Our approach to prevention uses both evidence-based and community-generated methods to work toward preventing gender-based, sexual, and relationship violence within our university community. 

Through collaborations with the Vice Provost and Dean of Students Office, the Center for Health and Wellbeing, Student Life, UVM Athletics, community organizations, and many others, Catamounts have the opportunity to learn more about healthy relationships, positive sexuality, sexual health, and more. Prevention and education assets are constantly evolving. Among our current assets are required sexual assault prevention courses for all students.

Activities and Events

Dedicated staff from across the university work to sponsor, produce, and host a wide variety of engaging and informative events and activities across campus. Here are a few examples: 

  • Undergraduate Student, medical college, and graduate school orientation training
  • Resident Assistant training
  • Health education communications
  • “Let’s Talk About Sex” week of programming
  • Sports club and athletics training sessions
  • Fraternity and sorority “Sexual Violence Summit” trainings
  • Social media-based health education communications
  • Empowerment self defense trainer development
  • Sexual Violence Awareness Month suite of programming during the month of April in collaboration with Student Government Association.


If you would like to bring a workshop to your group, department, or class, the university offers a variety of topics, including:

  • Community Healing: centering healing from harm for yourself and your community
  • Masculinity topics: looking at how masculinity intersects with privilege, empathy, harm and healing
  • Being an Active Bystander: Intervening when you witness concerning behavior within your community
  • Healthy Relationships: defining desire, identifying red and green flags, communicating boundaries and needs, and dealing with rejection
  • Introduction to Transformative Justice: learning community-based accountability practices


If you have any questions about terms or definitions, please visit the Office of Equal Opportunity's helpful definitions webpage.

Our Educators

Elliot Ruggles, Ph.D.

Elliot Ruggles (a white non-binary person) wearing a black, tailored blazer and a red patterned button up, stares confidently into the camera.

Dr. Elliot Ruggles is a sexuality professional and clinical social worker specializing in recovery from and prevention of sexual and gender-based harm. In his role at the University of Vermont, he works to coordinate university-wide efforts around the prevention of sexual violence. 

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Jennifer Demers, Ph.D.

A headshot of Dr. Jennifer Demers, a white woman with long blonde hair wearing a black shirt and a gold necklace.

Dr. Jennifer Demers is an applied social psychologist within the College of Nursing and Health Sciences and is the Director of the new Preventing Interpersonal Violence via Outreach and Training (PIVOT) Peer Educators Program, due to launch in Spring 2024. Dr. Demers’ interdisciplinary, mixed-methods research broadly focuses on interpersonal violence (i.e., sexual violence, intimate partner violence, & stalking) to inform new prevention methods and improved response services for victims.

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Jenna Emerson, M.Ed.

Jenna Emerson (a white woman) wearing glasses, a gray sweater, and green wrap scarf, smiles at the camera. Her bright red hair shines in the sun.

Jenna Emerson (she/her) is a health and sexuality educator with a primary focus on inclusive, shame-free, and comprehensive sexuality education. Her areas of expertise range across a wide array of sexuality topics including sexual health, consent, healthy relationships, sexual violence prevention, pregnancy and STI prevention, pleasure, and LGBTQIA+ topics.

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Keith E. Smith, MS, LCMHC, NCC

Keith E. Smith (a Black man) smiles brightly at the camera.

Keith Smith (he/him) is a Staff Counselor, and the Men's Outreach Coordinator at Counseling and Psychiatry Services. Since 2006, Keith has served in the role of Men's Outreach Coordinator (MOC). He has expertise as a men's counselor, and works with college men in numerous capacities and on many issues related to masculine identity development. Keith also provides consultation, education, training, and programming to the UVM community on issues related to healthy masculine identity, violence prevention as well as assisting in coordination of the campus-wide response to violence.

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