The University of Maine currently is a recipient of a federal grant from the Grants to Combat Violent Crimes against Women on Campuses Program. The program is administered by the U.S. Department of Justice Violence Against Women Office. For two years, the “Safe Campus Project” will focus on the coordination of services and programs designed to improve the University’s response to violence against women on campus.
In terms of victim advocacy, the Safe Campus Project aims to integrate existing support structures for victim/survivor such as counseling and omsbud services with community- based advocacy services such as hot lines and support groups. To further enhance victim advocacy, the Project seeks to offer support, resources, and options for the victim/survivor to make the best decisions about their safety and needs.
Working closely with the UMaine Police Department and the Office of Judicial Affairs, the Safe Campus Project aims to integrate effective offender accountability strategies into victim oriented advocacy. Policy review and continuing education workshops address law enforcement and judicial affairs strategies to effectively combat rape/sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking.
In terms of outreach and prevention, the Safe Campus Project is pursuing a two-pronged approach. On the one hand, the Project seeks to integrate victim advocacy concerns into the existing continuing education and training programs from Residence Life staff, and into awareness and outreach programs for all incoming students. On the other hand, Safe Campus aims to revitalize the involvement of men on campus, in particular male students, in the effort to end violence against women.
The Safe Campus Project operates on the philosophy that good working relationships with campus and community partners are essential to reach its goals. To this effect a central coordinating office works closely with the Safe Campus Task Force, which represents campus partners from Athletics to Women’s Studies, and community partners including advocacy agencies and representatives of the criminal justice and civil legal system.
Interim University of Maine Advocacy Services for Victims of Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence Division of Student Affairs
August 28, 2012
The University’s response to community members who have been victims of sexual assault or relationship violence is supportive and advocacy focused. The University will offer crisis intervention services, counseling services, and ongoing advocacy and support for victims. Confidentiality will be discussed with victims.
All responses to community members reporting sexual assault or relationship violence will be organized to assure immediate and seamless access to all services. Advocates will be located in the Dean of Student’s Office though where an advocate meets with a victim will be determined based on the victim’s needs and comfort level . During regular business hours advocate services point of contact will be physically in the Student Affairs office or by phone at 581-1406. After regular business hours the on – call Dean of Students will be notified and that person will initiate notification of an advocate and connect the victim with advocacy services. Counseling Center staff members are also available to provide victim support services.
On-Call Student Affairs Deans are available by calling 581-4040 or by calling 9-1-1 from an on-campus telephone. A victim or someone operating on behalf of the victim can ask to be connected to the on-call Dean who will initiate a comprehensive response.
Trained Advocates for this program are:
Lauri Sidelko, Director of Student Wellness Resource Center
Andrea Gifford, Assistant Dean of Students
John Lawler, Director of Residence Life
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