Thompson Rivers University

Community and campus connectedness key to violence prevention

  Posted on: February 2, 2017

Amber Huva, Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Manager, attended the 2017 NASPA Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Conference: A NASPA Strategies Conference in Austin, Texas. Following the three-day event, Amber reflected on the illuminating and empowering experience.

“Working alongside people who are engaged in this important and complex work is always invigorating,” Amber said. “It was exciting to hear details about programming and support options, and gave me some inspiration about what kinds of work we could do on our campus.”

Most striking of all was the community connectedness that further strengthens sexual violence prevention and support initiatives. “There is a lot of collaborative work happening between different departments and services within universities—across health and wellness services, peer educators, mentors and leadership studies. The campuses have some well-rooted partnerships to carry out the work.”

“We all have a collective responsibility to engage in this work. Of course, we all have important pieces to bring to the table. Why not work together closely?”

The seminars covered “intersectionality; who we are in the world and how it shapes us, how we experience violence, respond to violence, and how we develop our programming for folks who are experiencing or responding to violence.”

Amber continued, “There is no one size fits all approach, and we need to invest time and develop relationships to create strategies and programming that reflects the diversity of our campus.”

Other workshops focused on engaging male-identified individuals in anti-violence work on campuses, which piqued Amber’s curiosity about “whether there could be any interest on our campus about that kind of programming.”

Other campuses are implementing semester-long courses “designed to engage students on a longer term in anti-violence and social justice work as community change makers and possible peer educators.”

Following the many conversations and educational sessions, Amber reported that the conference was a tremendous success. Ultimately, Amber’s goal is to help implement fresh initiatives into her work, draw community and campus closer together, and ensure that survivors of sexual violence receive appropriate and necessary support.

“Given the newness of my position, I’m grateful to have opportunities that connect me with various community and university based resources.  Investing in the expertise of other organizations further bolster’s TRU’s informed efforts to prevent and respond to sexual violence.”

For more information about Amber Huva and sexual violence prevention initiatives, please visit the website