WC gets funds for advocacy, hotline


By Associated Press and News Journal staff



WILMINGTON — Victims of sexual assault on Ohio campuses are getting additional support through more than $1.2 million in federal grants.

The money went to four rape crisis centers and nine colleges and universities, including $114,218 in grants for Wilmington College.

Wilmington College plans to hire a survivor advocate, to be housed within its college, who will provide advocacy services to survivors of sexual violence on campus. It is also planning to start a student support group and crisis hotline.

Attorney General Mike DeWine said that the funds are part of $3 million in federal Victims of Crime Act funds that he set aside earlier this year to allow colleges and universities to provide additional programming, promote education and awareness and create partnerships with community-based organizations.

Funds were also provided to Ohio State, Kent State, Bowling Green, Miami and the universities of Cincinnati and Toledo.

An Association of American Universities report issued this year found nearly a quarter of undergraduate women surveyed at more than two dozen universities said they experienced unwanted sexual contact sometime during college.

“Sexual assault happens much too often on university campuses,” said DeWine. “These grants will help increase awareness of the issue and ensure that assistance is closer to victims by strengthening campus and community efforts to help them recover.”

Eleven schools and four rape crisis centers completed grant applications. The Ohio Attorney General’s Office will continue to reach out to Ohio schools to inform them that additional funds are available and offer assistance in the application process.

Grants other than Wilmington College’s that have been awarded include:

Bowling Green State University, $82,835

• Bowling Green State University plans contract with The Cocoon Shelter, the local rape crisis center, which will provide victim advocacy to students on campus at Bowling Green State University. The university will provide for ancillary costs and administrative support.

University of Cincinnati, $12,400

• University of Cincinnati plans to contract with the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) of Butler County. This will allow SANE of Butler County to provide forensic exam services at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center.

Columbus State Community College, $148,093

• Columbus State Community College plans to add two victim advocates and administrative support.

Compass Inc. (Tuscarawas County), $10,363

• Compass Inc. plans to provide advocacy and awareness to sexual violence survivors on the Tuscarawas County Regional Campus of Kent State University.

Crime Victim Services (Lima), $69,235

• Crime Victim Services is proposing to add an advocate to its staff who would be specifically designated for campus sexual assault victims, working with Bluffton University, The Ohio State University-Lima, University of Northwestern Ohio, and Rhodes State College.

The Domestic Violence Shelter Inc. (Mansfield area), $50,671

• The Domestic Violence Shelter Inc. plans to provide advocacy to survivors of sexual violence on the campuses of Ohio State Mansfield and North Central State. They are also proposing to provide a sexual assault awareness campaign on both campuses to bring awareness of the issue to students at the colleges.

Kent State University, $90,565

• Kent State is planning to hire a new sexual assault advocate to be housed on its campus. It’s also requesting funds for mental health counseling, and the utilization of Townhall II’s crisis support line, which is its local rape crisis hotline.

Miami University, $14,566

• Miami University plans to contract with Women Helping Women, its local rape crisis center, to provide advocacy.

The Ohio State University, $196,791

• Ohio State University plans to hire three new sexual violence coordinators who will provide support to survivors on campus. They also will be handling academic changes for the survivors at their request. The university is also planning to pay for services to be provided to students who are sexually assaulted while studying abroad.

The Rape Crisis Center of Medina and Summit Counties, $233,634

• The Rape Crisis Center of Medina and Summit Counties plans to expand its presence on the University of Akron’s Campus. The Rape Crisis Center has office space on the university campus to provide advocacy and referral services to survivors of sexual violence.

University of Toledo, $214,000

• University of Toledo plans to hire a new sexual violence advocate, a sexual assault counselor, and a domestic violence counselor to be housed in its university. These new positions will provide a continuum of care to survivors of sexual assault on its campus.

Urbana University, $18,420

• Urbana University is proposing to start a Sexual Assault Response Team in its community, which will work to respond to cases of sexual violence on campus and in the community.

By Associated Press and News Journal staff

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