Caldwell University applied for and is the recipient of one of only 57 Justice Department grants to address sexual violence on college and university campuses. The Justice Department’s Office on Violence Against Women announced that it has awarded these grants totaling over $18 million to help campuses respond to the crimes of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking, and Caldwell University is one of the beneficiaries.
“This is an opportunity for Caldwell University to enhance the programs and services we provide to our students and the community in order to prevent sexual assault and violence, dating violence, and stalking,” said Sister Kathleen Tuite, Caldwell’s vice president for student life. ”As a Catholic Dominican institution, our campus climate should reflect our core values of respect, integrity, community and excellence.”
The grant will further training and education, strengthen partnerships, provide for additional staff and allow for a coordinated response to any potential incident, said Tuite. “All should feel welcome and safe; all should feel comfortable coming forward should a report need to be made.”
Caldwell plans to implement a new program called ASAP – Awareness of Sexual Assault Prevention – which will take a comprehensive approach to dealing with sexual assault education, prevention and response. The university will partner with external organizations such as the Borough of Caldwell Police Department and Family Service League’s SAVE program.
A statement from the Justice Department says, “OVW’s Grants to Reduce Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking on Campus Program support institutions of higher education in implementing comprehensive, coordinated responses to violent crimes on campus through partnerships with victim services providers and justice agencies. The recipients of these grants will work collaboratively with local law enforcement and prosecutors, campus athletic programs, Greek life organizations, and off-campus victim services, as each plays a critical role in making campuses safer and more just. The awards will make possible a range of services, including specialized training for campus law enforcement, healthcare providers, university personnel and others who are often first responders.”