Loyola receives U.S. Department of Justice Grant to address sexual and dating violence
Loyola University Maryland was awarded a $300,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) Grants to Reduce Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking on Campus Program (Campus Program). The grant will enable Loyola to enhance its prevention, education, and victim services efforts, especially for underserved populations such as LGBTQ+ students.
Loyola is among 52 campuses that received a Campus Program grant in the latest cycle, during 2020. The “Loyola Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking (SADVDVS) Campus Grant Project” will be implemented in partnership with victim service provider TurnAround Inc. and the Baltimore Police Department.
“The Office on Violence Against Women Campus Program grant enables Loyola University Maryland to better support and empower our students through awareness and prevention as they develop as learners and leaders, ready to serve in this diverse and changing world. It also allows us to better support and address the needs of all survivors of any form of sexual or dating violence,” said Neil Andrito, director of student life.
Loyola will work to improve trainings, prevention, awareness, education, and support activities by incorporating culturally responsive approaches that are informed by student need and best practices in the field. Through the grant, the University seeks to build educational efforts specifically with LGBTQ+ students in mind; to develop and implement improved trainings for law enforcement; to enhance trainings for student conduct disciplinary hearing members; and to expand services to ensure all students have 24/7 access to culturally responsive victim services.
“As a Jesuit, Catholic university, we are committed to ensuring that Loyola is a safe and welcoming place for every member of our community,” said Robert D. Kelly, Ph.D., vice president and special assistant to the president. “This grant helps support those efforts that are happening in areas across the University.”
The OVW Campus Program is a multi-year grant that enables the University to continue and expand on improvements made possible through a similar grant awarded in 2016. The initiative builds on Loyola’s current strategies to address SADVDVS, which include collaborating with area institutions of higher education on best practices; mandatory prevention education, awareness campaigns, and bystander intervention programs; access to 24/7 on- and off-campus victim services and advocacy resources; and trainings for campus law enforcement and the office of student conduct.
As part of the grant, a university Coordinated Community Response Team (CCRT) has been created, which is chaired by the project director and includes partners across campus, including the Women’s Center, Counseling Center, and offices of student conduct, student life, public safety, and Title IX, compliance, and assessment. As Loyola continues to create a safe environment for all students, the CCRT will help ensure all aspects of the University’s Title IX action plan are completed. These items have included: creating the Title IX intake officer role to assist deputies with incident reports and trauma support; implementing student surveys to seek continuous improvement; establishing a Student Advisory Board; and reinvigorating trainings for bystander intervention, mandated reporters, and other campus community members, among other action steps.
The OVW Campus Program strengthens the response of institutions of higher education to the crimes of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking on campuses and enhances collaboration among campuses, local law enforcement, and victim advocacy organizations.