This semester, the Women’s Center will launch the Pack Survivor Support Alliance (PSSA), a continuing education and engagement program for NC State faculty and staff. PSSA provides participants with ongoing opportunities to learn advocacy skills and support student survivors of interpersonal violence (IPV), including but not limited to: sexual assault, sexual harassment, dating and domestic violence, and stalking.
Janine Kossen, associate director of the Women’s Center, says, “Faculty and staff participation is critical because we know that the first person a survivor discloses to can influence their healing journey in profound ways. If that first response is a negative one, it can cause further trauma, resulting in a survivor failing to receive support and resources they may want and need. If our faculty and staff are equipped with the knowledge and tools to support student survivors in the classroom, in the workplace, and in their everyday encounters, we are one step closer to realizing our vision of a world that honors, respects, believes and values all survivors as being loved, worthy and enough.”
Mia Embling, program coordinator in the Equal Opportunity and Equity unit of OIED, participated in every pilot workshop offered leading up to the official launch. She says, “The PSSA is a unique opportunity to begin your understanding of trauma-informed techniques that can be applied to a variety of settings. After completing this interactive series, I walked away with knowledge, empathy and understanding of individuals and their experiences, regardless of their connection to IPV. This series is beneficial to all, regardless of your experience level.”
Students have also voiced the importance of faculty and staff increasing their knowledge and understanding of IPV and how it impacts a student’s experience.
Through the Pack Survivor Support Alliance, participants increase their ability to understand the warning signs and trauma symptoms of all forms of IPV and the prevalence and effects of various forms of IPV that commonly occur on a college campus — including forms that are present in virtual environments. In addition, faculty and staff can develop and practice trauma-informed techniques and skills in professional and academic settings and stay informed about current trends, tips, and best practices for supporting student survivors.
Participation in the Pack Survivor Support Alliance requires the completion of four signature workshops:
- IPV on a College Campus for Faculty and Staff
- Supporting Survivors for Faculty and Staff
- Building a Trauma-Informed Practice for Faculty and Staff
- IPV Root Causes and Strategies for Prevention for Faculty and Staff
Workshops will be available every semester so participants can complete them at their own pace. It is recommended, but not required, to attend workshops in the order they are offered. Registration is now open to join this inaugural cohort of faculty and staff.