Marywood University Sets Programming for Sexual Assualt Awareness Through DOJ Grant

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Marywood University, the first institution in the region to receive a three-year $300,000 grant from the Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women on Campus, has set programing for the initiative’s final year.

The Project SHARE (Sexual Assault and Harassment Awareness Response Education) grant, originally awarded in October 2021 and which runs through September 2024, aims to combat domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking within the confines of a college campus.

The grant established a Coordinated Community Response Team, the implementation of preventive measures, and the provision of victim services. The stakeholders on campus include: The Dean of Students, the Office of Equity and Inclusion, Housing and Residence Life, the Counseling and Student Development Center, Campus Safety, Career Services, Retention and Advising, the Athletics and Campus Ministry, as well as committed faculty from the Social Work, the Physician Assistant Program, Education, and others.

Ross Novak, Dean of Students, says the grant is a boon for the community as well as for students. “The grant has allowed us the opportunity to assess and improve our operations and outreach efforts regarding issues of sexual assault, dating, domestic violence, and stalking, to ensure that they are effective and inclusive”, Novak said. “Beyond campus, the grant has provided opportunities for company partnerships, particularly with the Women’s Resource Center, which ultimately assists us in better serving our students.’  

The grant also supports advocacy events to inform students about a different topic each month. Several events are already set for the Spring 2024 semester, including a presentation on “Stalking in the Media” (January 23); Women’s Resource Center presentation/training regarding dating violence and sexual assault (January 25); Date Safe Online event (April 10); Bystander Engagement Event (April 16); Take Back the Night collaborative event with the University of Scranton (April 25), International Denim Day to Support Awareness (April 26), and other related events.