North Central College in cooperation with the City of Naperville, Edward Hospital and local social service agencies has been awarded a $274,600 U.S. Department of Justice grant to spearhead establishment of a comprehensive program to improve victim services and resources, enhance education and prevention, and strengthen policies and protocols for addressing gender-based violence.
“This partnership will allow us to deliver important education, training and other resources to our students and employees and to the community,” said Laurie Hamen, North Central College’s vice president for enrollment management, athletics and student affairs and the College’s Title IX coordinator. “Our goal is to insure that individuals understand that prevention of gender-based violence is the highest priority as well as to foster a spirit of collaboration between the many entities that provide services for victims of gender-based violdence.”
The U.S. Department of Justice’s Grants to Reduce Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking on Campus Program—also known as its Campus Program—encourages institutions of higher education to adopt comprehensive, coordinated responses to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. Campuses, in partnership with community-based nonprofit victim advocacy organizations and local criminal justice or civil legal agencies, develop victim service programs that ensure victim safety, offender accountability and the prevention of such crimes.
In addition to Edward Hospital and the City of Naperville and its Police Department, others partnering with the College in the formation of the Community Response Team include Wheaton-based Family Shelter Service and the YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago, which operates the Patterson and McDaniel Family Center in Glendale Heights.
The grant also will enable the College and its partners to enhance victim services and provide training for College judicial board and administrative hearing officers on proper adjudication of sexual assault, domestic/dating violence, and stalking cases; provide training for campus and community law enforcement agents on investigating incidents; and expand an education program for students about gender-based violence.
Benefits to the great Naperville area include such goals as creation of a public speaker series and enhanced training for nurses, investigators and others who respond to sexual violence in the community.