The Office of Sexual Assault Prevention & Response (OSAPR) at Harvard is committed to supporting those who have experienced harm. We are also committed to assisting those who wish to help our communities process what is happening nationally. As such, we would like to provide the following initiatives and ideas:
Community Circles —Some schools and departments have called for informal gatherings where members of the community can be in solidarity with one another. Where appropriate, OSAPR staff is available to support people in those spaces or help lead those conversations. If you convene one of those circles or meetings, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.
Extended Walk-In Hours - OSAPR is extending Walk-In Hours during the first two weeks of October. Members of the community can now come to the Smith Campus Center, Suite 624 from 12pm – 1:30pm. No appointment is necessary. We hope you can let members of your community know of this resource.
Meetings with Staff - We understand many staff members are trying to support students. If you need help navigating these conversations, please do not hesitate to reach out. We are happy to come to a staff meeting or meet individually to help you think through disclosures, resources, and supports.
Curating Public Spaces - Some schools may want to create spaces for community members to show solidary and support to survivors. A simple idea is to create a Messages of Love Board or Messages of Support, where members of the community take sticky notes and write positive messages. This idea can create a space where people feel a sense of community. Another idea is to create a Jar or Box of Inspiration: place some inspiration quotes in a jar and display it on a public space where students and community members can take and keep an inspirational message. We encourage you to imagine your own iterations of curating public spaces, but we hope these ideas serve as a starting point. If you curate a public space, please let us know. We would love to document these efforts and uplift such efforts on our social media platforms.
Supporting a Friend - Indiviudals affected by interpersonal harm often look first to friends and trusted community members for support. Link here to our "Supporting a Survivor" section to learn more about how to provide a compassionate, trauma informed repsonse to those in need.