responding to a victim's need for emergency safety services, including shelter or safe home services and crisis intervention, and maximizing the options available to a student to continue her studies when it is not safe for her to attend class on campus.
One of the difficulties facing a victim of domestic violence whose abuser lives on the same college or university campus, is the access the abuser has to the victim. This poses a significant risk to student victims, particularly during times of separation and/or if the student victim has reported a domestic incident to the authorities.
Local domestic violence service providers can work in conjunction with institutions to arrange for emergency shelter for student victims in need. Institutions should develop protocols that encourage flexibility for victim students being temporarily housed in an emergency shelter to take a leave of absence, or receive support for continuing their studies off campus until they are able to more safely resume their campus-based activities.
d.Colleges and universities should actively support victims who choose to seek relief from local law enforcement agencies or the local criminal court, and should fully cooperate in the enforcement of orders of protection.
Domestic violence is a crime, whether an incident occurs on or off campus. College and university personnel should inform victims of their rights to legal relief and support their choices to pursue legal remedies. Further, campus personnel should cooperate fully in local law enforcement investigations and criminal prosecutions.
Campus security, with the consent of a victim, should have copies of any existing order of protection, a photograph of the abuser, and the students's schedule in order to readily respond to any threat of harm to the student and/or others. Campus security should work closely with local law enforcement agencies to ensure a victim's safety on and off campus and to enforce violations of orders of protection in a swift and appropriate manner. (See also Criminal Justice, Legal, and Judicial Systems.)
e.Colleges and universities should actively promote a zero tolerance ethic for domestic violence on campus, including the development of written policies and procedures for holding student abusers accountable.
Most institutions deal with disciplinary actions of students in a closed, on-campus hearing, occasionally resulting in a suspension and, in some cases, expulsion. Such a response is an effective part of discouraging criminal action and preserving the integrity of the institution with regard to its efforts to provide a safe campus environment.