Women Organized Against Rape recently opened a satellite office on Main Campus. WOAR’s staff offers 24-hour support on campus for survivors of sexual assault and sexual violence. With this office, the university is taking a huge step forward in terms of offering support for survivors.
This office arrives almost two years after the university was investigated by the U.S. Department of Education for possible Title IX violations regarding the handling of sexual violence and misconduct.
We’re relieved to see that the university is taking the concerns raised by this investigation seriously.
Students will no longer have to question if it’s best to go to places like Temple Police, the Wellness Resource Center or Tuttleman Counseling Services to receive help. And as a third party service, WOAR will hopefully encourage more survivors to come forward for confidential help without any qualms about university involvement.
Kelly Dawson, Temple Student Government’s vice president of Internal Services, said having the center separate from the university was important.
“There can be concerns about the politics of accusing someone,” Dawson said.
When students call the WOAR hotline at 215-985-3333, they will have access to university resources, but won’t be obligated to submit personal information. Instead, WOAR will provide numerical data to Temple, but not names of those seeking help.
“They’ll let me know if [they] have any type of data that’s useful for patterns,” said Andrea Seiss, Temple’s Title IX coordinator.
This relationship is essential in offering student survivors the respect and privacy they deserve while allowing the university to access data important to combat sexual assault on campus.
Sexual assault is a serious problem many students face. We are glad that with WOAR, they won’t have to face it alone.