UI creates parent and family handbook on sexual assault prevention

The Anti-Violence Coalition, a multidisciplinary team focused on ensuring a coordinated community response to prevention and intervention of sexual misconduct, dating/domestic violence, and stalking, created a handbook with tangible tips and conversation starters to encourage dialogue between parents and students about sexual assault. Parents and families are key partners in helping students digest information about prevention and support for survivors.

A strategy to provide tools for parents to use in conversations with their students about healthy relationships, consent, and the use of alcohol is included in the UI 2018-2021 Anti-Violence Plan as the drafters recognized the role parents and families have in their students’ lives. Monique DiCarlo, Title IX Coordinator, director of the Office of the Sexual Misconduct Response Coordinator, and chair of the Anti-Violence Coalition charged a work group to take on this task.

“I am grateful that Susan Junis, Assistant Director of Prevention at RVAP, agreed to lead the work group,” stated DiCarlo. DiCarlo further explained, “Susan’s prevention expertise and commitment to ending sexual violence ensured the group had the handbook ready for use with our newest class of Hawkeye families.”

Throughout the spring 2019 semester, a work group, consisting of stakeholders and experts across campus and the community, met to create a resource to support parents and families. Quickly deciding to create a handbook based off of a similar handbook from the University of Wisconsin Madison, the group got to work to create a resource that would fit the needs of the University of Iowa. The handbook outlines definitions of common terms, details prevention efforts on campus, and clearly outlines how parents and families can support prevention through conversations about consent and bystander intervention, and shares ways to support survivors of interpersonal violence.

“We are grateful to our colleagues at UW-Madison for sharing their work, to our campus and community partners for their expertise, in allowing us to create something that meets our campus needs,” stated Susan Junis.

In addition to the handbook, parents and families can learn more about safety on campus, including other harm reduction strategies, during an Orientation presentation and by listening to the Safety@Iowa podcast in the UI Parent & Family Network Podcast Series. View the “Talking with Your Student about Sexual Assault and Dating Violence: A Parent and Family Handbook.”

2019 Year In Review

This article is part of the 2019 Year in Review, which highlights some of the Division of Student Life's accomplishments from the previous academic year.

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