Wise Options and Lycoming College to provide free counseling to students
Lycoming College welcomed two Wise Options counselors to campus to support students who have experienced domestic violence, sexual assault or other violent crimes. The counselors have two private rooms that they utilize twice a week.
Child/adult counselor Chloe Philippen is in the student board room on Mondays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and child/adult counselor Rebecca Hosier is in the Glad Room in the library on Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. through the fall semester. At this time they will only be taking walk-ins.
Hosier, a Lycoming College alumna, is excited to go to her alma mater to help the students on campus.
“I’m looking forward to being there as an outside source to support students who have had traumatic experiences like sexual assault.”
One in five women and one in 16 men experience sexual assault while in college, according to the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape. Informing all students about Wise Options’ free services and providing a safe space for them to openly share their experience with a knowledgeable, compassionate advocate is crucial for student success after victimization.
“We are here to provide a safe, confidential space for students,” Philippen said.
Both counselors hope students will utilize them as a resource to work through what is going on in their lives.
Having trained Wise Options counselors on-campus bridges the gap that many universities experience when students need services for sexual assault or dating violence, said Kristina Travis, project manager at Lycoming College.
“It can be hard for someone who has experienced sexual assault, dating/domestic violence or stalking to feel comfortable leaving campus to speak with someone at an agency they do not know,” she said. “We are providing our campus with the opportunity to meet and speak with advocates in their own space, making them more accessible.”
Hosier and Philippen are also available for students who were not the victim but rather are individuals who want to support a friend or roommate who was assaulted or abused. They can educate them how to best support the survivor.
“Providing our community with counselors of this caliber allows students to explore all of their options in a trauma-informed setting and provide them someone who can be a constant in their journey,” said Travis.
If you or a loved one has experienced sexual assault, domestic violence or other violent crime, please call the Wise Options 24/7 confidential hotline at 1-800-326-8483.
Hosier and Philippen can be reached at 1-800-326-8483.
For more information about Wise Options and other services offered at the YWCA Northcentral PA, visit ywcawilliamsport.org.