Mount Saint Vincent Awarded Grant Addressing Sexual Assault, Dating Violence
Riverdale, N.Y. – The College of Mount Saint Vincent has been awarded a vital grant dedicated to developing and strengthening strategies to prevent domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking crimes. According to the National Institute of Justice, research from the last 15 years indicates that a “substantial” number of students are sexually assaulted on college campuses across the country each year. While CMSV is fortunate that such incidents are rare, prevention through education and assuring victims receive appropriate services is paramount.
The College grant, totaling almost $300,000 and in effect through September 30, 2019, is titled “Ensuring Safety Through Prevention.” It was awarded through the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), which currently administers 24 grant programs authorized by the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) of 1994 and subsequent legislation. The program will be enacted in partnership with the Crime Victims Treatment Center of Mt. Sinai West and St. Luke’s Hospitals and the 50th precinct of the New York Police Department.
The program provides a unique opportunity for colleges and universities to establish multidisciplinary consortia to combat violent crimes against women on campus. These comprehensive efforts are designed to enhance victim services, implement prevention and education programs, and develop and strengthen security and investigation strategies in order to prevent, prosecute, and respond to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking crimes.
The program has several goals, including developing broad campus and community engagement by creating a Coordinated Community Response (CCR) team, composed of administrators, security personnel, counseling center staff, and community agencies. The program is also committed to reducing sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking through awareness, education, and preventative strategies through expanding educational programming about healthy relationships and providing more effective intervention to victims, such as increasing free counseling hours by 25 percent. Finally, the program will facilitate the training of campus security, staff, and administrators to respond effectively to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking complaints.
Mount Dean of Students Kelli Bodrato says that a soon-to-be-hired program coordinator will oversee the program. An additional part-time counselor was recently hired to help meet counseling needs.
“We are thrilled to begin work on this important initiative,” Ms. Bodrato said.
For more information about the program, contact Ms. Bodrato at (718) 405-3253.
About the College of Mount Saint Vincent
Founded in 1847 by the Sisters of Charity, the College of Mount Saint Vincent offers nationally recognized liberal arts education and a select array of professional fields of study on a landmark campus overlooking the Hudson River. Committed to the education of the whole person, and enriched by the unparalleled cultural, educational and career opportunities of New York City, the College equips students with the knowledge, skills and experiences necessary for lives of achievement, professional accomplishment and leadership in the 21st century.