(Posted September 28, 2015)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College recently received a $300,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice's Office on Violence Against Women to fund a new initiative designed to prevent sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking through training programs, education, and the creation of a new job position to coordinate training and education within the college and among various local Huntingdon County partners.

The grant will fund a variety of projects, including the hiring of a coordinator for Juniata-Coalition to End Violence Now (Juniata-CEVN).
"This grant is an extraordinary opportunity for us to make a meaningful difference in the lives of our students and the community we live in," says James A. Troha, president of Juniata. "We are particularly excited to be partnering with local agencies to deliver the necessary education and services that will positively impact our community."

"This grant is an extraordinary opportunity for us to make a meaningful difference in the lives of our students and the community we live in. We are particularly excited to be partnering with local agencies to deliver the necessary education and services that will positively impact our community."

James A. Troha, president of Juniata. "


Juniata also will use the funds to make the process for reporting and preventing sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking more transparent by establishing written protocols for reporting sexual violence while also providing victim support. The protocols also will include codified accountability guidelines and clearly stated disciplinary and legal action for perpetrators.

The next phase of the three-year grant will support a continuing series of training programs for the college, its internal offices that might be affected through sexual violence complaints, and the college's external community partners. The training will be delivered to all Juniata students, faculty and staff to some community partners or Juniata staff.

Juniata's internal offices that are designated to guide these training and education programs and improve the process for reporting sexual violence crimes are the college's Title IX compliance officers, the Dean of Students office, the Provost's office, Campus Public Safety, the Athletic Department, the Health and Wellness Center, the Residential Life office, the Campus Ministry office, Unity House, the college's Clery Act compliance officer and President Troha.

The college's external partners are The Abuse Network Inc., Huntingdon House, the Michael J. Ayers Law Project, Huntingdon Borough Police, the Office of the District Attorney of Huntingdon County and J.C. Blair Hospital.

Four of the college's external partners, The Abuse Network, the Michael J. Ayers Law Project, J.C. Blair Hospital and Huntingdon House, also will provide training for students, faculty and staff. The grant will also train several professional SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners) nurses at J.C. Blair Hospital.

In addition to implementing clear procedures and policies for reporting crimes and training, the grant also allows Juniata to support speakers' forums and awareness events. All members of the Juniata community will receive "bystander" training on how to behave if they witness sexual assault, violence or stalking. Juniata's faculty training will include guidance on how to report incidents and how to conduct class lessons that focus on the grant's themes.

Juniata's grant is one of 27 awards totaling $8.5 million given to colleges, community colleges and universities across the country to enhance victim services and develop training programs.

"We know that victims who receive comprehensive advocacy and services afre more likely to achieve their goals of safety, autonomy and healing," says Bea Hanson, principal deputy director of the Office on Violence Against Women. "Coordination between on-and-off-campus victim servces organizations and local criminal justice systems is critical to providing holistic support and services that victims need and ensuring that perpetrators are held accountable."

Other Pennsylvania colleges to receive funding include Messiah College, in Grantham, Pa., and Cabrini College, in Radnor, Pa.

Contact Gabe Welsch at welschg@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.