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Awareness, Education, and Prevention

Training and Education

The training and education opportunities below are available at UNC-Chapel Hill for students, faculty, staff, and postdoctoral Fellows. Some are open to members of the community.

Prevention Programs

Violence Prevention and Advocacy Services (VPAS) offers several trainings and programs including Be That Friend, HAVEN, Raise the Bar. Please use the VPAS online Outreach and Training Request Form to schedule any of these trainings.

Staff at Violence Prevention and Advocacy Services (VPAS), the LGBTQ Center, the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office UNC Police, and the Office for Diversity and Inclusion are available to assist student groups or UNC-Chapel Hill departments in planning and implementing prevention, response, education, and awareness raising programs on campus about issues of discrimination, harassment and violence.

Speak Up Carolina

Speak Up Carolina is a resource to foster constructive dialogue around difficult issues. The training consists of a variety of examples created with the advice of students, faculty and staff. It is intended to 1) support self-awareness, 2) acknowledge shared experiences, 3) encourage discussion, and 4) find strategies and resources.

Sexual Wellness Appointments

Sexual Wellness Appointments offer one-on-one and small group sexual wellness appointments with trained health educators. Topics for these appointments include but are not limited to healthy sexual relationships, contraceptive consultations, HIV testing and counseling, and other concerns related to sexual health and healthy relationships.

Self-Defense Training

UNC Police offers self-defense training each semester for men or women (sex-segregated classes).


HAVEN (Helping Advocates for Ending Violence Now) is a training offered by Violence Prevention and Advocacy Services (VPAS). It provides students, faculty, staff and postdoctoral students with tools to be an ally to someone who has experience sexual assault, interpersonal violence, and/or stalking. This training emphasizes the importance of listening, responding compassionately, and connecting survivors to resources on campus and in the community. HAVEN trainings are available for undergraduate students, graduate students, staff, and faculty.

If you have questions about the program, please email

To view upcoming training dates and register, please visit the Violence Prevention and Advocacy Services website. 

Healthy Relationships Workshop

The Healthy Relationships Online Workshop is centered on the experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender/Trans*, Intersex, Queer, Questioning, Two Spirit, and Same Gender Loving communities, though the information is applicable to people of all sexual orientations and gender identities. Since the experiences of people who identify with these terms are not monolithic, throughout the module you may find that on some pages, the acronyms LGBTQ, LGBTIQ or, LGB may be used at different times. The language in these modules also intentionally uses gender nonspecific pronouns (they/them, his/her/hir or she/he/ze).

This course explores the unique challenges in relationships involving sexual and gender minorities. Relationships can take many forms, as discussed in section one of this module. The content in this course applies to all relationships whether they are for one night or for many years. Similarly, we use the word “partner” to refer to anyone with whom you might be sexually and/or romantically involved.

Green Zone Training

Green Zone Training is for those who wish to learn more about the military affiliated student experience.

Safe Zone

Safe Zone is a program designed to create a network of allies for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer, and allied (LGBTQIA+) students. The desired goal for the Safe Zone program is ultimately to make the University community a safer and more supportive place for people of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions. Additional continuing education trainings are also available to deepen knowledge around specific aspects of the LGBTIQA+ community.

Events and Initiatives

Awareness Months

Awareness events take place throughout the year. Learn more about awareness months and ways you can get involved, including calendars of program and events.

January – Stalking Awareness Month or “SAM”

April – Sexual Assault Awareness Month or “SAAM”

October – Relationship Violence Awareness Month or “RVAM”

Safe at UNC Awareness Campaign

Safe at UNC logo

The Safe at UNC campaign raises awareness of the importance of respect, inclusion, and a shared commitment among our campus community to look out for the well-being of fellow Tar Heels. The campaign uses digital and grass roots outreach to share 
resources and information about discrimination, harassment,
 sexual violence, interpersonal violence, and stalking.

