Safe Space Training
Preventing violent behavior among college students is a critical concern for Western and for institutions of higher education around the country. National data on violence against women on college campuses indicates that as many as 25 percent of college women may be the victims of sexual violence by the end of their college career, however fewer than 5 percent of sexual violence incidents are reported.
Consultation and Sexual Assault Support Services (CASAS) provides Western students who are victims of relationship violence or sexual assault with a coordinated campus-community response, including victim advocacy, crisis intervention, legal advocacy, disciplinary board advocacy, housing assistance, and referrals to counseling services. While CASAS services are widely publicized to students through a variety of campus media sources, only about 100 students each year utilize CASAS, which means many students who could benefit from CASAS services are not being reached.
In response to this need for increased referral to CASAS, we have created a curriculum and workshop to train faculty and staff members to be proactive allies to Western students who have experienced any form of relationship violence or sexual assault called the Safe Space Training. The workshop will explore issues surrounding relationship violence and sexual assault and teach participants to develop listening and support skills. At the workshop’s conclusion, participants will receive an information packet that includes CASAS brochures, posters, magnets, and resource cards to be displayed in their offices. Participants will also receive a “safe space/ally” sticker for their office window or door, which will indicate proof of workshop completion and serve as a way to communicate to students that their office is a safe space to disclose information.
As the Coordinator of CASAS, I encourage you and your staff to attend one of these workshops and renew your commitment to ending violence at Western. Please respond to this email to register for a workshop. For further information, please call me at 360.650.7982 or e-mail me at Katie.Plewa@wwu.edu