CARE to Stop Violence Peer Programs Accomplishments

Advocacy 

CARE to Stop Violence’s Advocacy Program assists those of the UMD community that have been impacted by issues of sexual misconduct. These issues include: sexual assault, rape, relationship violence, stalking, sexual harassment and sexual exploitation. Through advocacy sessions, clients can receive crisis intervention, emotional support, housing and food resources, referrals to medical and mental health providers and limited academic and financial support.

As you can imagine, our Advocates were very busy during the 2016/2017 school year. CARE saw over 100 new advocacy clients and conducted over 200 advocacy sessions (this includes new clients as well as clients that returned multiple times). In addition to face to face contact with clients, Advocates are also charged with managing a crisis cell phone. This allows victims to reach out to the Advocates after hours if they’re in crisis or in need of assistance. Last year CARE received 80 crisis cell calls. While also providing services to clients, last year was the second year of the revamped CARE Peer Advocacy Program. This is a highly competitive and selective program in which 5-6 undergrad and graduate students are selected to meet with clients and address their needs. Under the supervision of the Lead Advocate, Peer Advocates undergo an intensive 40 hour crisis intervention training before the school year begins in preparation for interacting with clients. The students are also involved in a two semester course that yields a total of 6 credits (3 credits in the fall and 3 credits in the spring). In this course, which is taught by the Lead Advocate, Peer Advocates continue to explore skills that will assist them in interacting with clients while also examining (through literature) societal norms that perpetuate issues of sexual misconduct.

Take Back the Night (TBTN) is one of the many events that CARE executes to bring awareness to issues of sexual and relationship violence. Every year the Peer Advocates select a new theme that focuses on the dynamics of sexual violence. Last year the theme was Debunking Rape Myths. As part of their experience in the office, the Peer Advocates were given the task of planning and implementing the event. With last year yielding 106 attendees, the event was one of the highest attended TBTN events since CARE’s involvement. With each academic year, we hope more members of the UMD community will attend and walk away with an increased knowledge of the dynamics surrounding sexual violence.

Education

CARE to Stop Violence Peer Educators participate in a competitive interview process in the Spring semester, mandatory 40 hour training the week before classes begin, and enroll in a 3 credit class each Fall and Spring semester to sharpen content knowledge and learn the necessar

y components of college health programming. The CARE to Stop Violence Peer Education team had an extremely productive and exciting 2016-2017 academic year! The CARE team started with a committed group of eight new peer educators and through a combination of workshops, presentations, and events that small group of students reached 4500 campus community members wit

h messages about power-based violence prevention! Though in its 14th established year at UMD the CARE peers continue to explore new ways to reach the community, this year that included initiating bystander intervention education efforts at some of the local bars in College Park. The CARE Peers are proud to regularly be invited to educate the campus community through partnerships with the Department of Fraternity and Sorority Life, Athletics, and Resident Life, and increasingly value budding collaborative opportunities with passionate student groups like Preventing Sexual Assault (PSA) and the Alliance for Sexual Assault Prevention (ASAP). The CARE team is excited to see how we can increase the scope of the work we do for the next upcoming year.

Outreach

The CARE Outreach Team’s mission, membership, and scope grew significantly during the 2016-2017 school year. The Outreach Team consists of a mix of students and staff members who are responsible for spreading awareness across campus about CARE’s advocacy, therapy, and education services, as well as conducting outreach to traditionally underserved communities on campus. The Outreach Team hosted two large events: Purple Light Night in October (Domestic Violence Awareness Month), which raised money for CARE’s Victim Assistance Fund and heightened awareness of relationship violence, and Step UP for Spring, which encouraged students to practice bystander intervention through engaging games. The Team also worked with a number of organizations across campus to co-sponsor and/or support their events, such as screenings of “Audrie & Daisy” and “It Happened Here,” a lecture by Andrea Pino and Annie Clark from “The Hunting Ground,” and many other mental health and power-based violence events. A number of these events specifically focused on getting resources and information to underserved populations on campus, such as AAPI students, Graduate students, International students, and more! A focus group with Graduate students was held in December in order to discover and address their unique needs. CARE’s Outreach Team also tabled more than 20 times throughout the year, including at the Faculty/Staff Wellness Fair, the UMD Disability Summit, a Good Morning Commuters breakfast, and many more! The CARE Outreach Team is excited to continue to build on this successful year in order to bring information, resources, and support to all UMD students, faculty, and staff.