Student Involvement

There are ways for students to get involved in violence prevention work happening at Carolina. Undergraduate, graduate, and professional students can become a Peer Educator, Outreach Ambassador, or serve as a member on the Gender-Based Violence Prevention Student Advisory Group through Violence Prevention and Advocacy Services.

There are also student organization at UNC-Chapel Hill involved in awareness and prevention work. For more information about student groups on campus, visit the HeelLife website.

UNC Gender-Based Violence Prevention Advisory Group

The UNC Gender-Based Violence Prevention Advisory Group was convened by Vice Chancellor Becci Menghini and Interim Vice Chancellor Jonathan Sauls in June 2020. The advisory group’s first charge is to review the existing Prevention Task Force report and recommendations and 1) determine if any data or other information needs to be updated or supplemented for the report to reflect current climate; 2) review the recommendations and determine whether they are all still relevant to our current campus needs and in line with national research-based best practices; and 3) develop an implementation plan that reflects which recommendations have already been implemented, which can be implemented immediately, and which ones require a long-term strategy. The group may amend or add to the recommendations based on updated information and the implementation plan should develop priorities based on need, effectiveness, feasibility, and budgetary considerations.

For the long term, the group will serve as a standing committee that will establish goals and desired outcomes for prevention and monitor progress in order to establish a centralized framework with decentralized service delivery. The group will communicate regularly with other working groups and committees on campus to maximize efficiencies. The group will periodically update the inventory and make available a summary of all initiatives related to violence prevention, and regularly review emerging best practices and assess their applicability to UNC-Chapel Hill. The group will periodically revisit prevention philosophy, create a report on the progress made, and solicit feedback from the community. This group will initially report to the Vice Chancellors for Student Affairs and Human Resources/Equal Opportunity and Compliance and will later transition to the Chief Prevention Strategy Officer upon their recruitment. Members will be a combination of people who are implementing prevention work directly, those who have expertise in violence prevention, and community stakeholders.

For more information or to get involved with the UNC Gender-Based Violence Prevention Advisory Group, please contact Christi Hurt (Chair).

Philosophy and Frameworks

The group is guided by the following philosophy and frameworks which were established in August 2020 and are subject to change and regular review.

Prevention Philosophy

The following philosophy guides our process:

Gender-based violence (including sexual violence, interpersonal violence, intimate partner violence, stalking, sexual exploitation, and sexual harassment) is a complex problem that require multi-layered solutions.

Prevention should seek to change the underlying conditions and structures that enable violence, including systems of oppression. To do this, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill must establish a comprehensive prevention strategy that:

  • Uses an intersectional approach and centers groups that are most affected by gender-based violence.
  • Reduces risk factors and promotes protective factors.
  • Ensures that prevention efforts are shaped by their target audiences, people from marginalized groups, and survivors.
  • Promotes community accountability by recognizing that every member of the UNC-Chapel Hill community has a role to play in ending gender-based violence.
  • Considers the role that all levels of the social ecology2 (individual, relationship, community, and societal) play in perpetuating gender-based violence.
  • Advocates for structural and systems change in addition to education and individual behavior change.
  • Encompasses universal and group-specific training provided across each community member’s time at the institution, including minimum required training standards for all students, faculty, and staff.
  • Uses and adapts to timely campus data and research, the best available scientific evidence, evaluation results, and community feedback, especially from those most affected by gender-based violence.
  • Ensures sustainability of prevention efforts through investment in fiscal and personnel resources, using trauma-informed approaches, and prioritizing the well-being of program implementers.


