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Training, Education and Prevention Programs


The University of Virginia (the “University”) is committed to providing a safe and non-discriminatory environment for all members of the University community.  The University prohibits Sexual Assault, Sexual Exploitation, Intimate Partner Violence, Stalking, Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment, Complicity and Retaliation (together, “Prohibited Conduct”). These forms of Prohibited Conduct are defined in the University’s Policy on Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Other Forms of Interpersonal Violence (the “Sexual Misconduct Policy”). This Appendix identifies the University’s training, education, and prevention programs related to the Sexual Misconduct Policy.[1]


The University provides training to Students and Employees to ensure they understand the Sexual Misconduct Policy and the topics and issues related to maintaining an education and employment environment free from harassment and discrimination. 


The University offers online and in-person training to all officials charged with implementing the Sexual Misconduct Policy, including the University’s Title IX Coordinator, Deputy Title IX Coordinators, University Investigators, Employees who could be selected to sit on a Review Panel as outlined by the Student and Employee Procedures related to the Sexual Misconduct Policy, and all other Employees involved in responding to reports of Prohibited Conduct.  The training varies by official and is based upon the role(s) the official is fulfilling under the Sexual Misconduct Policy.  Topics include working with and interviewing persons reporting Prohibited Conduct; the particular types of conduct that constitute Prohibited Conduct; issues related to Intimate Partner Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking; the proper standard of review for complaints under the Sexual Misconduct Policy (Preponderance of the Evidence); Affirmative Consent and the role alcohol or drugs can play with respect to Affirmative Consent; the importance of accountability for Respondents found to have violated the Sexual Misconduct Policy, and the need for interim measures for the Respondent, the Complainant, and/or the University community; how to determine credibility; how to evaluate evidence and weigh it in an impartial manner; how to conduct prompt, fair, impartial, and thorough investigations and hearings that ensure due process, protect community and individual safety, and promote accountability; confidentiality; the effects of trauma, including neurobiological change; and cultural awareness regarding how Prohibited Conduct may impact persons differently depending on their cultural backgrounds.

University officials charged with implementing the Sexual Misconduct Policy receive regular training on these and other topics on an annual basis.  The University invites national experts to train on these topics on Grounds and frequently sends University officials to relevant local, regional, and national conferences.


The University offers online and in-person training to Responsible Employees to ensure they understand the particular types of conduct that constitute Prohibited Conduct, as well as their reporting obligations under the University’s separate Reporting Sexual Misconduct Policy.  This training includes practical information on how to prevent and identify Prohibited Conduct; the behaviors that may lead to and result in Prohibited Conduct; the attitudes of bystanders that may allow Prohibited Conduct to continue; the potential for re-victimization by responders and its effects on persons reporting Prohibited Conduct; appropriate methods for responding to persons who may have experienced Prohibited Conduct, including the use of nonjudgmental language; and the impact of trauma.  This training also includes an explanation of the Responsible Employee’s reporting obligations, including how, what, and where to report; the consequences for failing to report; the Procedures the University uses for responding to a Complainant’s request for confidentiality; how to inform Complainants of their options for support and assistance following an incident of Prohibited Conduct; and the contact information for the University’s Title IX Coordinator.


The University offers online and in-person training to Students to ensure they understand the Sexual Misconduct Policy, including how to report incidents of Prohibited Conduct, and how to access confidential sources following an incident of Prohibited Conduct.  Topics include Title IX and what constitutes Prohibited Conduct under the Sexual Misconduct Policy; the definition of Affirmative Consent, including examples; how the University analyzes whether conduct was unwelcome and the existence of a hostile environment for purposes of Sexual or Gender-Based Harassment; options for reporting Prohibited Conduct; the availability of confidential sources, on and off Grounds; the University’s resolution options for pursuing complaints under the Sexual Misconduct Policy; the potential sanctions for violating the Sexual Misconduct Policy; effects of trauma, including neurobiological changes; the role alcohol and drugs often play in incidents of Prohibit Conduct, including  the deliberate use of alcohol and/or other drugs to perpetrate Sexual Assault; strategies and skills for bystanders to intervene to prevent sexual, gender-based, and other forms of interpersonal violence; how to report Prohibited Conduct to University Police or local law enforcement and the ability to pursue, simultaneously, a disciplinary and criminal complaint; and the protection against Retaliation afforded by the Sexual Misconduct Policy.


