and intervention efforts and, therefore, need to be adequately prepared to deal with the problem.
A common obstacle to colleges and universities developing and implementing effective dating violence responses is that they often experience significant internal and external pressure to present the institution's campus as a safe and secure environment. Ironically, institutions that acknowledge dating violence and respond effectively provide much greater safety for students than institutions that create an illusion of safety through denial of the problem and subsequent inaction. In any case, such internal or external pressures should not take priority over victim safety.
a.Colleges and universities should create a domestic violence response team made up of school personnel and students who have received specialized training on domestic violence that prepares them to conduct assessments, assist victims with safety planning, make appropriate referrals to local domestic violence service providers, and facilitate linkages to appropriate services.
Response teams should consist of personnel from all levels of the institution including faculty, administrators, student advisors, staff psychologists, housing personnel, health care providers, and student peers. Participants on the team should be screened to ensure appropriateness for participation.
Response team members should routinely inform the student of the limitations to confidentiality as part of conducting assessments and making appropriate referrals. In addition, response team members should be prepared to advise student victims of their legal rights and collaborate with the student in developing a safety plan. When interacting with student abusers, response team members should also be prepared to reinforce abusers' sole responsibility for the violence and coercion they perpetrate.
Responsibilities of the team should also include active campus education and outreach efforts to reach students who may be affected by domestic violence or dating violence.
b.College and university personnel should be prepared to respond appropriately to disclosures of domestic violence and/or violence in dating relationships by students who are victims.
All campus personnel should be prepared to respond to spontaneous disclosures by student victims by offering support and making the appropriate community or campus-based referrals. Referrals should include community-based domestic violence services, campus-based dating violence services (if available), and the campus-based domestic violence response team.
c.Colleges and universities, in conjunction with local domestic violence service providers, should develop a written protocol for