Anti-Violence Engagement Network (AVEN)

Sexual violence is a community problem that needs community based solutions. Student groups play an important role on campus in creating culture, setting standards for appropriate behavior, and supporting students. 

Applications for 2019-2020 are now closed. 

How does my group become a part of the network?
Groups can apply to become AVEN groups by submitting the form below, getting at least 50% of active members to fill out the AVEN survey, and sending 2-5 group members to Supporting Survivors Training in October. Groups that complete those steps will then be invited to become a part of AVEN and take part in the monthly action steps. Groups who complete these and track their progress, while working with an assigned staff member, will be acknowledged annually as members of the network. Umbrella groups who are interested in being a part of the Network must complete additional requirements. 

Why should my group participate?
Because you care! You have the power to help create change on campus and to send the message that the Penn community does not tolerate interpersonal violence. By taking a pro-active approach to preventing violence, you will also be supporting survivors, and helping to create an environment where they do not fear negative social consequences for seeking help. Participating will not ensure that your group is a safe space for everyone or that incidents of sexual violence will not occur, but we do hope it can help create a culture where those behaviors are not normalized.

What if not all members of our group want to participate?
It is important that this is a commitment your group makes collectively with the support of all members. We are happy to talk through any questions or concerns that students have.

Can umbrella groups participate?

Yes! Umbrella groups must complete additional steps and engage the groups that report to them as well.


September/October – Apply

  • Decide who in your group will be responsible for overseeing your group’s ongoing efforts to be actively engaged in violence prevention and well informed about campus resources. This does NOT need to be a board member. We recommend having two AVEN representatives with one being an upperclassman and the other a lowerclassman. 
  • Before October 19th, at least half of active members must complete the AVEN survey for the group to be eligible to be in the AVEN program
  • 2-5 group members must attend Supporting Survivors Training on October 19th. (Exact requirement depends on size of group.)
    • Groups with 10-20 active members: 2-3 attendees
    • Groups with 20-50 active members: 3-4 attendees
    • Groups with 50+ active members: 4-5 attendees
  • Groups that meet these three requirements will be accepted into the AVEN Network.

November – Resource Workshop

  • A PVP staff member or peer educator will come to a group meeting to lead a 15-30 minute workshop on campus resources.

December – Community Representative Meeting

  • All liaisons will attend a community representative meeting to discuss their experiences with AVEN and learn from each other.

January/February – Peer Education Workshop

  • AVEN organizations will request and receive a peer education workshop from either MARS or PAVE. 
  • Potential workshops are PAVE’s bystander intervention workshop, MARS’s consent workshop, and MARS’s masculinity workshop.

March – Community Discussion

  • A PVP staff member or peer educator will facilitate a conversation about group norms and values.

April – Take Back the Night 

  • Take Back the Night is an annual march and survivor speak out and is one of the most powerful events on Penn’s campus. 
  • AVEN groups must host a postermaking session for the march and encourage their members to attend.