The United States Department of Justice has awarded a three-year, $300,000 grant to Northeastern Illinois University to address prevention and education efforts pertaining to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. The grant is one of 57 awards totaling $18 million distributed to colleges and universities around the country by the Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW).
“Northeastern has a reputation as a safe community for students and employees,” said Sharon Heimbaugh, director of Northeastern’s office of Student Health Services, which oversees the grant. “These grant funds serve as the foundation for the enhanced measures necessary to ensure the University remains a space where everyone feels comfortable and free from fear of interpersonal violence.”
With this grant, Northeastern will develop a formalized, comprehensive approach to preventative education and responses to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.
“It is vital to keep our students safe on campuses by supporting programs that take a coordinated community approach to education and prevention of sexual assault on our college and university campuses,” OVW Acting Director Katharine Sullivan said. “OVW is proud of our innovative approach to the development of the campus grant programs.”
Northeastern’s grant will pay for a full-time program coordinator who will implement prevention strategies, external partnerships with criminal justice systems and victims service providers, and a mandatory education program for all incoming students.
Northeastern will also convene a coordinated community response team; enhance mandatory education for all incoming students; conduct prevention and education programming; provide training for campus safety officers, investigators, faculty and staff; and improve the cultural relevancy of the University’s response to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking for first-generation, low-income, LGBTQ, veteran, ethnic minority and immigrant students.