|Volume XXIX Issue 8||October 9, 2003|
Crossroads on campus help students deal with
Leigh Wiley - Reporter
Crossroads is bringing students sexual harassment information and support in hopes of educating students about the issue.
During volunteer training, a booklet is handed out with the purpose statement of the Crossroads Agency: "To provide a comprehensive program of prevention, education, inter-agency coordination and services for persons concerned with or having experienced sexual assault."
April Durr, an Elon alumni and leader of Crossroads, says that Crossroads began in Burlington more than 25 years ago. An Elon student who had experienced sexual harassment talked to women in Burlington about the problem. The women decided to get together and do something about this by educating young men and women and giving those who had experienced sexual harassment a place to turn to. From this small group came Crossroads, now a non-profit organization that receives grants from United Way and North Carolina.
This year Crossroads opened satellite services on the Elon campus. This means that an office in Mosley is open on Mondays and Wednesdays for students who want to learn how to become involved or who need counseling. On Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 to 5 p.m. a counselor is available in the Health Services Center.
The group always needs volunteers. Molly Rice began volunteering her time this year to fulfill her hours for her human services course. She picked Crossroads to volunteer at because it was something she had never done before.
"Once I heard about this organization in class, I wanted to immediately get involved," said Rice.
Durr says that volunteering is "a way for them (students) to gain knowledge and help their peers. Volunteers are a big part of the process."
Durr looks for volunteers because more students means a better outreach program. The outreach program is a big part of the Crossroads agency. This is the section that goes into schools, colleges and work places to educate people about sexual harassment. The Crossroad Web site shows startling statistics like the fact that senior citizens and infants alike have been victims of sexual abuse. And while one out of every three women will experience sexual abuse in her life time, one out of every five men will as well.
These facts show the members of Crossroads that they need to educate everyone, not just young women, says Rice.
The other large aspect of Crossroads is the crisis center. There is a hotline that victims can call.
The center will also accompany victims to the hospital, law enforcement offices and the District Attorney’s to support them in bringing their assaulter to trial. They also act as educators and liaisons to the victims’ families who may not understand.
These facilities are also open to children, with a child-friendly facility and help given to non-offending parents.
Rice said she sees Crossroads as beneficial to not only students but to the whole community.
"It may not be something Elon needs," said Rice, "but Crossroads is good for the campus."
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