SHARPP Services Available to Faculty and Staff
By Jody Record, Campus Journal Editor
December 1, 2010
Most people tend to think of the Sexual Harassment and Rape Prevention Program (SHARPP) at UNH as only a student service. It’s not; SHARPP offers support in the university community to all survivors (and their allies) of sexual assault, relationship abuse, or stalking through free and confidential advocacy and direct services.
SHARPP also provides education and outreach.
“Faculty and staff are underserved on campus but we are here for them, too, and every year, a number of faculty and staff members use our services,” says Mary Mayhew, SHARPP program director.
SHARPP is one of 14 crisis centers in New Hampshire and the only one on a college campus. Trained advocates are available 24 hours a day. They have a crisis line (603- 862-7233 or SAFE) or people can drop in without an appointment between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. SHARPP’s office is in Verrette House, 6 Garrison Avenue.
In the past, faculty and staff who did not feel safe at home have turned to SHARPP’s staff for assistance. There also have been situations where language barriers posed an issue and SHARPP employees were able to provide assistance by using an 800 number that offers translations for more than 30 languages.
While SHARPP does not have a physical shelter, they can help will locating one, and can provide emergency shelter and food.
Faculty and staff who experience harassment at their job can turn to SHARPP for support.
“If someone is being sexually harassed in the workplace, they can seek relief by reporting the incident to the Office of Affirmative Action and Equity. SHARPP can offer information, support and options, as well, no matter what the person decides to do,” Mayhew says. "SHARPP can be a place to be heard.”
They also can help in crafting a safety plan, teaching people the things they can do to increase their safety, or helping them find a safe way to leave a situation. If a faculty or staff member needs counseling, SHARPP will connect them with off-campus counselors with expertise on specific issues. SHARPP can also provide assistance in obtaining restraining orders and finding community resources that can provide additional help.
“We want people to know we are here to help,” Mayhew says. “That they have somewhere to turn. And that it’s all confidential.”