5 Things Your Sexual Violence Prevention Program Needs to be Effective

Effective Sexual Violence Prevention Programs

Posted on 16 August 2016 |

ca blog 5 thingsWith the first day of school right around the corner, it’s almost time to kick off your sexual violence prevention programming for this year’s incoming students and new employees.

The Clery Act sets forth numerous guidelines on what you must include in your educational programs and campaigns.

So to help you ensure your program is compliant, we are going to review a few of the things you need to include and some ideas to help you get it done—all courtesy of The Handbook for Campus Safety and Security Reporting.

We also cover these requirements along with specific considerations for certain state laws or specialized colleges, such as faith-based campuses, in a series of webinars you can watch here.

Of course for the complete picture, we encourage you to read the handbook, but for now, let’s get started.

Criteria for Effective Sexual Violence Prevention Programs and Campaigns

First of all, each part of your prevention program and campaign must meet certain criteria in order to maintain compliance and be effective:

1. It must be relevant to your campus.

The more relevant you can make your programs, the more likely students and employees will relate to the material. And the better chance you have of really getting through to them and making a difference.

For example, faith-based colleges and universities need to evaluate each campaign to ensure it lines up with the values that you’ve described and expect students to live up to and employees to respect.

2. It should include diverse communities and identities.

The best chance you have at creating an effective program is the one that reaches and everyone on campus. That’s why it’s essential for success to find a way to include diverse communities and identities.

For example, you should work with LGBTQIA organizations within your campus or surrounding community to ensure that your prevention campaigns are inclusive of their specific needs and issues.

3. It needs to be responsive to community needs.

While you can’t plan for everything, it’s important to make sure that your campaigns align with the needs of your campus community—especially when those needs change.

It’s important to have your finger on the pulse of what the community expects from your prevention program. A good way to do this is with a campus climate survey. It can help you measure the effectiveness of your prevention program.

4. It should be informed by research and evaluated for effectiveness.

Just like most things on campus, your prevention programming should be informed by the latest research, which includes promising practices other higher education institutions are using.

But, not every campus is the same. So just because something is working for one college, it doesn’t mean it will work for yours. That’s why it’s important to evaluate your program. And again, you can do this with a campus climate survey. 

5. It must be sustainable.

Each campus has its own resources to devote to sexual violence prevention programs and campaigns. While a few schools might have almost unlimited resources, most others aren’t so lucky.

That’s why when you are in the planning stage, it’s important to ask yourself, “can this continue long-term?” If you think that you can continue over time and throughout the year, then it’s got a better chance of being effective. But if it’s not something you have the resources to keep up with, then it’s better to pass and look for something else.

What’s Next?

The information above should give you a good idea of the overall criteria your sexual violence programs and campaigns must meet to maintain compliance and be effective.

Check back later this week to learn more about the two types of programs you need to have: primary and awareness. We will discuss what’s included in each of these types and some ideas for how you can deliver them at your campus.

In the meantime, if you want to learn more about our sexual violence prevention training courses for students, faculty and staff, request a demo and we will put you in touch with a compliance specialist.

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