With funding from a grant of nearly $300,000 from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Violence Against Women, St. Joseph’s College this summer hired a project coordinator for its prevention, intervention and advocacy programs.
Michelle MacLeod, a former graduate coordinator with the Stevens Institute of Technology’s Lore-El Center for Women’s Leadership, is helping the College develop programs and policies to prevent and address sexual assault, stalking, domestic violence and dating violence over the next three years.
“Sexual violence is a pervasive issue at higher education institutions nationwide,” Ms. MacLeod said. “This program gives St. Joseph’s the opportunity to develop the necessary resources, partnerships and structures to create a safe and thriving campus community free from such violence. It allows the institution to take a proactive approach to prevention and intervention.”
In developing the grant, the College created partnerships with four outside agencies: Wyckoff Heights Medical Center Violence Intervention and Treatment Program in Brooklyn; The Crime Victims Center in Ronkonkoma; The Victims Information Bureau of Suffolk, Inc. (VIBS); and the New York State Police Campus Sexual Assault Victims Unit in Brentwood. Each organization committed to provide training; serve as off-campus victim services and advocacy providers;
give guidance and information to victims; and serve as a liaison to the criminal justice system.
“This grant will allow SJC to partner with important organizations, advocate for victims and be a part of their healing process,” said St. Joseph’s President Donald R. Boomgaarden, Ph.D. “Students who experience these crimes are impacted the most significantly, but all students, faculty and staff at both of our campuses will be impacted by the enhanced response to and prevention of sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, and stalking.”