Survivors of sexual assault and dating violence will have more access to resources than ever before, as Arcadia University was awarded a three year grant by the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) from the U.S. Department of Justice.
The grant, totaling $300,000, will enable the University to address services for sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking. While current reporting procedures, training, and services exist, the grant will enable the improvement of these programs. The grant will support the development of a coordinated response between the University, law enforcement, and community victim services in support of survivors of sexual violence. Currently, the University has a Memorandum of Understanding with the Victim Services Center of Montgomery County, Inc.
“This grant will enable us to come together as a community to address sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking,” said Andrew Goretsky, dean of students. He is also the project director of the grant. “This will enable us to look at educational efforts, opportunities to enhance survivor services, and the resources we have available.”
The project proposed will improve survivor services for underserved students; allow Public Safety to conduct additional training with faculty, staff, and students; increase outreach to underserved populations; and improve communication between Public Safety, local law enforcement, and survivor services.
This is the first time Arcadia has received this grant, and Goretsky noted that the first step in achieving the project goals is to hire a grant coordinator, whose salary will be covered by the grant. Then, a climate survey of the student body will be conducted to assess Arcadia’s existing strategy and services. Goretsky said the survey can provide a baseline, so in three years the University can do a second survey that will assess improvements.
Arcadia was one of only 57 higher education institutions across the country, and only three in Pennsylvania, to receive a grant from OVW to address sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.
If you or someone you know experiences sexual assault or dating violence, the Title IX coordinator, deputy Title IX coordinators, dean of students, director of Public Safety and assistant vice president for Human Resources can provide assistance. The Title IX team will ensure that they take all reasonable and appropriate steps to ensure the safety and well being of individuals and the community. To find out more about reporting an incident, visit the Arcadia website.