12-Member Task Force Includes YWCA Bergen County CEO Helen Archontou
June 26, 2017—On Monday, June 26, the NJ Task Force on Campus Sexual Assault released its report Addressing Campus Sexual Violence: Creating Safer Higher Education Communities in a press conference with Task Force bill co-sponsors Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle and New Jersey State Senator Sandra B. Cunningham as well as Task Force co-chair Patricia Teffenhart of New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Task Force member Dr. Sarah McMahon of Center on Violence Against Women and Children. The 12-member Task Force also includes YWCA Bergen County CEO Helen Archontou along with members from state government agencies, Rutgers University—Newark, Drew University, Montclair State University, County College of Morris, AAUW of New Jersey, and Bramnick Law.
The 12-member Task Force first convened on June 22, 2016, and spent a year hearing from experts and reviewing research and best practices for sexual violence prevention and response on college and university campuses. The Task Force recommendations are intended to inform policy and process considerations by campus administrators and the legislature with the goal of reducing the incidence of campus sexual violence.
Among the recommendations, each higher education institution should conduct a sexual violence climate survey, tailored to the school, every three to four years. Results from this validated research tool should be shared with the campus community, with the data dictating an action plan. Action plans should evaluate implementation of policies, programs, or procedures in an ongoing manner to ensure effectiveness. Each institution should develop an investigation and adjudication model appropriate to the needs of the community, and that process should ensure the protection of the rights of all students. Campuses should collaborate with county-based rape crisis centers, county Sexual Assault Response Teams (SART), and other community resources to provide prevention and intervention services. Another finding detailed in the comprehensive report includes the proposal that sexual violence education begin in middle and high school, with a primary prevention task force created to research curriculum best practices.
Read the Report:
Review Press Highlights:
Channel 69 News WFMZ-TV: N.J. Task Force on Campus Sexual Assault releases report
News 12 New Jersey: Sexual assault task force releases data, recommendations for safer campuses
Philadelphia Inquirer: N.J. task force has to-do list for colleges on curbing sex assaults
Shore News Today / The Press of Atlantic City: Task force calls for multi-faceted approach to stop campus sex assault
U.S. News and World Report: Panel: New Jersey Colleges Offered Plan to Stem Sex Assaults
About YWCA Bergen County
YWCA Bergen County (www.ywcannj.org) is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. We are the area’s largest provider of childcare services, a recognized leader in health and fitness programs, and operator of healingSPACE, Bergen County’s only Sexual Violence Resource Center. Celebrating nearly a century of commitment to our community, today we improve the lives of thousands of women, girls, and their families. Follow us on Facebook (@YWCABergenCounty), Twitter (@YWBergen), Instagram (ywca_bc), and LinkedIn.