The university’s approach to educating leaders of the athletic community and other groups regarding sexual assault prevention was highlighted as a best practice among higher education at the National Sexual Assault Conference earlier this month.
U-M staff presented the session, “Coaching to a Winning Prevention Season: Strategies for Developing and Delivering a Universal Coach Education Program on Campus,” at the annual conference sponsored by the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, the leading information and resource hub relating to all aspects of sexual violence.
“For NSAC 2015, we wanted to expand our campus workshops in order to provide participants with access to cutting-edge and promising programs that are being used on campuses across the country,” says Sari Lipsett, training and technical assistance coordinator at the California Coalition Against Sexual Assault, one of the conference sponsors.
“We want to promote models that are comprehensive and survivor-centered. With that, University of Michigan was selected because of its focus on educating campus leadership in order to prevent sexual assault on campus.”
Laura Blake Jones, dean of students; Holly-Rider Milkovich, director of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center; and Elizabeth Ritt, senior associate athletic director, delivered the U-M presentation, which focused on:
• Understanding the impact of sexual and gender-based violence on team cohesion and performance.
• Teaching bystander intervention strategies.
• Developing consistent team messaging and reinforcement.
• Understanding reporting responsibilities.
• Role modeling of appropriate and respectful behavior.
• Supporting affected student athletes.
Since 2013, all U-M coaches receive the annual training and assist in providing training to more than 900 student athletes to ensure everyone understands policy, how to report information and their individual role in bystander invention strategies.
The university’s educational outreach spans beyond athletics and includes other groups seen as leaders on campus, including Central Student Government, Greek Life, Marching Band, Reserve Officer Training Corps and others.