February 06, 2018
A nearly $300,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ) Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) will enable Susquehanna to enhance already existing training and programming out of the university's Title IX office to address incidences involving sexual assault, relationship violence and stalking.
The funding has also allowed for the addition of OVW program coordinator Christiana Paradis to the university staff.
Paradis comes to Susquehanna from The Women's Center, Inc., Bloomsburg, where she most recently served as director of outreach and education.
Paradis graduated from Susquehanna in 2011 with degrees in English and women's studies. She went on to earn her master's degree in social work from Marywood University.
"One incident of intimate partner violence or sexual assault—reported or unreported—is too many," Paradis said. "I'm excited to return to my alma mater to help the university build on its already extensive educational programming, reporting systems and victim services that work together to keep our students safe. We are reassuring survivors on campus that they have a voice, their voice matters, and we are listening."
Programming around sexual harassment, sexual assault, relationship violence and stalking is offered regularly by several different organizations on campus, including the offices of the Dean of Students and Campus Life, Title IX, Diversity and Inclusion, Leadership and Engagement, Residence Life and the Susquehanna University Counseling Center.
The DOJ grant, which provides funding over three years, will enable Paradis to implement an enhanced Coordinated Community Response (CCR) to address campus incidences involving sexual assault, relationship violence or stalking. The CCR will include internal and external partners, including Transitions of PA, Evangelical Community Hospital's Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner program, Selinsgrove police and the Snyder County District Attorney's Office.
Funding will also allow for:
- A mandatory prevention and education program about sexual assault, relationship violence and stalking for all incoming students
- Continued training for all campus law enforcement to respond effectively to sexual assault, relationship violence and stalking
- Training for all members of the university's disciplinary boards to respond effectively to situations involving sexual assault, relationship violence and stalking
Funding is provided through the OVW's Grants to Reduce Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking on Campus Program in recognition of the unique issues and challenges that colleges and universities face in preventing and responding to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.
The Campus Program encourages a comprehensive coordinated community approach that enhances victim safety, provides services for victims, and supports efforts to hold offenders accountable. The funding supports activities that develop and strengthen trauma-informed victim services and strategies to prevent, investigate and respond to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.