What You Can Expect
Our advocacy work is based on the principles of reinforcing the survivor’s autonomy and self-determination as a way to increase their safety and sense of empowerment. While recognizing the trauma typically involved in the advocacy work we do, our role is not to provide comprehensive mental health treatment. Individuals, who present concerns that, in the opinion of the advocate, are beyond the scope of our role, will be referred to the appropriate on or off-campus provider.
As of August 14, 2020 the Women’s Center staff are exempt from reporting disclosures of gender-based violence to the Office for Institutional Equity under the University’s Policy Against Discrimination, Harassment, and Related Interpersonal Violence.* This means we will only report the information shared with us to the University if the student and/or employee requests that the information be shared or unless someone is in imminent risk of serious harm or a minor.
As Campus Security Authorities, we do have an obligation to report general and non-identifying information to the UConn Police for the Annual Campus Security Report.**
What We Provide
The Women’s Center provides assistance to victims/survivors of sexual assault, relationship violence, stalking, sexual harassment, and all forms of gender-based violence. Our focus is to provide a safe setting, as well as information and support that will help empower victims/survivors to make informed choices about next steps and what feels most healing for them. We assist victims/survivors regardless of their gender identity and/or expression. Women’s Center staff assist individuals through their knowledge regarding policy and awareness of on-campus and local community resources. Some specific examples of the type of assistance we may provide include:
- short-term crisis intervention, which includes safety planning
- information regarding steps that can be taken following a sexual assault or incident of relationship violence, including through the University, with the police, and/or medical assistance;
- serving as support people for victims/survivors in sexual misconduct, relationship violence, and/or stalking investigations and/or hearings; and
- making referrals to other resources, both on and off campus, as needed.
*This policy can be found at https://policy.uconn.edu/?p=6592
**For more information on the University’s Clery Compliance, visit http://clery.uconn.edu/
The Women’s Center also provides the opportunity for students to be involved in gender-based violence prevention and intervention education through the following groups:
The Men’s Project – The goal of the Men’s Project is to train students who identify as men to positively influence their peers by challenging social norms that promote gender-based violence; understanding their connection to survivors of gender-based violence; and role modeling effective bystander interventions. The weekly meetings will focus on topics related to gender socialization, masculinities, social justice and gender-based violence. Previous years’ participants shared that the program was transformative, challenging, and that after the program their implementation of bystander intervention strategies greatly increased. This program is supported by the UConn Women’s Center and the Asian American Cultural Center, whose staff serve as advisors and support for this initiative. For more information, please email MensProject@uconn.edu.
In-Power – In-Power is a student-led support group dedicated to building a gender-inclusive community that welcomes victim-survivors of sexual assault, stalking, and/or intimate partner violence at any point in their healing process. Through a focus on empowerment, autonomy, and resilience, the group aims to help participants claim agency over their own stories and experiences, as well as the direction of the group. We’ll be accomplishing this with a variety of discussion topics and self-care methods. If you are interested in joining the group, please reach out to facilitators at: email@example.com.
Greeks Against Sexual Assault (GASA) – The goal of Greeks Against Sexual Assault (GASA) is to train members of fraternities and sororities so they can then positively influence their peers by challenging social norms that promote gender-based violence; understanding their connection to survivors of gender-based violence; and role modeling effective bystander interventions. The weekly meetings will explore issues of gender, privilege, social justice and how we can stop sexual assault and interpersonal violence, specifically within the Greek community. This program is co-sponsored by the UConn Women’s Center and the Center for Fraternity & Sorority Development. For more information, please email GASA@uconn.edu.