For students who need to talk to someone about dating violence, there is a new place on campus you can go. The Victim Advocacy Office, part of the Safe Campus Project, is now open for anyone who has been a victim of sexual assault, knows someone who has been a victim or just wants more information on the subject.
“It’s a place where people can come and receive support,” said Carey Nason, the project coordinator for the Safe Campus Project.
The drop-in office opened Feb. 25 and is staffed by employees of Spruce Run and Rape Response Services, as well as two graduate assistants who were trained by those organizations. Nason said she hopes the office will help raise awareness and provide education and support for anyone who needs to talk about dating violence, sexual assault or stalking.
“We do a lot of outreach,” she said.
Located in 201 East Annex, the office is open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays or any time by appointment. All services are confidential and free to anyone.
The Safe Campus Project, which aims to end violence against women in the university community, is supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice and combines victim advocacy with prevention programming, according to their Web site at www.umaine.edu/safecampusproject.
Nason said many people have had a hand in making the Victim Advocacy Office and the Safe Campus Project possible.
“It’s taken the collaboration of many university departments and community agencies for this to occur,” Nason said.
Since the office is still new, Nason said she hopes to see some long-term effects and benefits of having this sort of support system on campus.
If you have any questions about the office, contact Carey Nason at 581-2515 or visit their Web site.