Program designed to assist students facing sexual violence in their lives
BUFFALO, NEW YORK – Sept, 25, 2018 – Trocaire College announced today that the United States Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) has awarded the college a grant in the amount of $299,639 to implement a program to combat sexual violence against students.
The OVW supports institutions of higher education in implementing comprehensive, coordinated responses to violent crimes through partnerships with victim services providers and justice agencies. The grants to 57 schools across the country are intended to reduce sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking on campus.
Unlike other higher education institutions with students residing on campus, Trocaire offers a unique commuter college environment and student population for which to implement an OVW campus grant project, with strong potential to be replicated at other non-traditional, commuter or two-year institutions.
“Our number one priority as an institution of higher education is to do everything that we can to protect and create a safe environment for our students, faculty and staff,” said Trocaire President Bassam M. Deeb. “As a commuter school, our students are not experiencing sexual abuse or violence in dormitories or at other campus residential housing. However, it is our hope the unique program we have created will assist students who may be facing violence in their lives. By having faculty and staff involvement, a broad safety net can be created for students who have experienced these issues or who would benefit from awareness and preventative education. This grant will help us fulfill our mission to serve students, helping them through the challenges they might face on the path to graduation.”
Trocaire has identified the majority of its student population as at-risk for experiencing crimes of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking as they are predominantly female. Over half of Trocaire’s students are part-time and 40% are single mothers. Given this combination of circumstances, Trocaire students may experience domestic violence in their homes at a greater rate than students living in dormitories or other campus living facilities.
As part of its program, Trocaire will hire a full-time project coordinator to organize and support a coordinated community response team consisting of college staff and representatives from Crisis Services and the Buffalo and Lancaster Police departments. The college will also develop and deliver mandatory education on sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking for new students and transfer students as well as ongoing bystander intervention and prevention programming and education.
For more information about the awards by the Department of Justice OVW, visit its website.