All Students who are part of Residence Staff receive training regarding alcohol, emotional well-being, and recognizing signs of sexual assault and other forms of sexual, gender-based, and interpersonal violence.  Residence Staff is also provided training on the Sexual Misconduct Policy, how to report Prohibited Conduct as Responsible Employees, and how to support a student reporting Prohibited Conduct.


The University is committed to the prevention of Prohibited Conduct through regular and ongoing education and awareness programs.  Incoming Students and new Employees receive primary prevention and awareness programming as part of their orientation, and returning Students and current Employees receive ongoing training and related programs.  These programs include (1) statements that the University prohibits Prohibited Conduct, as defined by the Sexual Misconduct Policy, and related crimes under Virginia law; (2) the definitions of related crimes under Virginia law; (3) the definition of “Affirmative Consent,” for purposes of the Sexual Misconduct Policy; (4) safe and positive options for bystander intervention that may be carried out by an individual to prevent harm or intervene when there is a risk of Prohibited Conduct against another person; (5) information on risk reduction to recognize warning signs of abusive behavior; and (6) information about the Procedures that the University will follow after an incident of Prohibited Conduct has occurred.

The University’s education and prevention programs reflect comprehensive, intentional, and integrated programming, initiatives, strategies, and campaigns intended to end Prohibited Conduct.  These programs are culturally relevant, inclusive of diverse communities and identities, sustainable, responsive to community needs, and informed by research or assessed for value, effectiveness, and/or outcome.  These programs are also designed to consider environmental risk and protective factors as they affect individuals, relationships, institutions, communities, and society. 

Hoos Got Your Back is the University’s initiative dedicated to ending sexual violence in our community.  The University’s education and prevention programs support this initiative; they include (1) awareness programs; (2) bystander intervention programs; (3) ongoing prevention and awareness campaigns; (4) primary prevention programs; and (5) education on risk reduction. 


Awareness programs consist of community-wide or audience-specific programming, initiatives, and strategies that increase audience knowledge and share information and resources to prevent violence, promote safety, and reduce perpetration.  The University’s specific annual awareness programs are:

  • Alcohol-wise & Sexual Consent Education Module: Each year, prior to matriculation, all students are asked to take an alcohol education and awareness program called Alcohol-wise, as well as are required to take a UVA-specific online educational module on sexual and gender-based harassment and violence developed in partnership with EverFi. There is a separate module for undergraduate and graduate students. All University employees also take a similar online educational module, which also addresses expectations for responsible employees.
  • Domestic Violence Awareness Month: Each year, the University participates in Domestic Violence Awareness Month with a week of programming around sexual violence awareness and prevention. The programming includes speakers, panel discussions and participation in the Red Flag Campaign, a media campaign that raises awareness about sexual and intimate partner violence. The Red Flag Campaign, a public awareness campaign about the “red flags” of abusive relationships, is the centerpiece of the month. Posters and flags are distributed to residence halls and Greek houses and also placed on departmental and library boards and other community-gathering locations.
  • Halloween Safety: Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Team (“ADAPT”) members label candy with one of five alcohol safety messages that are distributed to students through a “reverse trick or treating” campaign. In addition, they engage in a health promotions outreach campaign to encourage students to be active bystanders during the Halloween holiday. The primary audience is first-year students.
  • National Hazing Prevention Week/National Gordie Day: A committee of ADAPT members and other interested students coordinates National Hazing Prevention Week each year.  The focus is on understanding the many forms of hazing, knowing the signs of alcohol overdose and empowering students to become active bystanders in situations specific to potential hazing incidents.
  • Take Back the Night Week: In April, the University holds a week of programming to raise awareness about sexual assault and sexual violence. The week culminates in a rally, march, and speak out for survivors of sexual violence.
  • Advisory Committees on Sexual Assault, Hazing, and Alcohol & Substance Abuse:  Three University-wide committees consider effective ways to promote short- and long-term programs that promote the prevention of sexual violence and minimize hazing behaviors and drinking and substance abuse among underage students and abuse among students of legal age.  The committees are proactive in identifying key issues that should be of institutional priority including those that overlap with prevention of Prohibited Conduct and the promotion of bystander intervention.
  • Substance Abuse Prevention Week:  ADAPT, Peer Health Educators (“PHEs”), Student Athlete Mentors (“SAMs”) and the Fourth-Year Class Trustees coordinate a week of events, including a pledge drive against participation in the “fourth-year fifth” (attempting to consume a fifth of liquor before the last home football game); the Susan Grossman Memorial Speaker; a panel discussion by students in recovery from substance abuse; and the 4th Year 5K. Events raise awareness of normative healthy behaviors and recognize the hazards of celebratory drinking, including the risk of being targeted for sexual violence.


