Safe Haven partnership to strengthen Title IX resources on campus

Alayna Ross

Ashland University announced that is will be combining forces with Safe Haven of Ashland, Ohio, and will be applying a $10,000 Strengthening Partnerships Grant from the Ohio Department of Higher Education to bring awareness, education and proven forms of sexual assault prevention to the AU community.

Safe Haven was originally brought to AU’s campus because state coalitions started providing more training and information to campuses, as well as rape crisis centers all across the state of Ohio. Through these trainings, the Ashland Community recognized a gap in the services that needed to be filled.

Safe Haven and Ashland University work collectively to ensure all gaps are filled and the assistance needed for students on campus are provided.

Dr. Robert Pool, vice president of student affairs and Title IX coordinator for students, explains the various services AU uses to provide support for students.

“AU partners with several Community supports, including Safe Haven, Ashland Police Department, Local hospital staff, and provides confidential resources to help students’ get help and get answers,” Pool said. “We also work hard to address immediate and long term safety, privacy and fairness needs.”

Alison Webb, Outreach and Prevention Coordinator at Safe Haven in Ashland, said Safe Haven started as a rape crisis hotline in 1997, in 2000 they began providing hospital advocacy and in 2006, they opened the doors to our emergency shelter.

“Safe Haven is a program of Appleseed Community Mental Health Center which means we have direct access to things such as counseling and substance use treatment that other victim service programs might not have direct access to,” Webb said.

Overall, Safe Haven offers emergency shelter, a 24/7 Confidential Hotline, campus, court, and hospital advocacy, community outreach and education, and support groups for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. Specifically, the Campus Advocate offers Title IX advocacy, personalized safety planning, additional resources and education, and facilitation of a support group specifically for students on campus.

Safe Haven worked with Ashland University to bring an advocate to campus for students and staff who may have experienced domestic or sexual violence in their life either before or during their time at AU.

The Campus Advocate is a confidential resource on campus. This means that anything shared with the Campus Advocate is not reported to the university unless the person disclosing information wants to report. The only exception is if someone were to disclose wanting to harm themselves or others.

Hannah Shaw, a 2019 graduate of Ashland University with a bachelors in social work, has recently been hired as the AU Campus Advocate from Safe Haven for this year.

“When students visit the campus advocate they can expect a listening ear, a non-judgement space to share anything they want, and they can expect to be believed and supported in their story and decisions,” Shaw said. “They can expect to be able to work with the trained advocate to come up with a personalized safety plan that best fits their situation and needs as well as gain more knowledge about other resources offered and at their disposal.”

Shaw has an office space on campus in the basement of the Library in the Reinhart Center, office 17. There are also office hours Tuesdays and Wednesdays 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The 24/7 Safe Haven hotline is 419-289-8085 to speak to a trained advocate. For those looking to contact Hannah Shaw, her email is [email protected] or you can call the hotline and ask for Shaw specifically.

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