Trocaire was awarded nearly $300,000 from the federal Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women last September. With the first year consisting entirely of trainings, planning and preparation, Grant Coordinator Jillian Hanesworth is looking forward to kicking off on-campus programming for students, faculty and staff in October.
The grants—distributed to 57 schools across the United States—are intended to reduce sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking on campus. Although Trocaire is a non-residential campus, the majority of its student population is female and at risk for experiencing these types of crimes at home.
“We’re focusing on support in general—everyone has been impacted in domestic violence or other interpersonal violence in some way,” Hanesworth said. “We want everyone to be able to identify the warning signs. And then once you notice those signs, what can you do about it?”
So far, in addition to attending multiple conferences focused on how to implement the grant funds, Hanesworth has focused on learning the culture of Trocaire, trying to figure what types of programming will appeal to the community, and meeting with staff and faculty.
Trocaire’s grant program has been christened the Interpersonal Violence Intervention Prevention (iVIP) program, which will operate with a trauma-informed care mindset. One of Hanesworth’s first moves was forming a coordinated community response team comprised of Trocaire faculty and staff, the Buffalo and Lancaster police departments, and representatives from the Pride Center of WNY, Haven House and Crisis Services.
“We’re working together to make sure that everything we do—from programming to trainings—is inclusive and representative of all students,” she said. “We want a voice at the table to voice each demographic here.”
As for programming, in addition to educating the Trocaire community on how to identify signs of interpersonal violence and how to intervene appropriately, Hanesworth said she hopes to offer self-defense classes and other hands-on trainings.
“We have a really unique opportunity, because most of our students are going into the medical field,” she said. “So they’ll enter their individual career paths and know how to identify these issues and intervene. That’s probably one of the most exciting things; our reach will be so much larger than just Trocaire.”
The grant covers three years, at which point participating colleges may or may not reapply and be awarded the funds again. No matter what happens though, sustainability is a major goal.
“It’s all about asking, how do we keep our resources, our partnerships, our programming?” Hanesworth said. “Regardless of how we move forward, we want to make sure the community never feels like something is taken away.”
Stay tuned for programming announcements in coming months!
Meet Jillian Hanesworth:
East Side of Buffalo
Buffalo Academy for Visual and Performing Arts
SUNY Fredonia (BA in Criminal Justice, concentration in law)
Most Recent Job:
Haven House (positions included community educator and advocate in domestic violence court and the emergency homeless unit)
Jillian is a social justice poet who regularly performs and leads workshops around Buffalo!