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The Department of Justice Awards Nazareth Nearly $300K for Peer-to-Peer Education to reduce sexual violence

Published September 14, 2020

Nazareth College pursued and received a nearly $300,000 grant awarded from the Department of Justice to fund an innovative project that will engage and train current college students to be peer-to-peer educators in an effort to prevent and reduce sexual violence on campus.

The project is called Moving the needle: using peer-to-peer education to reduce and prevent sexual assault, dating violence, domestic violence, and stalking on college campuses. Nazareth's partners are the New York State Police, the Willow Domestic Violence Center, and RESTORE Sexual Assault Services. The project will assemble a comprehensive community response (CCR) team that includes internal partners from a wide range of offices across campus involved with students, along with undergraduate and graduate student leaders to ensure a student voice in policy and programming.

The Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women, says along with the efforts to educate the campus community through prevention programming, the project includes ongoing training to all law enforcement on how to effectively respond to reports of domestic violence ; access to 24-hour confidential victim services and advocacy; and ongoing training in the campus disciplinary process.

"This is a big honor to earn this grant from the Department of Justice, to know that it believes in our efforts," said Karen Vicks, Nazareth's TItle IX coordinator. "We've been wanting to develop a peer education program around these issues, and we were unable to find anything like it, so we decided to begin our own. I think that truly set us apart. This grant will help us be proactive in our work."

The funding for the project includes developing peer leaders who can be positive influences on student attitudes and actions to reflect heathy relationships and decrease sexual violence. It also will help increase the full campus population's awareness of the best practices for prevention of sexual violence and of the resources available to the campus community for prevention and response.

The CCR team will carefully select and train eight peer leaders on strategies, topics, and best practices, enabling them to educate peers on domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Peer leaders will be trained to assist in the development and implementation of media materials, programs, and initiatives. This project also addresses essential programming for underserved populations, specifically the LGBTQIA+ population and people of color.

Nazareth also plans to present the unique program and its results for other institutions interested in implementing similar strategies at both national conferences and through campus visits.

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Julie Long | Chief PR Officer, | (585) 781-8186 |

Nazareth University is an inclusive community of inspired learners, educators, and changemakers who for nearly 100 years have been driven by a bold commitment to action, empathy, equity, and leading innovation for the common good. Impact experiences are at the heart of a Nazareth education, preparing each student to discover within themselves the potential to cultivate positive change in their life's work, in any career field, and in a world that is constantly evolving and infinitely interconnected.

Our broad academic offerings present a range of study options typical of larger universities, yet achieved in our supportive campus culture. Nearly 2,100 undergrad and 600 graduate students enroll in degree and certificate programs and engage in collaborative, transformative learning experiences, preparing for the professions and society of today and tomorrow. In a learning community that purposefully integrates liberal arts and professional programs, Nazareth University graduates are able to launch a lifetime of impactful leadership in communities and workplaces near and far.