University of Oregon Victim Assistance Fund
Even though our nationally-recognized prevention efforts put us at the forefront of prevention education initiatives, the UO is like any other university in that sexual violence still occurs on our campus. When students are affected by sexual discrimination, harassment or violence, we offer comprehensive support services and interim measures to help them continue their education. One of the cornerstones of our effort is the Victim Assistance Fund. This fund is available to student victims in need of financial resources to stay safe and engaged with their education. Many of these students do not have assistance from family or have chosen not to share their experience with their family and so are left with expenses as a result. Common uses of this fund include:
- Medical expenses related to assault – including STI preventive medications
- Counseling services
- Reimbursement of lost wages from absences due to trauma
- Moving costs if they need to relocate for safety concerns
- Emergency housing expenses
Every year more students are gaining the courage to come forward to seek help and thus we anticipate requests to increase. The UO has made a commitment to not refuse any reasonable request that would help ensure the safety and health of a student survivor of sexual discrimination, harassment, and violence. The value of this fund cannot be overstated nor measured in dollars—every request granted works directly to assist students who would otherwise struggle to find physical safety, stay healthy, and obtain the basic needs necessary to continue their education.
There are no administrative costs for this fund, so any contributions to this fund would go directly to the students it supports. For many of these students, a few hundred dollars of assistance is the difference between dropping out of school and continuing their education. Student survivors are often traumatized and feel alone, but through the use of this fund, we are able to show that they are cared for, valued, and belong at the UO.