By Jordan Beach
The Department of Justice Office of Violence Against Women granted Reinhardt University Student Affairs $288,336.29 to fund programming that serves to educate and protect students on campus.
Reinhardt University will use the grant over the course of three academic years to establish a coordinated community response team (CCRT) and improve training for campus law enforcement and staff members who respond to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking incidents. The grant will also strengthen internal and external partnerships in order to provide more resources to students, expand ongoing prevention education efforts to raise awareness of these kinds of incidents on campus and strengthen Reinhardt’s security infrastructure.
“One incident of intimate partner violence or sexual assault—reported or unreported—is too many. This grant will help the University build on its educational programming, reporting systems and victim services that work together to keep our students safe while at the same time reassuring survivors that they have a voice, their voice matters and we are listening,” said Dr. Walter May, dean of students.
The Office of Violence Against Women (OVW) Grants to Reduce Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault and Stalking (DVDVSAS) on Campus Program is designed to enhance victim services, implement prevention and education and develop and strengthen campus security and investigation strategies to prevent, prosecute and respond to DVDVSAS incidents on college campuses.
Cherokee County Sheriff Frank Reynolds, District Attorney of the Blue Ridge Judicial Circuit Shannon Wallace and Executive Director of liveSAFE Resources Tracey Atwater will serve as community partners as Reinhardt begins and adds to its campus resources.
“As the District Attorney for Cherokee County, I am pleased to see that Reinhardt University has taken a proactive approach to reducing the prevalence of sex-related crimes on campus. Education and awareness are key to helping to prevent these types of crimes in college environments,” said Cherokee County District Attorney Wallace. “I look forward to working in partnership with Reinhardt University.”
"LiveSAFE Resources looks forward to partnering with Reinhardt University to educate students and faculty and enhance awareness around intimate partner violence and stalking,” said Executive Director Atwater. “We look forward to bringing our expertise to help reduce the incidences of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking on campus and throughout the Reinhardt community.”
In addition to these services, the University will use the funds to hire a full-time project director to oversee training and educational campaigns for the campus community. The CCRT will assist and support the director to inform, assess design and implement Reinhardt’s prevention, education and responses to DVDVSAS.