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 SRU GETS $200,000 FEDERAL GRANT TO EDUCATE STUDENTS ON VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN 

 

SPOTLIGHT

10/11/2002

Contact: K.E. Schwab  -- 724-738-2199;  e-mail: karl.schwab@sru.edu

 SRU GETS $200,000 FEDERAL GRANT TO EDUCATE STUDENTS ON VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

          SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Educating students about violence against women, including dating violence, sexual assault and stalking, will be the focus of education programs made possible by a $199,853 grant to Slippery Rock University from the U.S. Department of Justice.

          Formally known as “The Bridge Project,” the program will bridge the gap between cultural norms and the prevalence of violence against women while building a number of other bridges, says Jodiann Solito, coordinator for health promotion at the university’s McLachlan Student Health Center and coordinator for the SRU Women’s Center. The grant was sought in conjunction with Butler County’s Victim Outreach Intervention Center, she explains, adding that Nancy Cruikshank, director of SRU’s Office of Grants and Sponsored Research, aided in preparing the application.

           “It will be implemented on campus beginning next spring as an educational effort with a goal of reducing the risk of violence against women,” Solito explains. “Our students need to be aware of the services available to women who are victims and learn how and when to report such crimes. A related area will be in showing students how to avoid or prevent such violence.” She points out that SRU has no higher incidence of such violence than the national average, but adds, “We hope our program will reduce our rate to below average.”

           The grant will be also used to augment prevention and education programs and develop and strengthen security strategies as well as respond to domestic violence and related crimes. It will also allow for improvement of campus resources and services and provide training for students related to dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. The funding will be used to enhance the campus judicial process and provide funding for a project coordinator and victim advocate, Solito explains.

          In announcing the grant, U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) said, “This funding is very important to continue the efforts to ensure that all students remain safe on the campuses of our colleges and universities.”

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