Enhancing Victim Services Project
Read more about the grant's renewal and the continued work happening here at Rutgers University!
During the 2017-18 academic year a federal Victims of Crime Act grant was awarded to Rutgers University through the NJ Office of the Attorney General to increase support for victims/survivors of sexual violence, dating violence, and stalking on campus. The “Enhancing Victim Services throughout Rutgers University” project is housed at the Center on Violence Against Women and Children (VAWC) at the Rutgers School of Social Work. Dr. Sarah McMahon, Associate Professor and Director of VAWC serves as the principal investigator for the grant. Dr. McMahon works with the co-PI Dr. Rita Seabrook as well as a designated advisory board to provide overall guidance for the project.
The grant continues to be a collaboration between VAWC and members of the Camden, New Brunswick, Newark, and most recently the RBHS campuses that addresses sexual and dating violence. These members include representatives from Student Affairs, Title IX Coordinators, and the Offices for Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance.The main project goals are the expand direct services for victims/survivors on Newark, New Brunswick, Camden, and RBHS campuses; train students and staff to connect victims to services; engage the university in sexual violence prevention efforts; and strengthen the coordinated, university-wide approach to sexual and dating violence. Funding provided by this grant allows for an Office for Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance (VPVA) to exist on all of the Rutgers campuses, extending support and information to students throughout the Rutgers community.
This continued collaboration will focus on the following on several objectives. First, sustained initiatives including the VPVA offices on each campus in addition to targeted outreach to specific populations (e.g., the LGBTQ community, graduate students, and international students). The grant will also focus on connected with faculty and stuff to ensure their awareness of resources as well. Second, a new initiative of the 2019-21 grant year is to expand outreach to victims of other types of crime on campus. In an effort to do this, each campus will hire a graduate assistant dedicated to researching best practices, programming and awareness raising activities around addressing issues of all types of violence on campus. Finally, a focus of this work will include providing technical assistance throughout the state to help build capacity to address sexual and dating violence in higher education and high school. Workshops to be included are: 1) Campus Climate Surveys 2) Working with Diverse Student Populations and 3) Whole School Approach for High Schools.
In addition, VAWC continues to develop university-wide messaging through various collaborations such as participation in National Crime Victims’ Rights Week, creating various PSA's, and working toward a centralized website highlighting the resources that exist on campus for victim/survivors. The Center on Violence Against Women and Children is providing technical assistance to each of the campuses to strengthen their response, ensuring compliance with state and federal grant reporting, and supplying evaluation to the grant activities to determine the effectiveness and impact of the campus efforts.
New Jersey Statewide Conference on Campus Sexual Violence
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