Being Barnard Violence Prevention Program
Being Barnard is the college's sexual violence education, prevention, and outreach program. The mission of Being Barnard is to provide a holistic approach to sexual violence prevention through campus-wide campaigns, educational programming, one-on-one health consultation services, community building, outreach, advocacy, and intervention. Sexual assault and interpersonal violence affect students of all genders, identities, and backgrounds and are widely recognized to not be isolated issues but part of a much larger societal picture. As such, it is our hope that by addressing a multitude of interwoven topics, such as healthy relationships and sexuality, affirmative consent, personal boundaries, self-care, bystander intervention, and social identities and power, that we may help reduce, and one day eliminate, sexual assault and violence from our campus and global communities.
Being Barnard is a Confidential Office
Location: 122 Reid Hall
Phone Number: 212.853.0145
Open Office Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
* Please note that this email is not meant for emergency use and is not monitored 24/7. If you have experienced violence, on- and off-campus resources can be found here.
Dear Barnard Community:
In recent weeks, you may have heard about a number of companies advertising "at home evidence collection kits." These kits have been marketed to colleges and universities as well as individual consumers as an alternative to standard hospital forensic exams for survivors of sexual violence. As healthcare professionals and sexual violence educators, we cannot, in good conscience, endorse these products.
We have grave concerns over the high potential for harm and re-traumatization that these kits pose.
As they currently exist, there is a high likelihood that the kits will not be admissible evidence in legal proceedings.
The companies have not made clear what happens to a survivor’s personal information once it is submitted.
These companies are charging survivors for the kits whereas hospital forensic exams are provided free for survivors who wish to have them done.
We urge survivors of sexual violence who wish to have evidence collected to seek out professional medical attention and support services.
Advocates at Sexual Violence Response (SVR) are available to help you navigate the process and accompany you to the ER. Their helpline – 212.854.HELP(4357) – is available 24/7.
Mt. Sinai-St.Lukes is the closest emergency room with a dedicated medical team for survivors of sexual violence. Trained, trauma-informed professionals can walk you through the evidence collection process, follow the proper protocols including following the chain of custody required for legal evidence, as well as provide any necessary testing and preventative medication.
Primary Care Health Service can assist you with a medical evaluation, testing, and/or referral to an appropriate resource
Furman Counseling Center can provide counseling support, often so crucial after experiencing trauma
Title IX support, which can enable you to access accommodations which many survivors find helpful in the aftermath of trauma. Additionally, Title IX can assist you if you choose to file a report.
Additional information about the evidence collection process can be found on the Title IX website.
While every survivor’s path to healing is different and we encourage each individual to make the choices that feel best and safest to them, we also feel it is our duty to inform our campus community of the potential harm of these at-home kits so that individuals are informed and aware.
MJ Murphy - Executive Director of Student Health & Wellness Services
Marjorie Seidenfeld - Medical Director
Jessica Cannon - Director of Health Promotion & Education
Cristen Kennedy - Program Coordinator of Prevention Education
If you are a survivor of sexual or relationship violence or you are caring for a survivor and you need support, please reach out to the following confidential resources:
Sexual Violence Response
Barnard: 105 Hewitt Hall
Morningside: 700 Lerner Hall
24/7 Helpline: 212.854.HELP (4357)
122 Reid Hall
100 Hewitt Hall
Primary Care Health Service
Lower Level Brooks Hall
To date, a number of survivor support agencies, colleges and universities, medical institutions, and government entities have released statements regarding these kits such as the Campus Advocacy& Prevention Professionals Association, International Association of Forensic Nurses, New York Attorney General, and many more. You can read their statements below:
Campus Advocacy & Prevention Professionals Association:
International Association of Forensic Nurses:
University of Utah SAAVI Program:
Being Barnard is the College’s ongoing sexual violence awareness initiative created with the input of students and staff. Through a comprehensive array of programs offered by Being Barnard staff and numerous campus partners, students can learn skills, engage in discussion, and gain insight & support in the following important social areas: wellness, relationships, intervention, social identities & social power, and violence education. For more information on each of these areas, please read below.
We’ve all been in situations where we have seen something or heard something that we knew just wasn’t right. But sometimes we don’t know how to intervene safely or effectively. These programs focus on building skills in bystander intervention, advocacy, and changing social norms so that you can help your community be a safer and healthier place.
Social Identities & Social Power
Every human being is made up of a complex set of identities: our gender, sexuality, race, ethnicity, ability, country of origin, and so much more. The ways in which these identities intersect affect how we are able to walk through the world. These programs focus on the intersections of identities and the personal and social ramifications of power, privilege, and oppression.
Violence can come in many forms - physical, emotional, or verbal. Whether it comes in the form of a microaggression, an unwanted touch, verbal or emotional threats, or physical assault, violence can have far reaching negative effects on our personal well being and the well being of our communities. These programs focus on recognizing and naming violence in all of its forms, learning the skills and resources to help survivors of violence, unpacking privileges that allow cycles of violence to continue, and advocating for a shift to a society where violence of any kind is no longer threatened or tolerated.
How do you foster and nurture your relationships with your friends, family, partners, and most importantly, with yourself? These programs focus on relationship building, communication, learning and setting personal boundaries, active and ongoing consent, conflict resolution, and so much more! We’re here to help you learn the tools to build and sustain positive, healthy relationships with yourself and others.
How do you take care of your whole self - mentally, physically, and emotionally? Being a student can sometimes be overwhelming and, often, self care is the first thing that falls by the wayside. These programs focus on tending to mental health, sexual health, nutrition, sleep, and even hobbies so that you can learn the skills to balance caring for academics with caring for yourself.
* Being Barnard is a constantly evolving initiative that seeks to grow and expand with the needs of our campus community. If you have suggestions for future programming or areas of focus, we’d love to hear from you. Please submit your suggestions and comments to BeingBarnard@barnard.edu*
Quickly explore the information available on the Being Barnard page!
Confidential and non-confidential resources available on campus, as well as off campus and online resources for those seeking support for experiences of sexual or intimate partner violence.
Have questions about what consent is (or isn't)? This page gives definitions and links to education.
Are you interested in having Being Barnard present a program to your class, student organization, or department? Click here to find out how!
See what events Being Barnard has coming up and explore our past events.