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.
How does my group become a part of the network?
A series of action steps are below to guide your group to becoming a part of the Anti-Violence Engagement Network. All groups who complete these and track their progress, while working with an assigned staff member, will be acknowledged annually as members of the network.
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. We are also collaborating with ASAP (Abuse and Sexual Assault Prevention) on their annual Got Consent? Campaign. Moving forward, the campaign will only feature groups that are part of the network.
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.
AVEN ACTION STEPS:
Step One: Appoint a Liaison in Your Group and Connect with PVP Staff.
This person will be responsible for overseeing your group's ongoing efforts to be actively engaged in violence prevention and well informed about campus resources. The liaison will be expected to attend the Student Anti-Violence Advocate Training and to sit on the PVP Student Advisory Board. Someone will mentor and support your group as you work towards becoming a part of the network. They will help you work through all the steps below, track your progress, and brainstorm ways to address your group's specific needs.
Step Two: Assess Your Group's Needs.
The members of your group will complete an anonymous survey to capture what they already know and what they hope to gain from the program. The survey will also help your PVP staff mentor better understand the climate and needs of your group.
Step Three: Educate Your Members.
PVP offers a range of workshops that address things like being an active bystander and recognizing unhealthy relationships. You can work with your PVP point person to determine what would be the most useful program for your group. Click here to see the workshops and request one online!
Step Four: Promote and Attend Campus Wide Events.
Help promote healthier culture and attitudes and show your support for survivors by attending important events like Take Back the Night and The Vagina Monologues. Attending events as a group not only benefits your members, but also adds your group's voice to the conversation, which helps set healthy and inclusive community standards,
Step Five: Include an Anti-Violence Statement in Your Constitution
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. It is also an opportunity to point to the campus wide student conduct policies.
Step Six: Think About Your Groups Messaging
Language plays a big role in our perceptions of others and what they represent. Pay attention to the ways in which your group may contribute to rape culture (ex: victim blaming, objectifying people, and trivializing violence) through marketing materials, speakers, party names, and interview questions.