Responding to fears about sexual violence

Carrie Giese, coordinator for Sexual Violence Prevention and Education at OSU, said that two recent assaults on or near campus has not only had a potentially triggering effect on people who have previously experienced sexual violence, but has caused fear and concern among those who worry that they or their loved ones could also be attacked.

If staff or faculty are dealing with past trauma from sexual violence and need support, they can turn to the Employee Assistance Program (http://oregonstate.edu/admin/hr/orient/benefits/cl/eap) offered through the Public Employees’ Benefits Board, or contact the Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence, 541-754-0110.

Faculty and staff are in a unique position as they interact with students voicing concerns about the recent attacks, and Giese had a number of suggestions on how to deal with these potentially tricky and delicate conversations.

First, she suggests that faculty and staff become familiar with the Employee Guidance document provided by the Office of Equity and Inclusion, which lays out the roles and responsibilities of faculty and staff who receive information on potential sexual violence or harassment from a student or co-worker.

The guidelines include the acronym SILVER, which lays out the steps of responding to a disclosure of sexual violence or harassment: Safety (find out if there’s immediate risk and get the proper authorities involved); Inform (explain to the survivor about the limits of confidentiality and the resources available); Listen (be an empathic and nonjudgmental listener and limit questions); Validate (feelings and reactions); and Empower (provide options, do not make decisions); and Refer (to resources on campus and in the community).

A link to the full text is available here: http://oregonstate.edu/oei/sites/default/files/sh_sv_response_final06.26.12.pdf

Giese wants faculty and staff to know they can turn to the Office of Equity and Inclusion or the staff coordinator in the Office of Sexual Assault Support Services and CARDV if they have questions about how to respond to a disclosure from a student.

“Education and information are the best forms of prevention of sexual violence,” Giese said. Her office can provide information about methods of sexual violence prevention.

Giese is available to give presentations to classes or to staff, and for students, there is also a group of peer educators who can talk about sexual violence prevention. She is available at 541-737-7880 or carrie.giese@oregonstate.edu.

The following is a list of resources available to faculty, staff and students

  • For emergencies, call 911.
  • To provide information to law enforcement, call Corvallis Police Department at 541-766-6924, or Oregon State Police/OSU Public Safety at 541-737-3010.
  • To arrange for a safe ride, call OSU Saferide’s request line at 541-737-5000.
  • The Sexual Assault Support Services program at OSU is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays and can be reached at 541-737-7604.
  • The Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence, or CARDV, is a Corvallis support facility open 24 hours a day; its phone number is 541-754-0110.
  • OSU’s Counseling and Psychological Services department offers support and counseling to OSU students in all areas. It can be reached by calling 541-737-2131.

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