Photo by Nathan Boyd

Otterbein's CCRT (coordinated community response team) is coordinating with the Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Resource Center will begin to implement the strategies they have been working on since 2020.

On Oct. 23, 2020, Otterbein received a nearly $300,000 grant from the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) to improve protocols for preventing cases of DVSAS (domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking). Since then, the CCRT has been planning on how to raise awareness to the issues of these forms of violence.

Otterbein has had programs that work to prevent sexual violence on campus, but they have not had this level of funding.

Susan Wismar, OVW project director, has said that the main goal of the CCRT, which is comprised of staff and students, is to strategize and create long term preventative solutions to violence on campus. Prevention in this context refers to creating an environment that makes violence inaccessible.

          

Part of the reason the planning process takes time is because all plans must be submitted to a board for approval. The policies also need to work under trauma-informed care that is meant to help victims recover.

"The strength of a CCRT is having voices that represent all experiences on campus so that our services can reflect the needs of all survivors and include survivors that have traditionally been marginalized," Wismar said. 

In keeping with wanting to help those on the margins have their voice heard, the CCRT meetings are open to students. The next meeting will be on Nov. 30 in room 114 of Roush Hall from 10-11:30 a.m.