It Is Our Business – Promoting Prevention at OWU
In 2013, HelpLine increased our presence at Ohio Wesleyan University (OWU). As one of roughly thirty rape crisis centers for our state, we’ve wanted to bridge the existing divide for some time.
As a community-based rape crisis center, we’ve wanted to have a greater presence on campus; providing both prevention and intervention sexual violence services. Starting in 2013, we began to increase our work with students; developing a Bystander Intervention (BI) presentation called “It Is My Business”. Our work consisted of providing this BI presentation, presenting about sexual violence in Women Studies classrooms, participating in awareness events, and searching for more opportunities to collaborate. In 2014, we were invited to be part of a work group formed around Title IX to assess prevention efforts at OWU and form a plan to address gaps. We were the only entities from outside of the university at the table.
Our desire was to be a good community partner that would both help OWU meet the defined goals, while increasing our presence/access. We’ve understood that we need to work on all of the levels of Spectrum of Prevention and this new venture gave us the opportunity to better do that at OWU. We agreed to develop a training for staff, faculty, and some student leaders that would further educate them on stalking, sexual assault, intimate partner violence, and bystander intervention, providing them the knowledge base needed to deliver “It Is My Business”. “It Is My Business” was a program developed by OWU students and OWU’s preference over curriculums such as Green Dot. The idea was that the trained individuals would present it to groups of students within different spheres of influence. For example, two coaches from the Women’s Lacrosse Team participated and plan to offer it to their student athletes. Representatives from Residence Life and other departments were invited by the Dean of Students to be part of the “Train the Trainers” that we put on. The plan is for the trained individuals to work as teams, much as we did with the students with whom we created it. We’ve continued to be in touch with the Dean, as well as other staff, faculty, and students; to insure that we continue to build upon the relationships that were created. We’ve maintained our presence at health fairs and in classrooms; promoting our intervention, prevention and volunteer efforts. In 2015, we anticipate having a much larger footprint on campus, as a result.
In the fall/winter of 2014, we provided three, six hour “Train the Trainer” opportunities to 23 staff, faculty, and student leaders who were identified by the Dean of Students. We developed a two-part training that was comprised of information about sexual violence and how it presented within the college population, information about Bystander Intervention, and a run through “It Is My Business” showing how all of the information could be used to provide versions of it. For example, one version of “It Is My Business” addresses the issue of stalking. We came up with versions of “It Is My Business” that they can select from. We incorporated videos, activities, and skill building opportunities in each potential version. We’ve offered to act as co-facilitators, coaches, and more as new facilitators begin to offer this presentation. Evaluations of the training were very positive with comments like, “Really enjoyed the presentation! I’m excited to share this information w/students!”, “Great presentation – style & information” “Thanks for your enthusiasm in presenting!” “Outstanding! Very helpful.” When asked what could be changed, a desire to learn more was also expressed, “Great! More time lots to cover but worth it.”, “Nancy you are great. OSU’s loss is OWU’s gain – more of these.” As OWU begins to offer these presentations we have offered our assistance to the Dean. We recognize that while we need to await the invitation, our positive track record will be remembered.
HelpLine of Delaware and Morrow Counties, Inc.