Sexual assault resource website gets student-friendly makeover

Carrie Ross, the
Carrie Ross, the assistant director for sexual assault prevention and response, said an update to GW’s sexual assault resource website makes it easier for students to use.

GW’s website for reporting sexual violence on campus got a user-friendly update last week after students advocated for a new site for more than a year.

Haven, the University website that brings together on-and-off campus resources for students, faculty and staff to respond to sexual abuse, was updated Aug. 2.

Carrie Ross, the assistant director for sexual assault prevention and response, said in an email that her office worked with the office of creative services to create a new Haven site. She hoped to make the the site more visually appealing, better translated for mobile device use and more streamlined, she said.

“We wanted users to be able to quickly access information about their options – whether related to seeking care after an assault, accessing help through the university or community, or getting involved in prevention efforts,” Ross said.

Features including options for reporting “Title IX-related incidents,” workshop requests for student groups or University departments and registration for new students’ required sexual assault prevention training were all updated, Ross said.

The updated website’s homepage now offers links to emergency and non-emergency contact information. Contact information is also listed at the top of every page within the site. The old website listed news about the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and sexual assault policy on the homepage.

Ross said that officials will be promoting Haven on social media and at new student trainings in the fall.

The Committee on Sexual Assault Prevention and Response, which was created last year and is made up of students and faculty members, created a subcommittee to work on updating the site. Ross said in January that student leaders from Students Against Sexual Assault gave input on how to make the website user-friendly.

Student leaders advocated for an update to the site for more than a year, arguing that the old website was composed of technical information that could overwhelm sexual assault survivors.

Haven was launched in 2013 to explain the University’s new sexual assault policies and available resources for students.

The Hatchet has disabled comments on our website. Learn more.