Anne Arundel Community College is one of 57 colleges and universities in the nation recently awarded a Justice Department grant to address sexual violence on campus.
The $300,000 award, renewable for three cycles, will go toward establishing a relationship and sexual violence prevention, intervention, and postvention project, said Tiffany Boykin, Ph.D., Esq., dean of student engagement.
In August, the U.S. Department of Education announced revisions of rules governing how campuses deal with sexual misconduct allegations, which Boykin said makes the grant especially relevant. “It’s timely,” she said. “I think it will allow us to have better coordination of resources on and off campus to help students.”
The school is partnering with the Office of the State’s Attorney of Anne Arundel County, Dating and Domestic Violence Services and the University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center Forensic Nursing Examiners’ program as part of a coordinated community response team. The comprehensive approach is designed to enhance victim support and support efforts to hold offenders accountable.
AACC will hire a full time, dedicated project coordinator. Plans also include a mandatory prevention and and education program for all incoming students and a campus disciplinary board, replacing the single-investigator model, to respond to reports. New training will be on tap for all public safety employees and disciplinary board members on how to respond to reports of sexual assault, dating violence and stalking most effectively.
Although the project targets all members of the campus community, particular attention is on student-athletes, low-income students, and military and veteran students. Though 2017 statistics from the AACC Department of Public Safety and Police reveal there were no reports for dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, statistics from the county Police Department revealed reports of sexual violence are much more prevalent in the surrounding community.
Other Maryland institutions included in the more than $18 million grant were Harford Community College and University of Maryland Eastern Shore.