STOP SV Approach[1]

  • Social norms that protect against violence (e.g., bystander approaches, mobilizing men)
  • Teach skills to prevent sexual violence (e.g., healthy relationship skills, empowerment-based training, healthy sexuality, social-emotional learning)
  • Opportunities to empower and support groups at higher risk of experiencing violence such as women, LGBTQ+ people; Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, and people with disabilities (e.g., strengthening leadership opportunities, strengthening economic supports, providing and supporting space)
  • Create Protective Environments (e.g., establishing and consistently applying policies, addressing community-level and structural risks through environmental approaches)
  • Support Survivors/Victims to lessen harms (e.g., gender-based violence advocacy services)

Social Ecological Model[2]

  • Individual – seek to change protective or risk factors in an individual’s history or socialization so they’re less likely to cause or perpetuate harm (e.g., multi-session programs to establish positive social norms through an intersectional lens)
  • Relationship – shift attitudes and beliefs in close relationships (e.g., peer-to-peer training)
  • Community – ensure values and policies are aligned with ending violence (e.g., campus policies, built environments, and systems that promote well-being and social justice)
  • Societal – advocate for new ways of thinking about violence prevention that target societal systems (e.g.,

Target Audience and Touch Points

  • Undergraduate students
  • Graduate students
  • Faculty
  • Staff
  • By year (pre-matriculation, 1st year, subsequent years)
  • By role (student leaders, teaching assistants)
  • By identity group (LGBTQ+, BIPOC, people with disabilities)
  • By organizational affiliation (fraternities and sororities, athletics)
  • By academic department or school (School of Journalism, STEM majors)
  • Hotspots (groups and locations that are sites where violence has happened or where there is community concern that they are perpetuating violence)

Principles of Effective Prevention[3]

  • Comprehensive
  • Varied teaching methods
  • Sufficient dose and duration
  • Theory-driven and evidence-based
  • Build positive relationships
  • Appropriately timed
  • Socio-culturally relevant
  • Evaluation
  • Skilled trainers

[1] This approach was adapted from the STOP SV Technical Package and Sexual Violence on Campus: Strategies for

Prevention documents from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

[2] Adapted using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Social Ecological Model: A Framework for

Prevention handout

[3] This list was adapted from Nation, M., Crusto, C., Wandersman, A., Kumpfer, K. L., Seybolt, D., Morrissey-Kane, E.,

& Davino, K. (2003). What works in prevention: Principles of effective prevention programs. American Psychologist, 58, 449-456. doi:10.1037/0003-066X.58.6-7.449

Frequently Asked Questions

UNC Gender Based Violence Prevention Advisory Group FAQs


Group members are listed alphabetically by first name

  • Aishwarya Sharma ’23, Undergraduate student
  • Audrey Pettifor; Professor, Department of Epidemiology, Gillings School of Global Public Health; Faculty Fellow, Carolina Population Center
  • Beth Moracco; Associate Professor, Department of Health Behavior, Gillings School of Global Public Health; Associate Director, Injury Prevention Research Center
  • Caitlin O’Loughlin-Rosa ‘23, PhD Student, School of Education
  • Christi Hurt (Chair), Senior Prevention Strategy Officer, Student Affairs
  • Helyne Frederick; Clinical Associate Professor, School of Education; Program Director, Human Development and Family Studies
  • Holly Lovern, Gender Violence Services Coordinator, Carolina Women’s Center
  • Jenn Scott, Clery Compliance Coordinator, Department of Public Safety
  • Neel Swamy ‘23; PharmD Candidate, Eshelman School of Pharmacy; MPH Candidate, Gillings School of Global Public Health
  • Rebecca Gibson, Report and Response Coordinator, Equal Opportunity and Compliance
  • Shareen El Naga ‘23, MSW student, School of Social Work
  • Taylour Neal, Campus Services Coordinator, North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence


UNC Gender-Based Violence Prevention Advisory Group Fall 2020 Report

Response Letter from University Leadership

Upcoming Meetings

  • TBD

 All meetings will be held via Zoom until future notice. Please note that these meetings are password protected. Those planning to attend the meetings should contact Christi Hurt at by 5 pm the business day before the meeting to obtain the Zoom link and password. These meetings may go into closed session as permitted by North Carolina open meetings law.

