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How Can Post-Secondary Institutions Assess Risk Posed by Gender-based Violence?

Join Courage to Act members nationwide for our third Courage Challenge of 2024! This month, we’re diving into risk assessments. To get started, check out our new Learning Guide for A Gender-Based and Sexualized Violence Community Risk Assessment for Post-Secondary Settings

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Post-secondary institutions (PSIs) need risk assessment tools to identify areas where gender-based and sexualized violence risk can be managed or mitigated. They can be used case-by-case to create a safety plan, determine appropriate accommodations or modifications to protect and support the survivor, and make decisions about the person who caused harm. Risk assessment tools can also be used by administrators to evaluate how they can keep the larger post-secondary community and campus safe by helping to identify where improvements could be made to bolster institutional resources, address gaps in policies and procedures, or implement changes to toxic cultures within learning and non-learning environments.

However, existing risk assessment tools have limited applicability to PSIs as they do not address the nuanced experiences of racialized, gender diverse, and/or disabled students and staff on campus; are often optimized to assess the risk of specific populations; or are intended to be used by law enforcement. We need a tool that, while structured and empirically supported, does not rely on criminality, especially as many survivors of violence within PSIs know their assailants.

Fortunately, Possibility Seeds developed the first non-forensic risk tool that considers the unique context of a post-secondary institution. It assesses community risk in a survivor-centered and trauma- and violence-informed way and provides a strong starting point for assessing risks for gender-based and sexualized violence at the individual and institutional levels.

This month’s challenge will support you in acquiring foundational knowledge to engage with and apply this unique and much-needed tool to support a safer post-secondary community. 

 

About the Learning Guide for A Gender-Based and Sexualized Violence Community Risk Assessment for Post-Secondary Settings

Possibility Seeds is thrilled to offer this free, self-paced learning guide that serves as a roadmap for engaging with the first non-forensic risk tool that considers the unique context of a post-secondary institution, A Gender-Based and Sexualized Violence Community Risk Assessment for Post-Secondary Settings

This learning guide is intended for any support person at a post-secondary institution charged with responding to and supporting those impacted by gender-based and sexualized violence to learn foundational knowledge on risk assessments and a frame of reference for the Tool; engage with each section of the Tool and apply what you’ve learned; and reflect on how the Tool can be used to identify areas in which your post-secondary institution may focus attention and bolster resources to address the harm done and to prevent further incidents. 

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