Bystander intervention consists of safe and positive options that may be carried out by an individual or individuals to prevent harm or intervene when there is risk of an occurrence of Prohibited Conduct.  It also includes recognizing situations of potential harm, understanding institutional structures and cultural conditions that facilitate violence, overcoming barriers to intervening, identifying safe and effective intervention options, and taking action to intervene.  The University’s specific bystander intervention programs are:

  • Green Dot at U.Va.: The Green Dot bystander intervention education program engages faculty, staff and students as leaders and presenters on safe strategies for intervention around power-based interpersonal violence with the goal of reducing sexual violence, relationship violence and stalking. The program engages all communities at the University for a unified prevention effort. The training focuses on giving students tools to intervene, as well as building a culture around the premises that (1) violence will not be tolerated, and (2) everyone has a role in preventing violence. In addition to training, the Green Dot strategy also includes social norming campaigns and community mobilization efforts. Green Dot is implemented by a team of students, faculty, and staff who are grouped into four committees: (1) Content Delivery, (2) Marketing & Events, (3) Adaptation, Research & Assessment, and (4) Relationship Building.
  • Bystander Intervention Presentation & Facilitation for First Year Students: First year students receive an annual keynote address from an expert in bystander education as part of the first year orientation series. The program is given to help students understand their role in maintaining a community of care and trust and also to introduce them to the importance of being an active bystander in furthering that goal. Students also hear from Deans who provide information about the Title IX Policy and reporting incidents of Prohibited Conduct.  Residence Staff are provided with a debrief discussion and activity guide to process this information in the residence halls after the presentation.
  • Step UP!: Step Up! is a bystander intervention program.  Peer educators including ADAPT, the PHEs and Student Athlete Mentors (SAMs) are trained in the Step UP! model.  All first-year and new transfer student-athletes attend Step UP! training as part of their orientation.  Scenarios include topics related to alcohol use and sexual violence.


Ongoing prevention and awareness campaigns consist of programming, initiatives, and strategies that are sustained over time and focus on increasing understanding of topics relevant to, and skills for addressing Prohibited Conduct, using a range of strategies with audiences throughout the University.  The University’s specific ongoing prevention and awareness campaigns are:

  • Greek Member Education Programming: In order to maintain status as a Fraternal Organization, the University requires all Greek letter organizations to complete certain programming requirements for their chapters. At least one program per year must be about alcohol and another about sexual assault/violence. Most chapters request a presentation from one of the many peer advocacy organizations on Grounds.  The most common presentations are referenced below.
  • #HOOSGotYourBack:  The University opens the fall semester with a media and awareness campaign, called #HoosGotYourBack, to help students better understand the issue of sexual violence on college campuses and the Red Zone – the period in the first three months of the semester where students are the most vulnerable to sexual assault. #HoosGotYourBack, was developed in 2014 to raise awareness about the importance of active bystanders in preventing sexual violence and provides basic tools for intervening in potentially dangerous or high risk situations.
  • Stall Seat Journal: The Stall Seat Journal program uses social norms theory to educate and create behavior change around health behaviors, targeting all first-year students.  Monthly posters are placed in stalls of first-year residence hall bathrooms, as well as common area bathrooms around Grounds (e.g., Newcomb Hall, Student Health, Women’s Center).  Posters consists of data on healthy behaviors, beliefs, and bystander intentions, as well as general education and resources related to college health issues such as substance abuse, sexual assault, bystander theory/intervention, healthy relationships, disordered eating, and sexual health.
  • The Women’s Center: Gender Violence & Social Change: The Women’s Center offers Survivor Support Network trainings each year for faculty, staff and students, as well as requested trainings. Trainings focus on understanding different forms of gender-based violence, recognizing trauma in others, and acting as a supportive peer to someone who has been assaulted. Participants receive manuals and other materials to assist them in supporting survivors in the future.