Notes from Previous Meetings

June 24, 2021

March 22, 2021

Feb. 22, 2021

Jan. 25, 2021

Dec. 3, 2020

Nov. 4, 2020

Oct. 19, 2020

Sept. 28, 2020

Sept. 21, 2020

Sept. 10, 2020

Sept. 9, 2020

Aug. 27, 2020

Aug. 17, 2020

July 2020

June 2020

AAU Survey Information

UNC Chapel Hill took part in a campus climate survey on campus sexual assault and misconduct. The survey assessed student perspectives of and experiences with sexual assault, harassment, interpersonal violence and stalking. The survey is organized by the Association of American Universities (AAU). See results from 2019 and 2015 below.


Insights from 2019 AAU Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct to Help University Assess Existing Prevention Trainings and Programs; Evaluate Additional Needs

During the Spring 2019 semester, Carolina students participated in the national 2019 Association of American Universities’ (AAU) Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct. UNC-Chapel Hill was one of 33 public and private institutions to participate in the survey.

Through the survey, the AAU is seeking to help the University gain better understanding of the campus climate for sexual assault, sexual harassment, intimate partner violence, and stalking. The AAU also collected aggregate data on the campus climate for sexual misconduct across participating institutions. The University’s 2019 final report and 2019 data tables provided by AAU and Westat, which is the research firm hired by the AAU to administer the survey, are available. The aggregate report and data tables for all participating schools have also been made available. The AAU first conducted a similar survey in 2015 (see below).

The data reinforce what we know to be true on our campus and other campuses across the country: sexual assault and other forms of sexual misconduct are serious problems with a profound impact on the people who experience them. While we will continue to analyze the data for any additional areas of focus in the weeks to come, the University’s preliminary takeaways follow below. Some data in the preliminary analysis have been combined from the data provided in the tables to provide additional detail, where needed.

The University will bring together a coalition of students, faculty and staff to assess additional areas of need for prevention and develop a plan for implementation. The University will be co-hosting working sessions with students, faculty, staff and subject matter experts to inform the coalition’s work.

We need the help of every person in the campus community to change our culture to one that does not tolerate sexual assault or other forms of sexual misconduct. Explore this website for the ways that you can get involved.


In April 2015, UNC-Chapel Hill elected to be one of 27 public and private institutions of various sizes, geographies, and missions to participate in the Association of American Universities’ (AAU) Campus Climate Survey on Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct. The AAU sought to gain more understanding of the general campus climate on sexual assault, sexual harassment, intimate partner violence, and stalking and to help collect institution-specific data to guide prevention and support efforts.  We welcomed the opportunity to invite our students to be heard as part of this important effort and we knew that our students would want to be part of this.

The AAU survey asked questions about prevalence, perception of risk, bystander intervention, and awareness of resources.  We received a tremendous amount of data in our report and data tables just one week ago.  Researchers, statisticians and staff will be thoroughly studying and examining this information in the coming weeks to help inform our ongoing prevention and response efforts.  The University’s Prevention Task Force will be using this data to build a set of recommendations for action.

The University’s 2015 final report and data tables provided by AAU and Westat (the research firm hired by the AAU to administer the survey) are available.  We will be further analyzing all of the information to get a more complete picture of the data. In the meantime, we would like to highlight a few preliminary points from the report we received:

Demographics:  28,353 students enrolled at UNC-Chapel Hill in April 2015 were invited to participate: 5,212 completed the survey, for a response rate of 18.4 percent.  Among participants, 3,451 (66.2 percent) self-identified as female, 1,697 (32.6 percent) self-identified as male, and the AAU’s report indicated 64 (1.2 percent) self-identified as other, including transgender, genderqueer or non-conforming, questioning, or not listed.  Additionally, 3,201 (61.4 percent) were undergraduates and 2,011 (38.6 percent) were graduate or professional students.  The survey also collected information about other characteristics, including year in school, race, sexual orientation, and disability status. All schools took the survey at the same time as directed by the AAU. At UNC-Chapel Hill, the survey was conducted during the last few weeks of class, which is a busy time of the year for students as they complete projects and prepare for final exams.

