will provide educational programs and resource materials.
In January, CSULB received notice of a two-year, $200,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to support “Project SAFE: A Campus Response toward Eliminating Violence.” The grant proposal was submitted by the Women’s Resource Center in collaboration with the Long Beach Sexual Assault Crisis Agency and Long Beach Interval House.
Project SAFE will support educational programs and resource materials targeting violence against women issues as they relate to the university community. Intimate partner abuse and sexual assault sensitivity/awareness training are the focus of programming for faculty, students, staff and administrators. An introduction to these issues will be part of orientation for all incoming students. Courtney Ahrens, CSULB professor of psychology and researcher in the area of sexual assault and interpersonal abuse, will assist with the development of a needs assessment and project evaluation.
“The collaborative nature of the grant will also enable us to expand our current campus outreach, as well as provide stability and continuity for our programming,” reports Marcela Chávez, director of the Women’s Resource Center and project director for the grant.
According to Chávez, the awarding of the grant was announced at an important time. Last October, California State University Chancellor Charles B. Reed issued an executive order providing system-wide guidelines for implementing Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “California Campus Blueprint to Address Sexual Assault and other Sexual Assault Legislation.” The order mandates that all campuses develop plans for sexual assault prevention and education and to improve responses to sexual assaults. “We are one of only eight California universities awarded funding for a program like this,” said Chávez. “In addition to adding expertise, it also supports the formation of a broad-based campus advisory group.”
Chávez adds, “Zero tolerance toward sexual assault and interpersonal abuse will reduce violence. Empowering people to speak up and out against violence is key to creating a safe, supportive learning environment.”