizations in creating orientation programs. Staff at local IPV and sexual violence organizations often have the expertise to present information that is appropriate, sensitive, and respectful to victims’/survivors’ needs. Orientation programs should also state that offenders will be held accountable and present information on likely sanctions for offenders.

If possible, the college/university should support on-campus peer groups with training on the prevention of and response to sexual misconduct, stalking, and intimate partner violence, as well as peer support for concerned bystanders and those who are concerned about their own violence.

Suggested Three Stage Prevention and Education Program (source):

The Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) recommends that campuses structure the prevention and education program for incoming students into three stages to maximize the number of incoming students reached, and engage them in as effective a way as possible. The three stages are:

  1. Pre-Orientation/Arrival
  2. Orientation/Arrival
  3. Post-Orientation/Ongoing.

Creating three stages allows the institutions to use a variety of media to reach students, encompass a greater depth of information, and work within a larger timeframe. Programs should consider how to track incoming students through these three stages to ensure participation and completion of the mandatory prevention and education program. Campuses must work in close collaboration with experts on IPV to address these issues in their programming.

OVW suggests the following:

1.  Pre-Orientation/Arrival Stage

OVW recommends that schools complete one or more of the following:

  • Send a peer-to-peer letter to every incoming student including information about services, institutional protocols and policies. Clear definitions of sexual and intimate partner violence and stalking should be included. The content and tone of letter should be appropriate for all student populations.
  • Include a section in the student and/or orientation handbook that details information about victim/survivor services, institutional protocols and policies, including clear definitions on what constitutes sexual and intimate partner violence and stalking. The content and tone of this section should be appropriate for underserved populations as well.
  • Invite incoming students to participate in an online peer forum. The peers staffing these forums should offer follow-up information on the prevention and education material provided in the pre-orientation letters. These sessions are for general information and should not cover individual victim/survivor issues. It is essential that institutions work with experts in developing this forum in the event that a victim/survivor discloses abuse.
  • Distribute flyers at incoming student orientation and various new student functions about sexual and intimate partner violence, services, policies and protocols.

2.  Orientation/Arrival Stage

Given the different types of campuses and their various orientation policies, there is no one size fits all solution. OVW recognizes that the orientation schedule for a large public university will be vastly different from that of a small rural community college.

Programs should be creative and use all of the campus resources available to reach the entire population of incoming students. For those schools that have a formal orientation session or class, the following issues should be considered while planning and implementing an orientation presentation:

  • Consult with representatives from various campus departments. For example, address policies/procedures around violence as they apply to Health and Counseling, Campus Police, Student Athletics, Student Life and Residence Halls. Instill the message that sexual violence and IPV issues are addressed campus-wide.
  • When planning and delivering the orientation program, bring in community response team members to help create the training materials and facilitate the trainings. In addition to reinforcing the partnerships, this will help students identify available community resources as well.
  • Be conscientious and encompass all different orientation sessions held on campus. Incoming students enter the campus every quarter, semester, and in addition, some unique groups may have their own separate orientations (such as athletes, specific residence halls, and international students).
  • Within the Orientation training, each program should consider employing two or more distinct formats to reach students in different ways. It is recommended that one of the strategies involves peer education, delivered by a campus men’s group or via peer theatre. Please note, especially in schools with mandatory orientation sessions, OVW does not consider the creation and distribution of electronic and print media alone to be sufficient. Incorporating student involvement and/or an interactive component is strongly encouraged.

For those schools that do not have a mandatory orientation class or session, it may be more challenging to meet this program requirement. These campuses should attempt to incorporate as many, if not all, of the recommendations above.  However, there are some additional recommendations for schools without mandatory orientation:

  • Require all incoming students to participate in an online training and/or quiz prior to registering for their classes.
  • Provide them with relevant information and materials before their matriculation.
  • Sponsor seminars, sessions or a “mixer” for new students where a block of time could be scheduled to speak about issues of IPV and campus services.

3.  Post-Orientation/Ongoing Stage

After the initial “arrival” of incoming students, campuses should continue to schedule activities connected to different campus events and located at a variety of campus venues.

The following activities are recommended throughout each year:

  • Be present at season-opening athletic events, Greek recruitment (”rush”) activities, new student fairs, and/or set up educational and awareness tables outside the bookstore or student union.
  • Have peer educators staff the educational and awareness tables and recruit students to get involved in peer education.
  • Connect with residence hall RAs and set up training for them and their residents.
  • Offer a peer theatre presentation for a large group of students.
  • Send out a follow up informational email regarding IPV and campus services to all newly registered students.
  • Establish a website for program information and resources.
  • Create a public education/social media campaign regarding gender-based violence that is informed by campus data as well as evaluation research.

Provide a Comprehensive List of Resources to Students

Provide, in writing, a list of names, addresses, and phone numbers of on-campus and off-campus community resources available for students regarding IPV, stalking, and sexual violence, including:

  • Athletics
  • Campus advocate
  • Campus and community-based, culturally-specific resources
  • Campus law enforcement
  • Campus response team
  • Civil Clerk’s Office
  • Community counseling services
  • Community Sexual Violence (SV) and Domestic Violence (DV) centers
  • Dean of Students
  • Director of Religious Life
  • Director of Residential Life
  • Disability Services
  • District Attorney’s Office (include whether they have a specialized DV/SV unit)
  • LGBTQI+ Center
  • Local hospital(s)
  • Local Legal Aid Office
  • Local NC Domestic Violence Center/shelter where applicable
  • Local police departments (include whether they have a specialized DV/SV unit)
  • Magistrate’s Office
  • North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCCADV)
  • North Carolina Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NCCASA)
  • Off-campus medical care
  • Office for Civil Rights (OCR)
  • On-campus counseling
  • On-campus medical care
  • Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner [SANE] Program
  • Sheriff’s department (include whether they have a specialized DV/SV unit)
  • Title IX Coordinator

Recommendations for Prevention Specialists

Work from a Framework that Recognizes Oppression is the Root Cause of Gender-Based Violence

Effective prevention must address the underlying structures and beliefs that support gender-based violence. Oppression in all its forms and intersections contributes to gender-based violence. Without addressing oppression and the social norms that accompany it, the culture of inequality and violence that supports gender-based violence cannot be changed.

