An update on recent reports of sexual assault
Senior Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Jenny Hall-Jones shared the following message with the campus community and OHIO parents regarding OHIO’s focus on bolstering its culture to be one that prevents sexual violence, supports survivors and holds perpetrators accountable.
Dear Parents & Families,
I'm reaching out in light of the recent public reports of sexual assault on or near Ohio University's Athens Campus. In the words of Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis, "One sexual assault anywhere is one too many. In our community, we will not tolerate such behavior. Not today. Not tomorrow. Not ever."
As a fellow parent of an Ohio University student, I find myself feeling upset, scared and frustrated by the injustice of sexual assault and the fact that it happens even in the safest of university towns, such as our own.
The reality is that no community or campus is immune from sexual violence. Sadly, some students come to college already affected by sexual assault. Others will become survivors while they are in college. We also know that for every survivor who reports, there are many who don't.
OHIO is focused on bolstering our culture to be one that prevents sexual violence, supports survivors and holds perpetrators accountable. We want you to be aware of some of the efforts that we are taking to prevent sexual assault and increase safety:
- We start conversations about expectations of behavior at Bobcat Student Orientation, including definitions of sexual assault and consent and discussions on how we hold students accountable who are found in violation of sexual misconduct.
- All first-year students enrolled in Learning Communities will be going through the CHOICES program in the coming weeks, which provide additional information about consent, alcohol and bystander intervention.
- The BRIDGES online sexual assault prevention and education module was introduced in 2017-18 for all faculty and staff at Ohio University.
- The Campus Involvement Center's Health Promotion Office offers in-person prevention education, including bystander intervention and programming that disrupts rape myth acceptance and victim-blaming attitudes.
- Bystander intervention is the only research-approved method to prevent sexual assaults on college campuses. We teach that if you see someone in need, there are ways you can safely intervene, including being direct when safe and able, creating a distraction, or by delegating to others when help is needed. Students can take Better Bystander training for more support.
- Ohio University Police Department has increased patrols and is partnering with residence hall staff to hold conversations with students about safety.
- We have a CATS Late Night Shuttle Service (the phone number of which is listed on the back of all student ID cards) that students can use so they don't have to walk alone.
- The Ohio University Police Department offers Rape Aggression Defense (RAD) Classes for students each semester and is working to add more classes.
- Blue Light Phones are located all across campus and along the bike path surrounding campus. In addition, there are emergency phones at the main entrances of each residence hall.
- We are currently reviewing safety protocols for our residence halls with the Housing & Residence Life staff and Ohio University Police Department.
- The City of Athens Police Department and the Ohio University Police Department have a mutual aid agreement and work tirelessly to address sexual assault in our community.
- All Ohio University Police Department detectives are FETI (Forensic Experiential Trauma Interview) trained. They investigate with a victim-centered approach.
- Survivor Advocacy Program: Three full-time licensed professional social workers serve our students throughout the year. They have a crisis hotline that is available 24/7 at 740-597-SAFE (7233).
- Counseling and Psychological Services: The staff at Counseling and Psychological Services are licensed, fully-confidential and support students 24/7 at 740-593-1616.
- Campus Care: The Campus Care clinic, located on the 1st and 2nd floors of Hudson Hall, has trained, confidential clinicians who offer a wide range of services. The quick care clinic is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- If a student wishes to report an incidence of sexual misconduct to the university, they can contact Equity and Civil Rights Compliance at 740-593-9140 or email@example.com.
- If a student wishes to make a criminal report regarding sexual violence, for incidents occurring on campus, they can contact our Ohio University Police Department, 911 (emergency) or 740-593-1911, Scott Quad 135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If a student wishes to make a criminal report regarding sexual violence for incidents occurring off-campus, they can contact the Athens Police Department: 9-1-1 (emergencies) or 740-592-3313.
We are committed and focused on collectively engaging in difficult conversations about sexual assault, consent and bystander intervention. Thank you for being our allies in this ongoing movement to end sexual assault.
Senior Associate Vice President for Student Affairs
Dean of Students