CampusLife

Wellness Center

About Sexual Violence Resources

The Wellness Center houses two confidential victim advocates who are trained to work with survivors of sexual violence, relationship violence, and stalking. Advocacy is survivor-driven and designed to empower survivors to make informed decisions about their health, emotional well-being, and the adjudication process.

Consider reaching out to a confidential victim advocate:

What Do Services Look Like?

Sexual assault resources, including victim advocacy, are divided into two primary categories: Immediate support and Follow-up support. Below we define each category to help explain what the support looks like.

Immediate support: 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: A thorough review of on and off campus resources. Below are some of the options listed:

  • Counseling can help survivors understand, process, and develop new strategies to cope with difficult feelings in the 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 victim/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 victims/survivors on campus. A phased implementation of recommendations began in summer 2009.

A number of the recommendations are under implementation:

  • We have hired a full-time Sexual Assault Prevention Coordinator, who serves as a confidential victim advocate.
  • We have also hired a second, full-time Victim Advocacy Coordinator
  • We are continually reviewing the Student Conduct Code's provisions around sexual misconduct to ensure they reflect best practices.
  • Additional changes will occur as we work to enhance and publicize services on campus.

This website content was developed by the Working group. If you have any questions, concerns, or comments about the website, please contact Daniel Rappaport, Sexual Assault Prevention Coordinator, at rappapor@american.edu or 202-885-3055.

If you would be interested in becoming involved in the Working Group, please contact Michelle Espinosa, Associate Dean of Students.