  1. Prevention specialists should clearly and publicly articulate that intersectional anti-oppression work is a fundamental part of their approach to ending gender-based violence. They should consistently review their language and programming to hold themselves accountable to those expectations.
  2. Prevention specialists should analyze their programming to ensure the content is affirming and inclusive. They should also pay attention to the locations where they hold programs to ensure they are accessible and that victim/survivors from oppressed and marginalized groups feel physically and emotionally safe to attend.
  3. Prevention specialists should actively support departments and organizations serving oppressed and marginalized groups on campus. In addition to publicizing events on behalf of a group or co-sponsoring an activity, prevention specialists should attend and/or otherwise participate in those events as well as encourage others in their networks to participate.
  4. A thorough understanding of the ways in which oppressions function to marginalize certain groups is not possible without a simultaneous examination of the ways in which structures and norms advantage those in the dominant groups. Prevention specialists should examine their programming to discover how it is advantaging dominant groups in unmarked ways, and review these as specific opportunities for leveraging intersectional equity.
  5. The public health approach to gender-based violence prevention is based on mitigating risk factors and increasing protective factors. Many risk and protective factors are directly and indirectly connected to various forms of oppression. Having a thorough understanding of how various oppressive factors influence risk for gender-based violence aids prevention planning and education. For more information on risk and protective factors related to intimate partner and sexual violence, visit Prevent Violence NC and Connecting the Dots - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Develop a Comprehensive, Evidence-Informed Prevention Plan in Collaboration with Stakeholders

A prevention plan should be more than a listing of an institution’s gender-based violence programs. It should be the institution’s roadmap to reaching a particular end goal related to gender-based violence. The end goal should be specifically articulated, and the programs and initiatives that comprise the plan should build on one another to reach that goal.

  1. Prevention specialists should assess community needs, as well as community risk and protective factors, across the social ecology. Gender-based violence is so embedded into the culture that no single program will be able to address all needs. Prevention specialists should work with students and other stakeholders to prioritize the needs to address in the prevention plan.
  2. The particular protective and risk factors that are present in the community, as shown by your institution’s campus climate survey, should inform that process.
  3. Campus-based prevention specialists should create the prevention plan in collaboration with their community-based sexual and domestic violence agency. Prevention specialists from these agencies can often enhance the efficacy of the prevention plan through their expertise in gender-based violence prevention as well as their knowledge about the larger community.
  4. The resulting prevention plan should be trauma-informed. Prevention specialists should recognize the inherent power differential between students and employees and ensure that students are able to safely share their experiences and beliefs throughout the process. Additionally, the programs within the plan should be consistently reviewed to ensure they are empowering, and non-victim blaming. Victim-blaming is when a victim/survivor is treated as though they are completely or partially responsible for the unlawful action(s) perpetrated against them. Programs should also include resources for participants who may be triggered by the information.
  5. Evaluation should be a key component of the prevention plan and should be part of the planning process from the beginning. Prevention specialists should work with stakeholders to create the evaluation plan and should build evaluation opportunities into the overall prevention plan. 

    Links to evaluation resources
    1. Community Toolbox
    2. EvaluACTION 
    3. NSVRC
    4. PreventConnect elearning course
    5. Evaluating Social Innovation

For more information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on risk and protective factors related to intimate partner and sexual violence, visit:

For a free NCCADV webinar on shared risk and protective factors, visit https://nccadv.org/training/webinars

For an example Comprehensive Prevention Plan, visit page 24 of this Safety and Justice for All: Best Practices for VA Campuses Addressing Gender-Based Violence

Specifically Address the Needs of Historically Oppressed and Marginalized Populations

Gender-based violence disproportionately impacts oppressed and marginalized communities. Yet sexual violence, intimate partner violence, and stalking have historically been looked at in isolation from other forms of violence and oppression. In order to effectively address the context of oppressed and marginalized groups, prevention specialists should include programs that directly support the needs of those communities on their campus.

  1. All community members should be able to see themselves and their experiences reflected in the general prevention programming. Graphics, scenarios, and examples should include a wide variety of identities. Prevention specialists at all institutions should ensure that the images and voices of LGBTQI+ students, students with disabilities, and students from other oppressed and marginalized groups are visible in ways that do not reinforce negative stereotypes.
  2.  Prevention specialists should create and/or adapt programs to be specifically designed for oppressed and marginalized groups. Implementing programs developed for primarily white audiences with students of color will not effectively address their experiences and needs. The same concept applies to other groups of students. There are very few nationally marketed prevention programs designed specifically for students of color, LGBTQI+ students, or students from other marginalized groups. This means that prevention specialists must often design their own programs or significantly adapt existing ones. In these cases, prevention specialists should work with student organizations or community groups to develop the programs so that they are culturally relevant and effective.

Trainings are available on related topics through the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence