FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE VAWO
FRIDAY, MARCH 23, 2001 202/307-0703
NEARLY $11 MILLION IN JUSTICE DEPARTMENT FUNDS AVAILABLE
TO REDUCE VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN ON CAMPUS
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Colleges and universities nationwide can compete for a total of $10.9 million in federal funds to address violence against women, announced Attorney General John Ashcroft today. The Justice Department’s Violence Against Women Office (VAWO) has just released its application kit for the FY 2001 Grants to Reduce Violent Crimes Against Women on Campus Program.
The Campus Program enables institutions of higher education to develop programs to prevent sexual assault, domestic and dating violence, and stalking and to improve victim services. Developing and strengthening effective security and investigation strategies to combat violent crimes against women on campuses also are encouraged.
“Every student should be afforded the opportunity to learn in a safe and supportive environment,” said Attorney General Ashcroft. “This important program challenges colleges and universities to think creatively about addressing violence against women on campus, working with the local community and holding offenders accountable.”
The campus grants will be awarded by summer’s end to colleges and universities to improve coordination on campus and with local criminal justice and victim services agencies. Many campuses are developing campus-based responses that include campus victim services, campus law enforcement, health services, housing officials, administrators, student organizations and disciplinary boards. To be most effective and to receive these funds, campuses must develop partnerships with local law enforcement agencies, prosecutors’ offices, courts and nonprofit victim advocacy organizations, such as rape crisis centers.
To receive funding, colleges and universities must train campus police and members of disciplinary and judicial boards about responding to sexual assault, domestic and dating violence, and stalking and establish a mandatory prevention and education program on violence against women for all incoming students.
Grant funds can support training campus administrators, faculty and staff to respond more effectively to sexual assault, domestic and dating violence, and stalking. Funds also can be used for capital improvements, such as improved lighting, as part of a comprehensive program to reduce and respond to violence against women on campus. Revising campus policies and protocols and developing comprehensive education programs for the prevention of violent crimes against women also can be supported with grant funds.
“Institutions of higher education have a unique opportunity to create social change by adopting policies and procedures that emphasize the seriousness of violent crimes against women,” said Mary Lou Leary, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs (OJP), which includes VAWO. “We have seen from the first two years of this program how these grant funds can foster innovative approaches to preventing violence.”
The FY 2001 Grants to Reduce Violent Crimes Against Women on Campus Program Application Kit contains the materials and directions necessary to apply for the campus grant funding. On-line applications are due April 24, 2001. The application kit, as well as information about VAWO and its programs, is available at www.ojp.usdoj.gov/vawo. The application kit is also available by calling the Justice Department Response Center toll-free at 1-800/421-6770.
For more information contact: Linda Mansour on 202/616-3534