OASIS: Advocacy Services
The Wellness Center houses OASIS: the Office of Advocacy Services for Interpersonal and Sexual Violence. Our confidential victim advocates are trained to work with survivors of sexual violence, interpersonal violence, and stalking. Advocacy is survivor-driven and intended to empower survivors to make informed decisions about their health, emotional well-being, and the adjudication process.
Contact OASIS at OASIS@american.edu or (202)-885-7070.
What Do Services Look Like?
Sexual assault resources, including victim advocacy, are divided into two primary categories: immediate and follow-up services. Below, we define each category to help explain what the support looks like.
Immediate support includes resources, recommendations, and helpful guidelines to assist in the aftermath of an assault. Reactions to trauma vary drastically from individual to individual. In order to help survivors understand the wide array of possible feelings and actions, we discuss some “common reactions” to trauma and remind survivors that their feelings are normal.
Follow-up support includes a thorough review of advocacy services and on and off campus resources. Some of these options include:
- Counseling can help survivors understand, process, and develop new strategies to cope with difficult feelings after experiencing trauma.
- Academic assistance is available for survivors who may need administrative communication with professors in order to ease academic issues that arise from an assault.
- Legal assistance is available off-campus from the advocacy group NVRDC.
- Housing can be altered in order to meet the needs of a survivor.
- Medical attention is encouraged for victims/survivors in order to check for STI’s, pregnancy, and possible internal or external injuries.
- Additional resources are available through offices who offer services to specific populations on campus.
The Sexual Assault Working Group
The Sexual Assault Working Group, convened by the Dean of Students in spring 2009, issued recommendations to enhance support services for survivors on campus. A phased implementation of recommendations began in summer 2009.
Today, faculty, students, staff, and administrators meet regularly to assess, improve, and enhance our response and prevention efforts on campus. The Steering Committee meets every other week, with subcommittees (policy, assessment, education, and survivor support) meeting on the off weeks.
Initiatives for the 2014-2015 academic year include the following:
- Secured funding for a second, full-time victim advocate.
- Undertaken a thorough review of both University policy and the Student Conduct Code. Changes include the addition of the category of sexual exploitation and the expansion of victim rights.
- Launched the Office of Advocacy Services for Interpersonal and Sexual Violence (OASIS) within the Wellness Center.
- Revised promotional materials to reflect the launch of OASIS and to highlight enhanced services and updated policies.
- Conducted a review of online education programs that address sexual violence and alcohol abuse. Additional information is forthcoming.
- Drafted an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) for acceptance by the Metropolitan Police Department.
- Developed flow charts that displays campus resources, clearly identifying those which are confidential and those which are not.
- Assisted with the implementation of both Dr. Jane Palmer's survey on victimization, as well as the National College Health Assessment survey. These surveys measure victimization rates as well as response and prevention measures.
This website content was developed by the Working Group. If you have any questions, concerns, or comments about the website, please contact Sara Yzaguirre, Coordinator for Victim Advocacy Services.
If you would be interested in becoming involved in the Working Group, please contact Robert Hradsky, Assistant Vice President, Dean of Students, and Title IX Coordinator.