Thursday, May 21, 2015

Culture of Respect

By Allison Tombros Korman, Executive Director, Culture of Respect

An estimated one in five undergraduate women and one in sixteen undergraduate men experience attempted or completed sexual assault while attending college. Campus sexual assault is a decades-old problem affecting millions of young American women and men — a problem which is finally receiving the national attention it merits.

Many of the pieces necessary to change the culture on college and university campuses are in place. Pressure from survivors, student activists, the White House, the Justice and Education Departments, state governments, the press, documentary film makers, parents and the public have focused attention and demands on colleges and universities to acknowledge and deal with the problem of campus sexual assault. Colleges and universities should embrace this moment of awareness and combat campus sexual assault holistically and head-on.

Culture of Respect is an independent nonprofit organization founded in 2013 to strengthen sexual assault prevention and response efforts on college and university campuses in the United States. Culture of Respect offers higher education leaders an actionable framework for eliminating sexual assault: the CORE (Culture of Respect Engagement) Blueprint is a six-point strategic roadmap to integrating the most effective evidence-based and research‐informed approaches to campus sexual assault prevention and response and to changing behavior across all constituent groups — students, parents, faculty, administrators, health professionals, athletes, student leaders and more. It includes a robust self-assessment (the CORE Evaluation) for schools to measure their progress as they work to shift campus culture to one in which sexual violence becomes intolerable and unacceptable.

Our goal is to help colleges and universities create a Culture of Respect on every campus and we provide support in a variety of ways to make this a reality. Any institution of higher education can:

  • Utilize the CORE Blueprint and CORE Evaluation to guide them as they design or revise their sexual assault prevention and response efforts.
  • Participate in our Pilot Program to assess the outcomes of the CORE Blueprint and CORE Evaluation on college campuses. We help Pilots develop and execute an Individualized Implementation Plan, provide free technical assistance, and benchmark progress in preventing and responding to campus sexual assault.
  • Host a Culture of Respect event. We provide support to any administrator, student or parent group in hosting a Culture of Respect event. We supply flags and stickers for branding, educational materials and other support as needed for an awareness or activism event.
  • Tell us about your work. We are always interested to learn about campuses which are thinking of new ways to create a Culture of Respect. If your campus is engaged in innovative work, we’d like to hear about it.
At Culture of Respect, we look forward to working with all campus stakeholders — administrators, faculty, staff, students and parents — as well as colleagues like CalVCP to end campus sexual assault and restore the promise of higher education to every student.

Allison Tombros Korman is Executive Director of Culture of Respect, an organization dedicated to ending campus sexual assault. Culture of Respect provides tools, including the CORE Blueprint, to aid all constituents at colleges and universities in their work to end sexual violence and restore the promise of higher education. In her role, Alli works to ensure that all higher education institutions, wherever they may be on the road to creating their own campus’ culture of respect, have the resources they need to achieve this mission and the opportunity to learn from evidence-based research and the best practices of their colleagues. Alli brings to Culture of Respect more than ten years’ experience in health policy, programming, and education with an emphasis on sexual and reproductive health and rights. She has provided management, support, and technical assistance to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and served as the Associate Director of Education for the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP) in Washington, DC.