That question was explored at a round table discussion that I participated in along with leaders from several schools, colleges and law enforcement agencies. We discussed the importance of having a comprehensive plan in place before an event on your college campus or high school as being critical if you expect victims to make timely reports. To be comprehensive, that plan should be well publicized and include multiple pathways for the victim to seek help.
Build trust with your students by sharing the plan and having ready a diverse Team of medical, mental health, student life/human resource representatives, law enforcement professionals and trusted support agencies like Woman Organized Against Rape to immediate support the victim.
The focus needs to be on protecting the rights and health of the victim. They will need clear, responsible information at a time they may be in crisis. Plan to meet that need with the right people, procedures and process
The take away from the round table discussion, that included officials from several Colleges, Universities and High School; was that involving all stakeholders in the plan before the crisis is key to protecting the victims and the accused.
Radnor Township Police Chief William Colarulo facilitated the discussion along with Delaware County District Attorney Jack Whelan. Leaders form several colleges and private high school also contributed.
- Photo by Pete Bannon of the Main Line Times