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Our Prevention Philosophy

Philosophy and Vision

Anti-Violence Initiatives (AVI) is committed to the prevention of power-based personal violence in our TCNJ community. In order to do this, we implement an array of research-based programming and tools that show effective promise in decreasing the prevalence of violence in higher education communities. We aim to not only meet standards set by federal and state legislation, but also to address various subtle aspects of our culture/society that are known to contribute to violence. In accordance with CDC guidance, AVI employs a multi-vector approach to violence prevention that aims to engage the individual student, their surrounding systems, and larger spheres of influence and incorporates multiple exposures to prevention education and skill-building across each student’s time at TCNJ. The chart below details our programming and efforts and how each strategy is guided by best-practice standards.

Guiding Legislation and Policy

The Jeanne Clery Act (Clery) outlines requirements for institutions of higher education for reporting crime statistics. It also outlines specific geography of this reporting and some prevention and response duties (namely bystander intervention and risk reduction training). You can read the full act here: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2014-10-20/pdf/2014-24284.pdf#page=33 and digestible summaries (and much more) here: https://clerycenter.org/

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which includes the Campus Sexual Violence Elimination Act (SaVE) has gone through several revisions and reauthorizations. The act requires institutions to provide services to those impacted by sexual violence and provide prevention education and engage in activities to reduce the perpetration of violence. In terms of prevention education, VAWA mandates: policy education, consent education, bystander intervention, and ongoing programming. Read the full act here: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/BILLS-113s47es/pdf/BILLS-113s47es.pdf

Title IX (TIX) is often thought of as the sports equity law. While this is accurate, it also prohibits sexual violence on college campuses and mandates effective response when an institution receives a report of sexual violence. TIX was recently heavily revised under the current Department of Education. Read more here: https://www.knowyourix.org/college-resources/title-ix/

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) established guidance for institutions of higher education in terms of violence prevention as mandated by VAWA. This guidance includes: promote social norms that protect against violence, teach skills to prevent violence, provide opportunities to empower girls and women, create protective environments, support survivors/lessen harm, and involve multiple sectors in violence prevention/use a multi-vector approach. This guidance can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/pdf/SV-Prevention-Technical-Package.pdf

Explanation of Key Terms

The following is a description of key terms abbreviated in the table below.

Awareness represents efforts to raise the community’s consciousness of power-based personal violence; this may include statistics related to reporting, prevalence of different forms of violence, impacts of trauma on survivors, cultural contributors to violence, etc. We have often heard the terms awareness and prevention used interchangeably but we believe awareness in itself is not prevention. Awareness serves a purpose in that it increases a person’s knowledge and this knowledge often leads to motivation to change behavior and adopt a skill set that directly prevents violence from happening or de-escalate violence already in motion. It is a “step one” in prevention work.

Skill-building represents tangible tools and ways of interacting that participants can use in their day to day lives to address and/or prevent acts of violence in progress or ways in which they can proactively help to change the culture(s) around them to prevent violent acts from developing.

Bystander Intervention

  • As an educational outcome: a specific set of skills for intervening safely as violence is in progress.
  • In connection with guidance: a noted best practice by the CDC and a mandate in terms of prevention education through VAWA.

Resources represent efforts to increase knowledge of both campus and community resources for those impacted by violence, how those resources can help, and how to access them.

Gender socialization represents knowledge of the ways we raise individuals to suit our cultural conceptualizations of their sex assigned at birth. Research shows this often contributes to violence by increasing adherence to rape myths (mistaken beliefs about sexual assault and victimization) and by increasing non-prosocial interactions between various genders. This also reflects skills gained to address these issues.

Media Literacy represents knowledge of how media impacts our perceptions and actions, skills to dissect the media we consume, and skills to effectively address harmful media representations in social settings.

Healthy Relationships refers to knowledge of and skills gained to set boundaries, communicate with partners, engage in mutually satisfying relationships, recognize and address signs of domestic/dating violence and stalking, and communicate effectively in a broad context.

The Multi-vector Approach represents the suggestion in guidance that no one method can end violence in a community and that multiple forms of prevention education, enacted by a multidisciplinary team are necessary.

