Anti-Violence Engagement Network (AVEN)

Sexual violence is a community problem that needs community based solutions. Student groups play an important role on campus in creating culture, setting standards for appropriate behavior, and supporting students. We are launching a new program to work closely with student groups that want to be part of the solution.

Applications for the 2018-2019 school year are now closed. 

How does my group become a part of the network?
Groups can apply to become AVEN groups by submitting the form below and then getting at least 50% of active members to fill out the AVEN survey during the month of September. Groups that complete those steps will then be invited to become a part of AVEN and take part in the monthly action steps. Groups who complete these and track their progress, while working with an assigned staff member, will be acknowledged annually as members of the network. This program is not designed for umbrella groups, and we will consider taking umbrella groups on a case-by-case basis. We recommend that umbrella groups who are interested in joining AVEN instead identify a constituent group to join the network instead. 

Why should my group participate?
Because you care! You have the power to help create change on campus and to send the message that the Penn community does not tolerate interpersonal violence. By taking a pro-active approach to preventing violence, you will also be supporting survivors, and helping to create an environment where they do not fear negative social consequences for seeking help. Participating will not ensure that your group is a safe space for everyone or that incidents of sexual violence will not occur, but we do hope it can help create a culture where those behaviors are not normalized.

How will we be recognized?
At the end of each academic year, we will publish a list of groups who are a part of the network and we will host an annual celebration to acknowledge the commitment of those groups. Participating groups will also be acknowledged through the PVP social media platforms throughout the year.

Is this an ongoing commitment?
Yes. Groups must complete the action steps on an annual basis, within a given academic year (Sept-April), in order to remain members of the network.

What if not all members of our group want to participate?
It is important that this is a commitment your group makes collectively with the support of all members. We are happy to talk through any questions or concerns that students have.


September - Apply and Complete AVEN Survey

  • Decide who in your group will be responsible for overseeing your group's ongoing efforts to be actively engaged in violence prevention and well informed about campus resources. This does NOT need to be a board member. We recommend having two AVEN representatives with one being an upperclassman and the other a lowerclassman. The liaisons will be connected with a PVP staff member to help assess your group's needs and customize your programs.

  • Before the end of September, at least half of active members must complete the AVEN survey for the group to be eligible to be in the AVEN program.

October - Survivor Support Training

  • At least three group members must attend Suvivor Support Training.

November - Resource Workshop

  • A PVP staff member or peer educator will come to a group meeting to lead a discussion on campus resources.

December - Community Representative Meeting

  • All liaisons will attend a community representative meeting to discuss their experiences with AVEN and learn from each other.

January/February - Peer Education Workshop

  • AVEN organizations will request and receive a peer education workshop from either MARS or PAVE. Potential workshops are PAVE's bystander intervention workshop, MARS's consent workshop, and MARS's masculinity workshop.

March - Constitution Amendment

  • Your group's constitution is a part of how you share your culture and values with the student body. This is an opportunity to make an explicit statement about the importance of creating an inclusive environment that does not promote violence or discrimination.

April - Take Back the Night + AVEN Community Rep Meeting 

  • Take Back the Night is an annual march and survivor speak out and is one of the most powerful events on Penn's campus. We ask that AVEN groups encourage their members to attend and take part in the march.
  • At the community rep meeting, AVEN liaisons will discuss their experiences with AVEN and learn from each other. This meeting will also be an opportunity to celebrate the work you have put in over the year! 

Applications for the 2018-2019 school year are now closed.