Primary prevention programs consist of programming, initiatives, and strategies informed by research or assessed for value, effectiveness, or outcome that are intended to stop Prohibited Conduct before it occurs through the promotion of positive and healthy behaviors that foster healthy, mutually respectful relationships and sexuality, encourage safe bystander intervention, and seek to change behavior and social norms in healthy and safe directions.  The University’s specific primary prevention programs are:

  • Sexual Violence Prevention Coalition (SVPC): The Sexual Violence Prevention Coalition (SVPC) is an umbrella organization that helps bring together the various groups invested in sexual assault prevention and education. SVPC consists of One in Four, One Less, Feminism Is For Everyone, ADAPT, and Peer Health Educators. SVPC works with these groups as well as University officials to shape student response to sexual violence on Grounds.
  • Alcohol & Drug Abuse Prevention Team (ADAPT): Promotes awareness, provides educational outreach, and serves as accessible resources for Students. ADAPT’s primary purpose is to minimize the abuse of alcohol and other drugs to promote a healthier environment. ADAPT coordinates marketing campaigns to reduce negative consequences during Halloween, the last home football game, spring break and the Foxfield Races. 
  • One Less: An organization of students trained to advocate for survivors.  One Less provides informational presentations to student groups on a range of topics relating to sexual violence. The group has a wide range of presentations regarding sexual assault including one on consent, intimate partner violence, and issues of intersectionality. These presentations are oriented towards both male and female audiences. The group also seeks to promote a culture of support for sexual assault survivors at the University through presentations and advocacy efforts. 
  • One in Four: A group of male peer educators whose name comes from the statistic that one-in-four college women have survived rape or attempted rape since their fourteenth birthday. One in Four’s mission is to spread awareness of the prevalence of violence against women—specifically sexual assault and rape—and the pain that it causes. The group presents to all-male groups to inform other men how to help survivors recover from an experience of sexual violence.
  • Peer Health Educators (PHEs): A diverse group of students trained to educate their peers about college health and wellness issues (substance use, nutrition, sexual health, mental health/wellness) in a positive, interactive, and nonjudgmental manner.  PHEs provide confidential patient education sessions; facilitate dynamic outreach programs; encourage physical, mental, and spiritual health; create informative awareness events; and promote community support to create a healthy campus culture.
  • Student-Athlete Mentors (SAMs):  The Department of Athletics & the Gordie Center for Substance Abuse Prevention train members of each athletic team to serve as SAMs.  SAMs coordinate alcohol education programs and community service opportunities for their teams and serve as internal resources on health and wellness issues. 


Risk reduction consists of options designed to decrease perpetration and bystander inaction and to increase empowerment in an effort to promote safety and to help individuals and communities address conditions that facilitate violence.  The University’s specific risk reduction programs are:

  • UPD Self-Defense: The University Police Department offers two types of self-defense classes to the University community.  The first class is the R.A.D. women’s self-defense course.  This is a 12-hour course that consists of several sessions.  The second class is a one-time, two-hour basic self-defense course.  There is no cost to attend these classes. 

In addition, many of the University’s training, education, and prevention programs described elsewhere in this Appendix are designed, in part, to provide Students and Employees with risk reduction strategies.


[1] This Appendix should be read in conjunction with the Sexual Misconduct Policy.  Capitalized terms used and not otherwise defined in this Appendix are defined in the Sexual Misconduct Policy.