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Monday, Jul 28, 2014

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OHIO implementing online sexual assault prevention program for incoming students


The Class of 2018 will be the first class at Ohio University to begin its college journey having completed an interactive online program designed to prevent sexual assault and other interpersonal violence on campus.

Ohio University is introducing and implementing the Not Anymore program for first-year students beginning at this year’s Bobcat Student Orientation, which runs through June 26. The Not Anymore program helps campus communities meet federal mandates, allows campuses to customize the program’s content, and engages students through an interactive experience that includes student survivor and bystander videos, animation and motion graphics.

“Through the Not Anymore program, we hope our students gain a better knowledge of the prevalence of sexual assault on college campuses, ways in which to prevent it, and ways in which to intervene in it,” explained Susanne Dietzel, director of OHIO’s Women’s Center. “We also hope the program provides students with knowledge about the available resources on campus for victims and survivors of sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, and stalking, as well as an understanding of the University’s commitment to addressing these issues.”

According to Dietzel, Ohio University’s Women’s Center and its Survivor Advocacy Program are playing a significant role in administering the Not Anymore program. In fact, instituting the program fulfills one of the mandatory requirements for the Violence Against Women on Campus grant that funds the Survivor Advocacy Program.

Funded since 2009, supported by the Women’s Center, and recently expanded to OHIO’s regional campuses, the Survivor Advocacy Program provides:

  • A 24-hour, seven-days-a-week crisis line
  • Assistance in navigating medical, judicial and legal processes and services   
  • Aid in accommodating housing options and academic needs
  • Support for friends and family of survivors
  • Referrals
  • Outreach education programs on campus

“It is because of the initiative taken by the Women’s Center and the Ohio University Survivor Advocacy Program that the Not Anymore program is being implemented,” Dietzel said. “We selected, customized and will oversee the implementation of the program.”

Dietzel explained that the University selected the Not Anymore specifically because it is an interactive program, uses a peer-to-peer approach, and incorporates pre-program and post-program testing. Not Anymore is also the only program of its kind approved by the Department of Justice, which allocates Violence Against Women Act funding.

Not Anymore also complements efforts by the Obama Administration to address the issue of sexual assault on college campuses. In January, President Obama established the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault in an effort to strengthen federal enforcement efforts and to provide schools with additional tools to combat sexual assault on their campuses. As part of that effort, the White House launched a new website – www.NotAlone.gov – in April to make enforcement data public and to make other resources accessible to students and schools. The President has called on all higher education institutions to implement educational programming on sexual assault.

In addition to educating students about sexual assault, Not Anymore also explores the topics of healthy versus unhealthy relationships, issues affecting the LGBT community, and bullying. The program has also been tailored to Ohio University and includes the University’s policies and procedures regarding sexual misconduct as well as resources available to OHIO students.

Not Anymore is being rolled out to incoming students during Bobcat Student Orientation (BSO). Before first-year students leave the second day of BSO, Vice President for Student Affairs Ryan Lombardi is issuing them their very first OHIO homework assignments.

Completing the Not Anymore program is now one of two requirements first-year students must complete before or in the early weeks of fall semester. Several years ago, the University made completing the AlcoholEdu program, an online alcohol education course, a requirement of incoming students. Both the AlcoholEdu and Not Anymore programs take about two to three hours to complete.

Introducing the Not Anymore program is just one of the many ways that Ohio University is addressing the issue of sexual assault on college campuses. In 2009, the University revised its sanctioning guidelines regarding sexual assault. In addition, this past year the University launched Campus Conversations, providing a safe place for the OHIO community to talk about and educate themselves on issues of sexual assault, and more than 1,000 students were trained in bystander intervention.

The University’s efforts regarding sexual assault have not gone unnoticed. During its last meeting, OHIO’s Faculty Senate passed a Sense of the Senate Resolution on Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention. The resolution notes the faculty’s concern regarding sexual assault while also acknowledging individual, student and University efforts to address the issue and committing to support efforts to make OHIO a “respectful, safe and secure environment for all students, faculty and staff.” Faculty Senate expressed its support for the Not Anymore program with some senators indicating their interest in taking the online program themselves. OHIO employees, students and parents interested in previewing the Not Anymore program can do so by clicking on the “Request a Preview” button at http://not-anymore.com/ and entering their e-mail address as well as the access code “nademo.”

While the Not Anymore program is only for incoming students, Dietzel said that other OHIO students will have the opportunity to participate in other programs on these issues through the Survivor Advocacy Program and other campus units. In addition, the University is planning on following up the Not Anymore program with programming in the University’s residence halls during the first six weeks of fall semester.

For more information on the Not Anymore program, visit http://not-anymore.com/university-college/home.