Online Resources: Where to Look? What Will I Find?
This is a featured article from TAASA’s Winter 2016 Newsletter, authored by Jennifer Thompson, TAASA research intern
I was recently asked if I could find a list of reputable websites that could serve as references for people as they did their daily work. There is no doubt there are great resources online but often they can be hidden away or are part of an odd sounding agency or department.
Who knew that the Office of Post Secondary Education (OPE) has a Campus Safety and Security Data Analysis Cutting Tool http://ope.ed.gov/campussafety/ that allows you to create customized reports on campus crime data? Or that one of the most useful features of this website just might be the access to lead Title IX coordinator name and contact information for any institution in the U.S. and outlying territories?
I will provide an example that will walk you through the basics so you can see what is available – and help you get the lead Title IX coordinator information but like all of these sites, I’d encourage you to take some time and get to see all that they can offer.
To get started choose “Get data for one institution/campus” in the upper right corner of the main page. Let’s search for the information on a Texas A & M campus. In the name of institution field, enter “Texas A & M”. By entering the main name for an educational system, you will most effectively capture the data for the entirety of that system. It will return every branch affiliated with that system. This data analysis cutting tool provides you not only crime statistics but also the locations of the institutions and their respective enrollments.
Continuing with our example, let’s choose “Texas A & M International University Main Campus” locate in Laredo, TX with an enrollment of just over 7,400. When you select the main campus of Texas A & M International University you will then find information related to the provision of on-campus housing (if local police crime statistics are reported with the campus crime statistics) and the name and contact information for the Lead Title IX Coordinator. At Texas A & M International, we see that the lead Title IX Coordinator is Ms. Villanueva and we also find her contact information.
This is one very quick and efficient way of locating the lead Title IX Coordinator information for any post-secondary institution that reports a Title IX coordinator. You will also see the crime statistics available for public review as reported by the respective institutions. This website may also be a helpful tool in quickly assessing enrollment numbers.
A second website I would like to make note of is one called MINCAVA electronic clearinghouse (http://www.mincava.umn.edu) out of the Minnesota Center Against Violence and Abuse. The mission of MINCAVA is to support education, research, and access to violence related resources. The topics are up to date, checked weekly and include areas like child abuse, stalking, domestic violence, and sexual violence. MINCAVA collaborates with Violence Against Women online resources (VAWnet), The Hague Domestic Violence Project, and Mobilizing Men for Violence Prevention among others.
There are a number of beneficial tools for training, prevention, policy work, and more which can all be found through the MINCAVA site. The website also provides a healthy FAQ section that covers issues like linking to the MINCAVA site, getting copyright permission (as long as the material is not sold for a profit and is properly cited you may use it!), and obtaining more information about resources appearing on MINCAVA’s site (MINCAVA has a few people on staff).
And the last website I would like to highlight is one that has a thorough victim media advocacy section http://www.mediacrimevictimguide.com/. This guide was produced by Justice Solutions, an organization of crime victim professionals. The site provides information that can help facilitate sensitive and respectful treatment of a variety of survivors (e.g. homicide, sexual violence, vulnerable populations) by the media. This website provides information which you may find to be useful in educating those in the media on the impact of crime victimization has on survivors and how the media can cover these stories more compassionately and effectively.
I sincerely hope that these three websites will be of use to you and that you can add one or all of them to your list of bookmarked sites. I would love to hear back from you as to what are some of your favorite sites and where you go to find your information. Let’s share more of these great resources with each other, I know that there are many more resources out there waiting to be discovered!
TAASA supports professionals and advocates working in the movement to end sexual violence. You can find a variety of resources listed at http://taasa.org/resources-2/.