The College Program
Peer-led education and advocacy workshops preventing sexual violence and promoting sexual wellbeing in tertiary learning communities.
The College Program is an initiative by The STOP Campaign for tertiary students in residential halls. This project began in 2019, although was put on hold, until 2022 with support from White Ribbon Australia and funding from the Department of Social Services (DSS) as part of the National Community Action Group Program.
What it is
The College Program is a series of peer-led education and advocacy workshops with tertiary students in residential halls to prevent sexual violence and promote sexual wellbeing, currently in development and to be facilitated in 2023. The Program is being developed by The STOP Campaign with support from White Ribbon Australia and funding from the Department of Social Services (DSS) as part of the National Community Action Group Program. The STOP Campaign’s College Program was chosen as the ACT’s Community Action Group primary prevention activity and will receive up to $30,000 to develop and facilitate the Program to further the purposes and outcomes of the Australian Government’s National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010 – 2022.
The key objectives of the College Program are to:
Destigmatise discussions surrounding sex and sexual violence, and promote sexual wellbeing
Discuss the behaviours, institutional structures and cultural norms that drive sexual violence and how these can be mitigated or eliminated
Provide evidence-informed and trauma-informed resources on sexual violence, consent, health and wellbeing, designed for residential hall students
Lead discussions with students in leadership or pastoral care positions on safely responding to disclosures and critical incidents, how to be an effective bystander and supporter, and dealing with vicarious trauma and burnout
Recommend trauma-informed policies and procedures that promote the safety of victim-survivors
Empower students to engage in sexual violence activism and advocate for positive sociocultural change in their communities.
These objectives align with The STOP Campaign’s primary prevention efforts in the sexual violence space. Our projects are underpinned by a whole-of-community approach when identifying and addressing the underlying drivers of gender-based and sexual violence to prevent violence before it occurs. The College Program aligns with the Campaign’s vision of tertiary learning communities that are free from sexual violence and stigmatisation by equipping students and staff with the tools to identify the factors that lead to sexual violence and step in to prevent it. The Program also aims to empower participants to safely and effectively support their peers who experience sexual violence and engage in activism and advocacy, which are integral to achieving our vision.
Workshops will be co-facilitated by members of The STOP Campaign, student leaders and community stakeholders. Facilitators will be trained and supported to develop the detailed subject matter knowledge and skills necessary to deliver workshops in a safe, trauma-informed and engaging way. The content of each workshop will be curated in collaboration with student leadership and residential hall administration. This will allow The STOP Campaign to create catered sessions that are relevant to each community and its leaders that are informed by the lived experiences of victim-survivors, supporters, activists and students. As part of the Program, we will also provide participants with a suite of resources created by the Campaign in collaboration with community experts and stakeholders to supplement the content of each workshop. The combination of collaborative workshops and comprehensive resources is vital to support effective peer-led advocacy and education in this context.
Program Content and Structure
The 2022-23 College Program is made up of several modules addressing key topics on sexual violence prevention, sexual wellbeing, destigmatisation and advocacy. Each module will involve a group discussion of the topic, relevant resources, and practical activity.
The purpose of the module structure is to allow leadership teams / residential hall staff to select modules that will be most beneficial to their communities and cohorts. Sessions can then be more easily tailored to the needs of each community. There are also several key topics listed below that will be discussed in every College Program session.
So far, The STOP Campaign is in the process of developing the modules for launch in early 2023.