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Friday, May 17, 2024

UW receives grant to prevent domestic violence on campus

The U.S. Department of Justice and the Office of Violence Against Women granted UW-Madison $300,000 Thursday to help prevent domestic violence on campus. 

Other partners from within the university and around the Dane County area will work with the university to help prevent not only domestic violence, but sexual assault and stalking as well.  

Partners include UHS, Domestic Abuse Intervention Services and the student organization PAVE: Promoting Awareness, Victim Empowerment.  

Alexandra Cruickshank, student representative for PAVE, an organization based off peer education, said she is excited the organization has the opportunity to work with the university to fight sexual assault. 

Carmen Hotved, Violence Prevention Specialist and PAVE advisor, said there are two grant requirements, including the education of law enforcement offices and the partnering of various organizations. 

Domestic violence and sexual assault are community problems, so they require multidisciplinary response,"" she said.  

The University Subcommittee on Sexual Assault and Dating Violence applied for the grant last spring and was notified of its acceptance December 2008.  

Hotved said UW-Madison is one of seven new campuses to receive the money, but there are 21 campuses nation-wide who currently enjoy the grant's benefits. 

Although the subcommittee did not apply for the money in light of any particular situation, Hotved said there is always a great need for a greater amount of resources to make sure perpetrators are held accountable. 

According to Hotved, the grant money is already being used to provide new students and their parents with web-based tools to help with domestic violence and sexual assault education.  

Shannon Barry, executive director for the Dane Country Domestic Abuse Intervention Services, said her organization will use the money to make a closer and more intimate connection with the university. 

""One of the things that has been more of a challenge for us has been connecting with the university and the university students,"" she said.  

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According to Barry, between one third and one half of all arrests in Dane County are domestic violence-related. 

""National data shows that when people are dealing with an economic crisis, which most of us are, we tend to see increased rates of domestic violence and escalating severity of violence,"" Barry said.

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