Sexual Assault:  The survey asked questions about the prevalence of non-consensual:

  • sexual touching (kissing, touching, groping, or rubbing in a sexual way even if over the other’s clothes) by means of physical force, threats of physical force, or incapacitation due to drugs or alcohol
  • completed penetration (penetration with the penis, finger, or object, or oral sex) by means of physical force or threats of physical force
  • completed penetration by incapacitation
  • attempted penetration by force

Overall, 12.9 percent of survey respondents indicated that they had experienced at least one of these types of conduct since matriculating at Carolina.  Prevalence differed by many variables, including gender identity and enrollment status.  For example, 24.3 percent of female undergraduate respondents indicated experiencing these types of conduct since enrolling, 1.4 percent of male graduate respondents indicated experiencing this conduct since enrolling, and 26.3 percent of undergraduates identifying as transgender, genderqueer or non-conforming, questioning, or not listed indicated experiencing these types of conduct since enrolling.  5.7 percent of all survey respondents reported experiencing penetration due to incapacitation or force.  It is somewhat difficult to compare these prevalence estimates with previous studies due to differences in methodology such as survey delivery, breadth of definitions, and types of behaviors and tactics included.  Regardless, the survey numbers reinforce the importance of continued focus on this issue and expanded prevention programming.

Resources and Reporting:  Overall, a majority of survey respondents (74.1 percent) reported they were  “somewhat” to “very” or “extremely” knowledgeable about where to get help at the University if they or a friend are affected by sexual assault. 87.2 percent of survey respondents also indicated that campus officials would take the report seriously. 82.8 percent of survey respondents indicated that it is “somewhat,” “very,” or “extremely” likely that the University will provide a fair investigation and 76 percent of respondents said it is “somewhat,” “very,” or “extremely” likely that the University will take action against the offender.  We take such feedback seriously and are committed to even more communication about our processes, policies, and procedures.  Overall, reporting rates among those respondents who had experienced sexual touching and non-consensual penetration were low. 57.1 percent of female respondents indicated the reason for not reporting or seeking support from law enforcement or University officials after non-consensual penetration by force was that the incident was “not considered serious enough.”

Contributing Factors and Additional Training Opportunities: Many survey respondents indicated a high frequency of incidents involving alcohol.  In addition, survey respondents indicated many incidents occurred in residence halls and fraternity and sorority housing.  We know that many of our students live in these locations, but we will review and examine the data for a deeper understanding.  We can start now by expanding bystander intervention training to better equip our students to help friends in need. We also note the data provide guidelines for improving our orientation programming on these issues.

