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Memorandum of Understanding

Between Women Helping Women and Miami University

This Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is entered into by Women Helping Women and Miami University. The MOU formalizes the commitment of the parties to work together to provide trauma-informed services to student and employee victims of sexual assault and to improve the overall response to sexual assault at Miami University. The parties share the goal of preventing sexual assault on campus and in the community, and responding appropriately to students and employees who have been victimized.

I. Description of the Partner Agencies

Women Helping Women is a nonprofit, community-based organization dedicated to the elimination of sexual violence in all its forms. Women Helping Women provides free, confidential services including a 24-hour hotline, peer-counseling services, medical and legal advocacy, community education and training for professionals. Through direct services and education, Women Helping Women provides advocacy, supportive services, and prevention to survivors, families, and the community. Women Helping Women provides empowerment-based services that focus on healing, support, and justice for victims of sexual assault.

Miami University was founded in 1809, and serves approximately 24,000 students on multiple campuses. Miami University is committed to maintaining a healthy and safe learning, living, and working environment and to creating an environment that promotes responsibility, dignity, and respect in matters of sexual conduct. Title IX offenses are strictly prohibited and will not be tolerated. This applies to on-campus and off-campus conduct, academic, educational, co-curricular, athletic, study abroad, and other University programs. Title IX offenses include criminal offenses such as rape and sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, as well as violations of the Sexual Misconduct section of Miami's Code of Student Conduct. The University, by providing resources for prevention, education, support, investigation, and a fair disciplinary process, seeks to eliminate all Title IX offenses.

II. History of Previous Collaboration

Founded in 1973, Women Helping Women provides crisis intervention and support services for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking in Hamilton County and survivors of sexual assault in Butler County. The agency also takes a leading role in building awareness in the community to prevent these crimes. We are dedicated to serving women and men of all backgrounds, sexual orientations, and abilities.

In 2012, for the first time in its 39-year history, Women Helping Women began offering rape crisis services outside of Hamilton County. In November of 2012, Women Helping Women acquired the Butler County Rape Crisis Program, when that program was at risk for elimination. Women Helping Women’s acquisition of the program ensured rape crisis services would continue without interruption in Butler County. Miami University and Women Helping Women have collaborated since this time to provide resources and services to students and employees of Miami University. Women Helping Women has been a member of the Miami University Sexual and Interpersonal Violence Prevention/Response Committee since its inception in the fall of 2013. Miami University has provided education to Women Helping Women staff regarding Miami University policies and procedures. This MOU builds on the previous collaboration to provide services to survivors and training to additional school officials.

III. The Role of Women Helping Women

Women Helping Women agrees to do the following:

  1. Appoint a qualified Coordinator of Services to focus on making services accessible to and appropriate for students and employees referred by Miami University.
  2. Make 24-hour rape crisis hotline services available to students and employees of Miami University.
  3. Provide confidential crisis intervention, advocacy, information and referral, and accompaniment to medical and legal services as requested by students and employees.
  4. Provide students and employees of Miami University with information about how to file a complaint with Miami University and how to report a crime to campus or local law enforcement and offer to assist students and employees with filing a complaint or report.
  5. Assist Miami University in identifying patterns related to sexual violence and provide options for reporting offenses to Miami University for Clery statistical reporting purposes.
  6. Conduct victim satisfaction surveys or use other methods to assess the effectiveness of the services provided to students and employees.
  7. Meet regularly with the school’s Title IX Coordinator or designee to share information about: the needs of victims, trends in sexual assault services provided, additional services that are needed by students and employees, and the effectiveness of the school’s sexual assault prevention and response program.
  8. Assist Miami University health care and student services staff, officials involved in student conduct proceedings, and campus law enforcement on the incidence and prevalence of sexual assault, myths about sexual assault, the physical and emotional effects of sexual assault on victims, the neurobiology of trauma, and appropriate methods for interviewing and communicating with victims.
  9. Assist Miami University with the development and provision of prevention programming and training to faculty, students and school officials; including participation in Miami University’s Sexual and Interpersonal Violence Prevention/Response Committee.
  10. At the request of the survivor, provide survivor support during legal and University investigatory and/or disciplinary proceedings.
  11. Provide services per the 2015-2016 For Respect: Miami University Advocacy Grant.
  12. Provide a monthly invoice per 2015-16 For Respect: Miami University Advocacy Grant.

IV. The Role of Miami University

Miami University agrees to do the following:

  1. Identify a central point of contact for Women Helping Women staff to facilitate referrals for confidential services.
  2. Provide training to Women Helping Women staff about: on-campus resources that are available to student and employee victims of sexual assault; the federal and state requirements for Miami University in responding to sexual assault; reporting procedures for victims who wish to file a report with campus law enforcement and/or a complaint with Miami University officials; the student code of conduct and disciplinary process; and the educational accommodations provided to victims of sexual assault.
  3. Provide printed and online materials about reporting options for students and employees, including information about how to file a complaint with Miami University and how to report a crime to campus or local law enforcement.
  4. Inform Women Helping Women about the reporting obligations of school employees and identify those school employees with whom students can speak confidentially (and any exceptions to that confidentiality.)
  5. Inform Women Helping Women about the university’s prohibitions on retaliation, how allegations of retaliation can be reported, and what protections are available for students who experience retaliation.
  6. Ensure availability of the Title IX Coordinator or designee to meet regularly with Women Helping Women designee.
  7. Collaborate with Women Helping Women on prevention approach and activities; including participation in Miami University’s Sexual and Interpersonal Violence Prevention/Response Committee.
  8. Provide monthly reimbursement per 2015-16 For Respect: Miami University Advocacy Grant

V. Confidentiality

Women Helping Women and Miami University affirm the importance of providing students with options for confidential services and support. All services provided by Women Helping Women to students and employees of Miami University will be kept confidential except in the following circumstances:

  1. If the student or employee wants information shared with Miami University or campus security, campus, or local law enforcement, Women Helping Women will obtain informed consent for release of the information. When releases of information are required, they will be written, informed, and reasonably time-limited.
  2. If the federal or state law requires disclosure, such as because there is an imminent risk of harm to self or others, Women Helping Women and Miami University will determine: who will be notified; in what form; what information will be provided to the victim regarding this disclosure; and what steps will be taken to protect the victim from the imminent risk.

VI. General Provisions

  1. Nothing in this Agreement, expressed or implied, is intended to or shall confer upon any other person any right, benefit, or remedy of any nature whatsoever under or by reason of this Agreement.
  2. Neither Women Helping Women nor Miami University shall be obligated to reimburse the other for any services rendered under this Agreement, unless specifically stated. Each party shall be fully responsible for its own expenses, claims, or causes of action arising under this Agreement and neither party shall be required to indemnify, defend or hold harmless the other for any claim or cause of action.
  3. This Agreement may be terminated upon 60 days written notice by either party.

Signed March 7, 2016