Washington, D.C. – The American Institutes for Research (AIR) developed a collection of guides and online training for college campus health staff caring for students who have experienced sexual assault and other trauma. The toolkit, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, was recently released by the White House during the Violence Against Women Act's 21st anniversary.
AIR developed the Safe Place toolkit in response to increasing reports of campus sexual assault. The American Association of American Universities found that about a quarter of undergraduate women report being the victim of sexual assault or misconduct since beginning college. Previous studies suggest roughly one in five women nationally is sexually assaulted while in college.
“Ensuring campus health center staff—from receptionists to clinicians—use trauma-sensitive approaches is key to providing the best care for students who have gone through sexual abuse and other traumatic events,” said David Osher, AIR vice president and principal investigator for AIR’s National Center for Safe, Supportive Learning Environment (NCSSLE). “If they don’t, these students can be re-traumatized or take longer to recover.”
Safe Place is designed for campus health staff of all levels, including managers, receptionists, clinicians and volunteers. Resources include basic training in trauma and trauma-sensitive care; guidance on policies; and how to implement training for staff in various roles.
The toolkit is part of a diverse library of materials commissioned by the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault to help colleges create campus-wide plans to address sexual assault at their institutions. It can be found at http://safesupportivelearning.ed.gov/Trauma-Sensitive-Campus-Health-Centers.
Established in 1946, with headquarters in Washington, D.C., the American Institutes for Research (AIR) is a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization that conducts behavioral and social science research and delivers technical assistance both domestically and internationally in the areas of health, education, and workforce productivity. For more information, visit www.air.org.