Penn State Intercom......September 13, 2001

New protocol helps those
assisting victims of violence

Reducing the occurrence of violence against women on campus has been one of the University's top priorities for some time. Now, staff and faculty have a new resource to help them assist a victim of relationship, domestic or sexual violence.

The "Protocol to assist victims of relationship, domestic and sexual violence" was developed by the Coalition to Address Relationship and Sexual Violence. It provides basic information about relationship, domestic and sexual violence. It includes the relevant Pennsylvania crime codes definitions and outlines the medical, counseling and administrative services, support systems and options for victims. In addition, the protocol includes a data collection form and information on community resources.

The data collected will be used to assess the prevalence and patterns of relationship and sexual violence in the University community and to target future intervention efforts.

The University has collected data on sexual assault since 1995. The initiative to collect information about relationship and domestic violence is new. Very few colleges and universities collect this data in a systematic way.

Violence against women on college and university campuses is a widespread problem. More than half of all stalking victims are between 18 and 29 years old, according to the National Violence Against Women Survey sponsored by the National Institute of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Results of several studies indicate that among college students the average rate of non-sexual dating violence is 32 percent. Other studies show that sexual assaults, as well as other forms of violence against women, are seriously under-reported on campuses.

The coalition developed the protocol as part of a comprehensive project funded by a $450,000 grant from the Department of Justice, Violence Against Women Office.

The protocol was sent to more than 800 faculty and staff at all University locations. In addition, it can be found online at