Grant tackles sexual violence

Focuses on education, ‘safe places’ in campus communities

“One in five female college students is sexually assaulted, and most suffer in silence.” That statement, made by Chico State University political-science professor Lori Beth Way, is from a recent press release announcing Chico State and Butte College received a grant of nearly a half-million dollars to reduce and respond to crimes of sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking in local campus communities.

Way was the primary author of the grant proposal and is director of the Collaborative Response to Violence Project. The $471,529 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Violence Against Women Office is for three years, with the possibility of continuation funding. A major initiative of the project is to educate all incoming students on the dynamics of sexual assault, intimate-partner violence and stalking.

The project is funding offices on both campuses, called Safe Place, where students can receive information and support related to sexual violence. Volunteers from Rape Crisis and Catalyst Domestic Violence Services are staffing the sites. Other project partners include local police and sheriff’s departments, the Counseling and Wellness Center, the A.S. Women’s Center and University Housing.