Xavier Magazine

Spreading the Word

It’s hard enough sending children off to college without worrying about their safety. To ease parents’ minds, though, the office of student life sent a letter to parents introducing them to a new hotline that aids victims of violence, whether from harassment, sexual assault or stalking.

“This is a problem parents don’t always know about and parents need to know about,” says Luther Smith, assistant vice president for student life. “This is not a Xavier problem—it happens at colleges nationally.” The University addressed these concerns by creating the off-campus hotline, which provides advocates for crisis intervention. When a student calls the hotline—answered by the Rape Crisis and Abuse Center of Hamilton County and the YWCA—and identifies himself or herself as a Xavier student, the operator calls a Xavier advocate, who is a student in the University’s department of psychology doctoral program. These advocates meet personally with the victim to provide support and outline options. Most importantly, they stand by the victim through every step of the process, from the initial call to legal action, if any.

“With parents knowing, it reduces the risk of students putting themselves in situations where things could happen,” Smith says. The hotline number is 513 872-9259. Advocates are on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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