Nord Center Representative Spoke to Students on Healing and Resources


Erin Koo

The Nord Center works with the Title IX office to provide support for students.

On Tuesday, the Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion held a talk with a representative from the Nord Center. As a part of Consent Month, students were invited to learn about the process of healing from sexual harm or violence.

The Nord Center is a community mental health organization located in Lorain that offers a variety of psychiatric and trauma programs. It provides both mental and physical health services for victims of sexual assault that are available to Oberlin students at no cost. Forensic medical exams, which collect data that can be used to pursue legal processes and help determine treatment for injuries, are available at the center and can be administered during the first 96 hours after an assault. The exams are performed by trained Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners. In addition, advocates are available to provide support to victims throughout the medical examination process or the legal process of reporting the assault, if the victim chooses to do so.

A 24-hour hotline staffed by Nord Center advocates who have undergone 40 hours of training provides support specifically catered to sexual assault victims. Advocates can also advise College students involved in the Title IX reporting process.

Advocates are also able to provide psychoeducational support for individual students, offering a transitional service to victims before they go into therapy. It provides education around trauma, addressing what common responses are, what the student might be experiencing, and coping mechanisms.

Confidential Student Advocate Emily Seng is one provider of such support.

“It’s meant to be education about sexual harm … in printable, readable form,” Seng said when talking about the paper that is also provided to victims. “Usually I’ll talk with students, we’ll go through it, highlight, talk about what’s important to them in there. Are they relating to any of the stuff there? Depending on that, we can also do coping skills, making a self-care plan. Are they doing any types of self-care? I think a lot of times in college you realize, ‘Oh hey, I have to make all of these things, finding out also what works,’ because maybe what works in high school or earlier isn’t working anymore in this place. So we can do stuff like that, talking about triggers, panic attacks, flashbacks, and also talking about transitioning into therapeutic services if the reactions are intense — when they’re feeling like, ‘Hey, I could really use extra help.’”

Oberlin College is required to report felonies to the local police department. However, the Nord Center is not required to report felonies.

“If somebody really wants to make sure that nothing gets shared outside of who they’re wanting to share with at the moment, the Nord advocates are phenomenal options,” Director for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion and Title IX Coordinator Rebecca Mosely said. “Yes, they can truly keep it confidential, both from the Title IX office and from the police.”

Additionally, the College provides transportation to and from the Nord Center at no cost to students.

“If Oberlin students do need to go to the Nord Center, we’re able to get Ubers for any of our clients,” Nord Center Community Educator Kayla Gelb said. “And that’s the same for any of our services. So if students aren’t connected with us, and they need to come to the Nord Center for sexual assault services, they’re able to get Uber for general counseling and other support services.”

Gelb commented on the importance of using Nord’s hotline if in crisis.

“We have general mental health services and sexual assault services,” Gelb said. “Either way, both of those services can be accessed through our main hotline. So if you call our main hotline, they’re going to explain what’s going on, they’re really going to be able to help you figure out what resources would be beneficial to you in that moment and how to access them.”

The Title IX office can help students in formal and informal resolution processes and provide on-campus support with processes such as changing residences and communicating with professors. Mosely believes that having a variety of partnerships and resources available is important to providing full support for students.

“Anything that we can do as an office to continue to make sure that students know about the opportunities that are provided by the Nord Center, that is always our goal,” Mosely said. “They can provide things that we cannot, … and so it’s knowing that there are different places and spaces where our work can work well.”