Environment of Support refers to efforts to change community and cultural norms such that survivors of violence feel safe and supported. This may include increased knowledge of resources, rejection of rape myths, bystander intervention as a cultural default, overt displays of support, etc. Cultivating an environment of support for victims/survivors promotes further help-seeking behaviors in their healing processes and encourages increased reporting, which in some cases, allows institutions to hold perpetrators accountable.

Institutional Commitment refers to a sense that the community and/or the institutions supporting the strategy shares views with the messages being displayed. It also means visible efforts that show that the institution as a whole is invested in violence prevention.

A specific form of this is Curriculum Infusion in which faculty teach courses either directly or tangentially related to power-based personal violence or set aside class time for prevention staff to deliver programming in the academic space.

Repeated Exposure refers to the idea that one instance of prevention education does not change behavior but that multiple instances over time, may do so.

Effective Messengers refers to the idea that prevention education should be delivered by those to whom the chosen audience will best respond. This could be a peer, a professor, an administrator, etc.

     AVI Program or Tool Educational Outcome Connection to Guidance
Online Education Module for Incoming Students ●       Awareness

●       Skill-building

●       Resources

●       Bystander intervention

●       Understanding Legality and Policy

●       Gender Socialization

●       Bystander Intervention

●       Environment of Support

●       CDC, VAWA, TIX, Clery

Welcome Week Program ●       Awareness

●       Skill-building

●       Resources

●       Bystander intervention

●       Understanding Legality and Policy

●       Gender Socialization

●       Understanding Consent

●       Environment of Support

●       Bystander intervention

●       Repeated exposure

●       Environment of Support

●       Institutional Commitment

●       CDC, VAWA

Awareness Months ●       Awareness

●       Skill-building

●       Responsiveness to sociopolitical events/climate

●       Media Literacy

●       Repeated Exposure

●       Multi-vector Approach

●       Environment of Support

●       Address various elements of rape culture

●       CDC, VAWA, Clery

Online Education Model for Junior-level Students ●       Understanding  consent for sexual activity

●       Bystander Intervention

●       Healthy Relationships

●       Bystander Intervention

●       Understanding  legality and policy

●       Repeated Exposure

●       Data driven target populations

●       CDC, VAWA, Clery

Programming to Athletes; Fraternity and Sorority Life, First-year students; Student Leaders (residence staff, orientation staff, student employees) ●       Bystander intervention

●       Resources

●       Environment of Support

●       See peer education chart below; each program has been delivered to these populations.

●       Repeated Exposure

●       Effective Messengers

●       Data driven target populations

●       CDC, VAWA, Clery

Curriculum Infusion ●       Healthy Relationships

●       Gender socialization

●       Awareness

●       Resources

●       Environment of Support

●       Bystander Intervention

●       Media Literacy

●       Repeated Exposure

●       Effective messengers

●       Institutional Commitment

●       Multi-vector Approach

●       CDC

Social and Print Media ●       Awareness

●       Environment of Support

●       Gender socialization

●       Resources

●       Multi-vector Approach

●       Institutional Commitment

●       Environment of Support

●       Repeated Exposure

●       CDC, VAWA

 

Peer Education Programs

Peer education is a strategy that uses trained peer facilitators to deliver prevention content. Based on the idea that we receive education, especially around social messages from peers better than we do from administrators or those we see as distant from us, peer education is a cornerstone of AVI’s programming and prevention efforts. As such, each peer lead program is broken out below.

In the key above, we list Bystander Intervention as both an Education Outcome referring to skill-set and as a part of Guidance. In the table below this holds true and Bystander Intervention is also the name of one program. Healthy Relationships is also explained as an educational outcome referring to a specific skill-set; Healthy Relationships is also a program title.

All peer education programs carry the Effective Messengers and Repeated Exposure connections to guidance.

