PCA FAQ’s

The Phoenix Center at Auraria’s Mission: To implement campus response services, provide
education and facilitate dialogue related to interpersonal violence (IPV) in the Auraria community with the ultimate goal of eradicating interpersonal violence in our communities.

What is the PCA?: The PCA is a tri-institutional office that serves people from MSU Denver, CU Denver, and CCD. As an office, we support people who are experiencing or have experienced interpersonal violence. Interpersonal violence (IPV) includes relationship violence, sexual violence, and stalking as its three main components.The PCA trains and maintains a team of confidential advocates pursuant to CRS § 13-90-107(k). This means that the advocates working for the PCA are legally prohibited from sharing information shared with them by a survivor seeking support. The PCA also operates a Violence Prevention Education Team staffed by students who are trained to provide peer education regarding issues related to IPV.

Where is the PCA?: The PCA is conveniently located in the Tivoli Student Union, Suite 259. The office is open from 8am-5pm, Monday – Friday. The PCA operates on the same schedule as the Auraria campus and is open during most breaks including summer, spring, and fall break. When we are not physically open, we also operate a 24/7 free and confidential helpline.

How is the PCA currently funded?: The PCA currently receives funds from 2 different areas: tri-institutional student fees and grant funding. A portion of each student’s semesterly mandatory student fees is allocated to the Phoenix Center (for more information about student fees please visit our Student Fee page) The majority of student fees received by the PCA are allocated to support our professional staff and the students serving as part of our Violence Prevention Education team in addition to normal operating functions and outreach efforts. We also receive grant funding from the Office for Victims of Crime and the Colorado Domestic Violence Program to support our ability to offer our services free of charge and continue to innovate in the field of violence prevention.

Why is the PCA important?: Auraria is Colorado’s largest campus, serving more than 50,000 students, faculty, and staff. The highest rate of intimate partner violence in the United States takes place among women aged 18-24.[1] This is a troubling statistic for the Auraria Campus where approximately 26,496 women go to school.[2] A recent Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study found that 1 in 6 women and 1 in 19 men have experienced stalking during their lifetime, causing them to feel fearful for their own life or the life of someone close to them.[3] On average 24 people per minute (12 million women and men per year) are victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking in the U.S.[4] Students, faculty, and staff at Auraria are part of that 12 million. Over the past several years, an increased public and governmental focus on Title IX compliance has required schools to provide “comprehensive victim services to all students affected by sexual harassment or sexual violence.”[5] The PCA is an integral part of fulfilling this necessary function. Additionally, it was recently noted that extenuating circumstances and lack of resources were the main reasons some Auraria students were unable to continue in their academic pursuits; we are a major resource with the ability to help these students continue towards their goals regardless of their experiences with IPV.

What the PCA Offers: The PCA is a confidential campus victim advocacy center, funded through student fees from all three institutions. It offers a set of services unique to our campus to victims/survivors of sexual violence, relationship violence, and stalking. Services provided to clients include: court accompaniment, academic advocacy (assisting with academic assistance, course withdrawal, and tuition reimbursement), accompaniment to local law enforcement or Title IX as requested by the client, collaboration with the MSU Denver Counseling Center, safety planning, housing assistance, and ongoing case management. PCA advocates will often see clients multiple times to address their ongoing safety and academic needs. In addition to in-person services, the PCA also offers a 24/7 free and confidential helpline staffed by trained volunteer advocates to assist those who are experiencing or have experienced interpersonal violence.

In addition to providing victim services, the PCA also provides the campus with awareness raising campaigns and  comprehensive prevention education curricula. The PCA’s largest scale programs and events are collaborative initiatives with partners across all three institutions: the Clothesline Project, Denim Day, and the Red Flag Campaign. The PCA also employs a team of violence prevention peer educators who provide interactive classroom and campus-wide workshops. These students are trained in the dynamics of abuse and prevention education techniques. Additionally, the education team also has a presence at all MSUD new student orientations. To learn more about the topics taught by our team, please visit our education page.

 

 

 

[1] Black, M. C., Basile, K. C., Breiding, M. J., Smith, S. G., Walters, M. L., Merrick, M. T., Chen, J., & Stevens, M. R. (2011). The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010 Summary Report. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
[2] Institutional research data from CCD, UCD, and MSU Denver websites and individual requests, March 2012.
[3] Black, M. C., Basile, K. C., Breiding, M. J., Smith, S. G., Walters, M. L., Merrick, M. T., Chen, J., & Stevens, M. R. (2011). The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010 Summary Report. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
[4] Ibid.
[5] United States Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights. (2011, April). Dear Colleague Letter.
[6] Black, M. C., Basile, K. C., Breiding, M. J., Smith, S. G., Walters, M. L., Merrick, M. T., Chen, J., & Stevens, M. R. (2011). The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey (NISVS): 2010 Summary Report. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.