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Women's Center Lands Federal
Grant for Violence Prevention
November 8, 1999

The University has received a federal grant of almost $250,000 to help prevent violence against women on campus.

Kathleen Holgerson, director of the Women's Center on the Storrs campus, said the grant will be used to support several collaborative efforts, both among UConn departments and with the College Consortium Against Sexual Assault, which will share information with other colleges in the state.

"We will work with the Consortium to provide technical assistance to the other schools within the Consortium to institute coordinated response teams on their campuses," Holgerson said. "The Consortium plans to convene a conference for the coordinated response team members on those campuses."

She said that as part of UConn's assessment of its anti-violence programs, "with members of the Sexual and Relationship Violence Network, we looked at the gaps on our campus and looked for ways to fill them." One result was a sexual and relationship violence network on campus where people who have been subjected to violence can go. Part of that program's effort is to notify people of the different kinds of assistance programs available to them on campus.

"Another piece of it is working with the Residential Life staff to have RAs receive extra training to help deal with violence against women," Holgerson said. "We're also working with the Police Department to go into residence halls with male peer educators to facilitate programs on combating violence against women."

In addition, she said, the University will use the grant to work with Student Health Services to enhance services to women who are survivors of violence.

The grant to UConn is from the U.S. Justice Department's Violence Against Women Office. It is one of 21 such grants totaling $8.1 million nationwide. The only other university in the Northeast to be selected for a grant was Tufts University in Medford, Mass.

The Justice Department's program is intended to help train campus police officers respond to incidents of sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking. It also establishes programs to teach incoming students about violence and how it can be prevented.

Ken Ross