Circles of Safety In Higher Education Settings

Sexual violence prevention training for colleges, universities and other higher education settings

The Circles of Safety for Higher Education (COSHE) program addresses the need for a comprehensive, campus-wide approach to the prevention of child sexual abuse. COSHE relies on a tiered approach involving institutional leadership, key university representatives and a cross-disciplinary team.

We believe that individual investment combined with team effort can change organizational culture and bring about lasting proactive prevention of child sexual victimization. 

Grounded in a process-oriented pedagogy, the two-day training provides the tools for team members to introduce the larger community to effective prevention practices. By imbedding prevention in ongoing campus safety efforts, the team leads the way in creating safer environments for children by establishing a culture of prevention.

Circles of Safety for Higher Education integrates previous Now! trainings, knowledge of the barriers to taking action and an understanding of what mobilizes adults to be preventive. In a two-year pilot, Stop It Now! and the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) collaborated to customize Circles of Safety for the higher education setting.

"Colleagues leaving the training will become highly informed individuals who will be prepared to integrate this 'new information' within their sphere of influence both on and off campus. - Dr. Kathleen Howley, Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic & Student Affairs, PASSHE

Program activities include:

  • Consultation with Now! staff on organizing your team and preparing for the training
  • Two-day training delivered by Now! trainers
  • Follow-up consultation to support team efforts 

Training modules used:

  • How to Speak Up and Keep Children Safe from Sexual Abuse
  • Recognizing and Responding to Children’s Sexual Behavior
  • Recognizing and Responding to Adults’ Behavior
  • Fostering a Culture of Prevention in your organization
  • Team Action Planning

Stop It Now! has invested over the years in providing services which go beyond training and include our Helpline program, web-based prevention tools, specialized materials,  and customized consultations. These support services further ensure the success of implementing a successful child sexual abuse-free environment on higher education campuses.

For information on how to bring this program to your campus, contact:

Jenny Coleman, Director
Email: jcoleman [at]
Phone: 413.587.3501

Additional information available upon request. 

Through the generosity and vision of Sue Paterno and the Paterno family, Stop It Now! was able to customize and implement the Circles of Safety training program for the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education and member universities. Staffing, data collection, curriculum adaptation, delivery of training and external evaluation were supported through this grant.

“Working with Stop It Now! was a rewarding experience. The trainers were able to automatically connect with individuals across a wide spectrum. A majority of the class had very little knowledge of the subject matter yet the trainers were able to simultaneously make them feel comfortable and safe while engaging and empowering them to understand the materials.” - University training participant