FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEVAWO
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 15, 1999202/307-0703

JUSTICE DEPARTMENT AWARDS $8.1 MILLION TO COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES TO COMBAT VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ON CAMPUS

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Universities and colleges in 21 states and territories will be better equipped to address sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking on campus as a result of $8.1 million in grant funding announced today by the Justice Department. This is the first year that institutions of higher education will receive the Grants To Combat Violent Crimes Against Women on Campuses, administered by the Department's Violence Against Women Office (VAWO).

"Colleges and universities have a responsibility to provide safe and supportive learning environments for their students," said Attorney General Janet Reno. "These funds will enable schools to better respond to victims, provide needed support services and hold perpetrators accountable."

"Many schools have begun to develop campus-based response systems, which include campus law enforcement, victim services, faculty and student organizations and disciplinary boards," added Laurie Robinson, Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs (OJP), which includes VAWO. "To be most effective, these systems must be linked to local criminal justice and service agencies. This new program encourages these partnerships."

The universities and colleges receiving these funds must train campus police about responding to sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking; and establish a mandatory prevention and education program on violence against women for all incoming students.

Funds may also be used to train campus administrators and disciplinary boards to identify and respond more effectively to violence against women, and to strengthen support services, such as medical treatment or counseling, for victims. Data collection and communication systems, which link campus security to local law enforcement -- to identify and track arrests and prosecutions relating to violence against women -- and capital improvements, such as improved lighting, may also be supported as part of comprehensive efforts to address violence against women on campuses.

Howard University in Washington, D.C. plans to use these funds to create a sexual assault and domestic violence community task force, which includes representatives from campus and community organizations, including the Third District of the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department and victim services agencies. Michigan State University plans to educate resident assistants, incoming students, sorority and fraternity members, athletes and university staff about violence against women and consequences for offenders.

Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee will use its grant to conduct domestic violence training for student health center doctors and nurses and Vanderbilt Medical Center emergency room staff. Idaho State University will institute an education program for athletes and improve safety on campus by installing blue emergency telephones and enhanced lighting.

"Violence against women is a serious problem and provides unique challenges for colleges nationwide," said Bonnie Campbell, Director of VAWO. "A battered woman or rape victim may continue to live in danger if her attacker resides in the same dorm or attends the same classes. These funds will help address these and other problems."

Congress appropriated $10 million for the FY 1999 Grants to Combat Violent Crimes Against Women on Campuses Program, which is authorized by the Higher Education Amendments of 1998. VAWO received 125 applications requesting $58.5 million and is awarding 21 grants totaling $8.1 million. Remaining funds will be used for technical assistance and for a statutorily required National Institute of Justice evaluation of how institutions of higher education respond when sexual assault is reported.

Attached is a list of the specific grant awards. More information about the campus program and other violence against women efforts can be found at VAWO's Website at www.ojp.usdoj.gov/VAWGO or OJP's Website at www.ojp.usdoj.gov, or by calling the National Criminal Justice Reference Service toll-free on 1-800/851-3420.

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VAW99193

After hours contact: Linda Mansour on 202/616-3534 or page on 202/516-6843

STATE

CITY

UNIVERSITY/

COLLEGE

AMOUNT

ALABAMA Tuscaloosa University of Alabama

$449,299

ARIZONA Tucson University of Arizona

$421,006

CALIFORNIA Davis University of California at Davis

$543,000

CONNECTICUT Storrs/ Mansfield University of Connecticut

$248,630

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA Washington Howard University

$466,487

FLORIDA Jacksonville University of

North Florida

$143,547

IDAHO Pocatello Idaho State University

$280,045

KENTUCKY Louisville University of Louisville

$499,925

LOUISIANA New Orleans Tulane University

$500,000

MASSACHUSETTS Medford Tufts University

$394,936

MICHIGAN East Lansing Michigan State University

$418,333

MINNESOTA Minneapolis University of Minnesota

$381,805

NEW YORK Rochester Rochester Institute of Technology

$400,000

NORTH DAKOTA Jamestown Jamestown College

$495,419

PENNSYLVANIA California California University of Pennsylvania

$250,000

PUERTO RICO Humacao University of

Puerto Rico

$350,000

SOUTH CAROLINA Columbia University of

South Carolina

$278,360

TENNESSEE Nashville Vanderbilt University

$435,000

TEXAS Prairie View Prairie A&M University

$449,957

WASHINGTON Bellingham Western Washington University

$499,484

WISCONSIN Madison Edgewood College

$213,302

TOTAL

21

21

$8,118,535

October 1999