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.
  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.
  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.
  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.
  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. 

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Guiding Principles for Support Services

  1. Provide robust accommodations to victims/survivors. Accommodations following experiences of intimate partner and other forms of violence should minimize the victims'/survivors' burden of continuing their education by addressing safety, They should address safety, Title IX rights, academic needs, privacy, and resulting financial burden.
  2. Consider a victim’s/survivor’s relevant circumstances. Accommodations should be provided with attention to ability status, religion/faith, cultural identity, racial identity, gender identity, sexual orientation, financial situation, etc.
  3. Take interim measures promptly and prevent retaliation. As soon as it has notice of an allegation of intimate partner violence, the school should take interim measures to protect students and investigate what happened. The school should also provide the victim/survivor with periodic updates on the status of the investigation and work to prevent and address any retaliation.
  4. Provide private, trauma-informed support. This support for victims/survivors should come from all parts of campus.
  5. Accommodations should be equitable, not necessarily identical, for reporting and responding parties.
    • Response systems can be trauma-informed without being biased toward survivors.
    • The policies and processes of these systems should be designed to put all students on the same level and be applied fairly and consistently.

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Guiding Principles for Reporting & Privacy Concerns

  1. Victims/survivors have the right to confidential support and to know what will happen with their information. Faculty and staff have a responsibility to inform victims/survivors about confidentiality limitations and options -  before victims/survivors choose to share - and to maintain the highest level of confidentiality possible given legislation and institutional policy.
  2. Identify the WHO, HOW, and WHEN of protecting victim/survivor confidentiality. Who can protect the confidentiality of victims/survivors? How will the institution protect their confidentiality? When might confidentiality be limited?
  3. Inform all students of their options for notifying the institution and/or reporting abuse to law enforcement. This should include anonymous options, and may increase the likelihood that students will disclose and/or report IPV.
  4. Seek input and collaboration from reporting students and their advocates. Work together to solicit and incorporate victims'/survivors' and advocates' input about the school's actions related to IPV prevention and response, with respect for the confidentiality of all parties involved. 

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Guiding Principles for Investigation & Adjudication

  1. Response should be timely, appropriate, sensitive, and respectful. Incorporating these principles at every level of response will increase the likelihood that students will report intimate partner violence and other forms of gender based violence.
  2. Investigation and resolution should be prompt, fair, and impartial.
  3. Campus professionals involved in investigation should have extensive, appropriate training. Training for these staff should:
    • Be ongoing, research-based, and up-to-date
    • Include information on trauma-informed and culturally sensitive response
    • Be developed and facilitated in coordination with gender violence experts
  4. Increase safety for and reduce retaliation toward reporting parties. Campuses should expend great efforts to protect the safety of victim/survivors by training employees in safety planning, adjudicating claims of retaliation in a timely fashion, and highlighting retaliation prohibitions in IPV-related policies.

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Guiding Principles for Policy Development

  1. Preserve the federally-protected civil rights of victims/survivors. Policies and procedures should reflect best practices for protecting civil rights, both in letter and spirit of the law. Policies should be inclusive enough to reflect all students’ identities and experiences.
  2. Policies should be clearly written and easily accessible. Information on the institution’s policies should also be presented to community members multiple times in a variety of formats.
  3. Creating and updating IPV policies should be a collaborative and inclusive process. Institutions should seek meaningful input and feedback from students, staff/faculty, and community stakeholders, especially those who might be marginalized because of gender identity, race, age, ability, immigration status, and/or ethnicity.

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