WOOSTER, Ohio — The College of Wooster and OneEighty—a nonprofit, community-based organization dedicated to the elimination of sexual violence in all its forms—today entered into a formal agreement to provide college students and employees 24-hour access to trauma-informed services and ongoing support, training, and prevention programming.
“The College of Wooster is committed to creating an equitable living and learning environment for all students, and an equitable working environment for staff and faculty that is free from sexual violence, harassment, and discrimination,” said Sarah Bolton, president of The College of Wooster. “Over the course of the last several years, we have brought a new focus to supporting those who have been harmed, as well as to equitable and respectful investigation and adjudication processes. OneEighty has played a vital role in helping us determine the particulars of what will work best on our campus while partnering with us to build our awareness, support, and prevention strategies. We are fortunate and grateful to have such an expert local partner in this crucial work.”
OneEighty is a recognized leader in providing comprehensive and compassionate services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in the greater Wooster community. Through direct services and education, OneEighty’s services touch more than 400 individuals annually.
OneEighty provides free, confidential services including a 24-hour hotline, therapeutic services, medical and legal advocacy, community education, and training for professionals. Professional mental health and substance abuse counseling is also available as well as empowerment-based services that focus on healing, support, and justice for victims of sexual assault. OneEighty accepts most insurances and victim compensation through the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and has a sliding fee sale.
“Our role is to provide support and care for victims, as well as to educate the community regarding the trauma of sexual assault,” said Wooster alumna Bobbi Douglas ‘80, the executive director of OneEighty. “We work with our many partners to implement prevention strategies and are proud of our collaboration with The College of Wooster. We think it will make a difference in the lives of many College of Wooster students.”
The College and OneEighty have collaborated for more than a decade on programs to prevent sexual violence on campus. An extension of OneEighty’s community-based programming, those initiatives have included numerous hours of educational presentations, direct advocacy, training for professional counseling staff, developing student organizations like Men Working for Change—the group’s powerful and unique work earned a spotlight in Sports Illustrated’s 2007 “Year in Sports” issue—and creating opportunities for students to volunteer at the OneEighty shelter or other OneEighty departments. Also of note, Wooster’s student a capella groups recently joined forces to create an annual concert with the proceeds benefitting OneEighty.
As part of the new formal agreement with OneEighty, Wooster students and employees have access to confidential crisis intervention, counseling, information and referral, and accompaniment to medical and legal services upon request; 24-hour rape crisis hotline services; additional training for health care and student services staff, officials, and students involved in student conduct proceedings; and a roster of pre-determined and customized trainings focused on both support and prevention. OneEighty also will actively participate in the College’s Working Group on Sexual Violence Prevention and Response, help design tools to assess the effectiveness of the College’s prevention and response program as well as provide recommendations for process improvement.
“OneEighty has been and continues to be a trusted and invaluable partner as we work to fulfill our commitment to ending sexual violence and to upholding fairness, transparency, and equity for all parties within our investigation and resolution processes,” added Lori Makin-Byrd, Wooster’s Title IX Coordinator and Director of Sexual Violence Prevention and Response. “I look forward to further strengthening our partnership with OneEighty in an effort to provide our campus community access to trauma-informed services and support.”