2015 AAU Survey Data Preliminary Takeaways

Glossary of Frequently Used Terms

  • Anonymous: Information which does not include identifying information such as the name of the reporting party or details that could otherwise identify an individual
  • Campus No Contact Order (NCO): Protective measure issued by the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office (EOC) indicating one party is not to have contact with another; a campus NCO is not disciplinary when issued and could lead to University disciplinary action if the recipient is found responsible for violating the directive; sets the expectation parties will not engage in direct contact through in person or electronic means or through use of a third party or other measure (letters, gifts, etc.)
  • Campus Security Authority (CSA): University employees who are designated for the purposes of the Jeanne Clery Act; these employees have significant responsibility for student and campus activities, including but not limited to student housing and student discipline; the CSA must share all known details of an incident to the Clery Compliance Coordinator. Learn more about Campus Security Authority.
  • Clery Act: The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act requires higher education institutions to give timely warnings of crimes that represent a threat to the safety of students or employees, and to make public their campus security policies. It also requires that crime data is collected, reported and disseminated to the campus community and is also submitted to the U.S. Department of Education. Learn more about the Clery Act.
  • Confidential: A campus or community resource designated as confidential will only disclose information with the individual’s permission with the exception of legal reporting obligations.
  • Civil No Contact Order (50-C): A civil order issued by the State of North Carolina which provides protection for victims of non-consensual sexual conduct and stalking by someone with whom the victim does not have an intimate or familial relationship; 50-C can apply to situations involving an acquaintance, co-worker, neighbor, or stranger. Learn more about a Civil No Contact Order.
  • Domestic Violence Protective Order (50-B or DVPO): A civil order issued by the State of North Carolina which provides protection from someone with whom a victim has or had a “personal relationship” (including spouse, someone of the opposite sex whom you are dating or have dated, current or former household member, someone you are related to, someone with whom you have a child in common). Learn more about the Domestic Violence Protective Order.
  • Gender Violence Services Coordinator (GVSC): University staff in Violence Prevention and Advocacy Services (VPAS) who provide confidential support for any student, faculty, or staff impacted by sexual or gender-based harassment, sexual violence, interpersonal (relationship) violence, sexual exploitation, and stalking. The GVSCs can provide emotional support, safety planning, assistance in reporting options, accompaniment to meetings and investigative interviews, referrals to resources, and assistance with requesting housing, academic, and workplace support. Learn more about the GVSCs.
  • LGBTQ+: Inclusive term to reference people of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities including lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and non-binary. Learn more about the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Neutral: Resource who works with reporting parties and responding parties to provide information, referrals to resources, information, and support
  • Private: Generally references an office or resource who can share information related to a report with individuals who “need to know” (such as higher-level administrators) in order to assist in the active review, investigation, or resolution of the report; private resources are not confidential but these offices and individuals will be discreet and respect the privacy of all individuals involved in the process
  • Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Related Misconduct (PPDHRM): Policy specific to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill which prohibits discrimination and harassment based on any protected status, sexual assault or sexual violence, sexual exploitation, interpersonal (relationship) violence, stalking, complicity for knowingly aiding in acts of prohibited conduct, and retaliation; covers a broad range of conduct as any of these behaviors can impact the ability of campus community members to successfully and comfortably live, learn, and work. Learn more about the PPDHRM.
  • Policy on Prohibited Sexual Harassment under Title IX: Policy specific to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill which prohibits specific forms of Sexual Harassment, including sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking as defined by the Policy. Learn more about the Policy on Prohibited Sexual Harassment under Title IX.
  • Report and Response Manager (RRM): University staff working in the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office (EOC) who respond to individuals making a report to the University or individuals who are interested in learning their options; RRM is a neutral and private resource who works discreetly with reporting parties and responding parties. Provides assistance in reporting options, referrals to resources, assistance with requesting housing and academic support, facilitates protective measures including campus No Contact Orders. Learn more about the RRMs.
  • Reporting Party: Any individual who reports experiencing unwanted or discriminatory behavior (including interpersonal or relationship violence, sexual violence, sexual exploitation, and stalking) prohibited by UNC Chapel Hill’s Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Related Misconduct or Policy on Prohibited Sexual Harassment under Title IX
  • Responding Party: Any individual who has been accused of violating the Policy on Prohibited Discrimination, Harassment, and Related Misconduct or Policy on Prohibited Sexual Harassment under Title IX
  • Responsible Employee: Employees with administrative or supervisory responsibilities at UNC Chapel Hill, or who have been designated as Campus Security Authorities, are required to report to the Equal Opportunity and Compliance Office all information disclosed related to an incident of possible discrimination, harassment, and sexual misconduct. Responsible Employees are notified of their status and reporting responsibilities. They are instructed to notify others if they are designated. Learn more about Responsible Employees.
  • Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE): Specially trained and certified medical professionals who are skilled in performing forensic medical-legal exams in medical facilities (including UNC Hospital’s Emergency Department). Learn more about SANEs.
  • Title IX: Federal law enforcement by the Department of Education; Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in any federally funded education program or activity