     AVI Program or Tool Educational Outcome Connection to Guidance
Bystander Intervention ●       Recognizing high-risk situations

●       Intervening safely

●       Standing up for one another

●       Skill-building

●       Awareness

●       Bystander Intervention

●       CDC, VAWA, Clery

Healthy Relationships ●       Communication skills

●       Recognizing satisfying/healthy behaviors

●       Setting boundaries

●       Discussing consent

●       Self-advocacy

●       Skill building

●       Address various elements of rape culture

●       CDC

Sexuality 101 ●       LGBTQIA+ spectrum

●       Healthy relationships

●       Awareness

●       Understanding of consent

●       Skill-building

●       Address various elements of rape culture

●       CDC

Healthy Masculinity ●       Awareness

●       Gender socialization

●       Skill-building

●       Healthy Relationships

●       Engaging boys and men as allies in violence prevention

●       Address various elements of rape culture

●       CDC

One Love’s Escalation Workshop ●       Resources

●       Bystander Intervention

●       Skill-building

●       Healthy Relationships

●       Recognizing domestic violence and stalking

●       Uses familiar scenarios

●       Address various elements of rape culture

●       Bystander Intervention

●       CDC, VAWA, Clery

Green Dot ●       Bystander Intervention

●       Uses familiar scenarios

●       Skill-building

●       Bystander Intervention

●       CDC, VAWA, Clery

Supporting Survivors ●       Resources

●       Awareness

●       Environment of Support

●       Understanding Legality and Policy

●       Responsiveness to sociopolitical events/climate

●       Skill-building

●       Environment of Support

●       CDC

 

AVI’s Response to COVID-19

We acknowledge that, in many of our lifetimes, this is an unprecedented event and that much is different because of it. Even so, we are committed to providing both our response services and prevention programming to the TCNJ community. In order to maintain physical distancing, provide prevention education programming, and honor both limitations placed on our staff and the demands placed on other community members, the following is our plan for programming in the near future.

Our Welcome Week program with Mike Domitrz will be offered virtually and synchronously. See more about Mike here: https://www.centerforrespect.com/about-mike-domitrz/

Our online education modules for incoming and Junior level students will remain the same. We believe in their efficacy and methodology, and they can be completed digitally and at students’ own pace.

Our Peer Education programming will be reduced. We will offer four of our usual programs including Green Dot, Supporting Survivors, Healthy Masculinity, and the Escalation Workshop. AVI professional staff are working to adapt these programs for online delivery and our intern and Peer Education teams will be training to facilitate via virtual interfaces for the Fall 2020 semester. We feel that these four programs contain the core elements of prevention education (bystander intervention, creating an environment of support for survivors, addressing gender socialization and rape culture, and healthy relationships skills) and create a digestable framework for our programming given the demands of the pandemic. In addition,  these four programs in addition to the efforts below, continue to meet and exceed the legislative requirements that guide our work.

Our social media programming has been greatly enhanced. Our Awareness Months will exist as featured social media campaigns with active engagement opportunities (such as giveaways, like/post count contests, live-share opportunities, etc). We will also be rotating our social media content to share both prevention messaging and opportunities and resource/support messages to meet the needs of various community members. Print marketing may continue pending CDC and state recommendations when we return to campus.

Curriculum infusion efforts will continue as we offer our adapted programming to faculty to insert into course planning and professional staff continue to teach courses related to gender and violence.

Programming to targeted populations will continue through our adapted curriculum pending student organizations’ requests and time constraints.

The chart below details our adjusted programming offerings.

Healthy Masculinity ●       Awareness

●       Gender socialization

●       Skill-building

●       Healthy Relationships

●       Engaging boys and men as allies in violence prevention

●       Address various elements of rape culture

●       CDC

One Love’s Escalation Workshop ●       Resources

●       Bystander Intervention

●       Skill-building

●       Healthy Relationships

●       Recognizing domestic violence and stalking

●       Uses familiar scenarios

●       Address various elements of rape culture

●       Bystander Intervention

●       CDC, VAWA, Clery

Green Dot ●       Bystander Intervention

●       Uses familiar scenarios

●       Skill-building

●       Bystander Intervention

●       CDC, VAWA, Clery

Supporting Survivors ●       Resources

●       Awareness

●       Environment of Support

●       Understanding Legality and Policy

●       Responsiveness to sociopolitical events/climate

●       Skill-building

●       Environment of Support

●       CDC

 

Hours

Monday: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Tuesday: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Thursday: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Friday: 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday: Closed

When TCNJ has an emergency closure, AVI also closes.

View Emergency & After-Hours Care Options

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Anti-Violence Initiatives has moved to a teletherapy format for the duration of the physical distancing period. Services are available by appointment and can be scheduled via the OWL portal.
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