October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. In recognition of that, please check out the guest blog post below, about Trocaire’s new Interpersonal Violence Intervention and Prevention (iVIP) program and resources available for people who may be dealing with interpersonal violence in their own lives.
By Jillian Hanesworth, iVIP Coordinator
Trocaire College was awarded a grant from the Department of Justice’s Office of Violence against Women in October 2018. The purpose of this grant is to enhance victim services, implement prevention and education programs and develop and strengthen the campus response to sexual assault, domestic violence (DV), dating violence and stalking on campus.
This grant also allowed for the formation of iVIP, as well as the Trocaire Coordinated Crisis Response Team that is comprised of Trocaire faculty and staff and representatives from community organizations including Crisis Services, Haven House, Pride Center of Western New York, and the Buffalo and Lancaster police departments. iVIP programming is expected to begin in October 2019.
The grant is housed under the Wellness Center within Student Affairs and managed by Jillian Hanesworth, who came to Trocaire in December 2018 after working as a social worker and advocate for intimate partner violence survivors for five years. Rebecca Maess is the current graduate assistant for the grant—she is in her second year of the Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration master’s program at SUNY Buffalo State College.
DV can be defined as “a pattern of behaviors in which one partner in an intimate relationship uses fear and intimidation to gain and maintain power and control over the other.” During DV Awareness Month 2019, Haven House, Crisis Services and the Pride Center of WNY will each host an activity for students, faculty and staff. Some of the activities include: Purple Letters, an opportunity for participants to write a short letter or words of encouragement to a DV survivor receiving services from Haven House; a mini self-defense lesson; and the “Purple Pinky Project,”-n activity where participants paint their pinky nails purple in solidarity with DV survivors.
iVIP is hoping that these activities will generate interest in the program, as well as educate the campus community on interpersonal violence, red flags and prevention. Program dates are currently being finalized and will be announced soon.
In addition to educating the campus community, iVIP is hoping that the DV Awareness Month activities will help familiarize the campus with both on and off-campus resources. Although Trocaire is a very safe campus, the iVIP team does understand that many incidences of violence go unreported. In the event that a student, faculty, or staff member is experiencing DV, or knows of someone who is experiencing DV, iVIP wants to insure that they know all of their reporting and advocacy options.
Off-campus resources include:
- National Sexual Assault Hotline (1-800-656-4673)
- National Domestic Violence Hotline (1-800-799-7233)
- Haven House (716-884-6000)
- Crisis Services (716-834-3131)
- Pride Center of WNY (716-852-7743)
On-campus resources include:
- Resource table located in the library
- Tracy Rozewicz, Title IX Coordinator
- Jennifer Ehlinger-Saj, Director of the Wellness Center and Counseling Services (confidential resource on campus)
- Jillian Hanesworth, iVIP coordinator (located in room 129).
If you are interested in learning more about iVIP or joining the iVIP team, which is open to all faculty, staff, students and community organizations, please email Jillian Hanesworth.