W&M Task Force Implements Changes to Combat Sexual Assault

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The Task Force on Preventing Sexual Assault and Harassment made recommendations in four areas: campus climate, prevention and education, training for faculty and staff, and investigation and adjudication.  (Stephen Salpukas/College of William & Mary)
The Task Force on Preventing Sexual Assault and Harassment made recommendations in four areas: campus climate, prevention and education, training for faculty and staff, and investigation and adjudication. (Stephen Salpukas/College of William & Mary)

The College of William & Mary began the school year with new initiatives aimed at preventing sexual violence on campus.

The college’s Task Force on Preventing Sexual Assault and Harassment submitted its full report on ways to strengthen and expand efforts to raise awareness on the topic to President Taylor Reveley in June.

The task force named improving communication with students about the resources available to victims of sexual violence as an item for immediate action. To that end, a new website was launched to help answer questions about Title IX and sexual assault, and posters that read “I’ve been sexually assaulted and …” with a list options available to victims have been placed around campus.

“The task force heard too often that students weren’t sure where to go or who to contact either to report sexual misconduct or to find additional information,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Ginger Ambler, who chaired the task force. “… With improved communication and more robust, visible resource … we hope to reduce barriers and encourage more students to seek help when and if they need it, for themselves or for a friend.”

Ambler noted The Haven, which the task force opened last October as a center for advocacy and support where a student can report incidents confidentially, as one such resource.

William & Mary has also created several positions to expand the efforts to both support victims and prevent assaults – a Title IX investigator, a coordinator for The Haven and another full-time position for sexual assault education – and created a permanent committee to continue the work of the task force.

“I am very grateful to the members of the task force and its subcommittees for their extremely hard, conscientious work,” Reveley said in a campuswide message. “… They tackled pertinent issues in all their complexity and produced meaningful recommendations about how those of us at W&M can do better.”

To read more about the changes made because of the task force’s work, click here.