Harrisburg, PA - Continuing his commitment to combatting campus sexual assault, Governor Tom Wolf announced that $1 million in It’s On Us PA grants are available to colleges, universities and other post-secondary schools. The governor is a steadfast supporter of campus safety and nearly four years ago established It’s On Us PA, the nation’s first statewide campaign.
“Our college and university campuses must be safe for all students,” said Governor Wolf. “All of us have a responsibility to take a stand against sexual assault and promote healthy relationships. My administration created the annual It’s On Us grants four years ago to provide schools and students with the tools and training to change campus culture.
“Students across the state have embraced It’s On Us and are leading the way to create safer environments and end sexual violence and harassment. These grants will help them to continue their tremendous work.”
The Pennsylvania Department of Education will accept applications for grants of up to $30,000 through November 25. Since 2016, the Wolf Administration has awarded 113 It’s On Us PA grants totaling nearly $3 million to more than 70 postsecondary institutions, including public and private two-year and four-year colleges and universities.
The institutions use grant funds to implement strategies on their campuses to address goals of the Governor’s It’s On Us PA campaign, which include:
- Improving awareness, prevention, reporting, and response systems regarding sexual violence in schools, colleges and universities to better serve all students.
- Removing/reducing barriers that prevent survivors of sexual violence from reporting and/or accessing vital resources by creating a more consistent, empowering reporting process for student survivors of gender-based violence.
- Demonstrating significant, proactive, and sustainable leadership to change campus culture by challenging Pennsylvania’s education leaders – including college and university presidents, superintendents – as well as students, teachers, faculty, staff, families, and communities to pledge to improve their institutions’ climate.
Programs or activities considered for funding include campus-wide training for students, faculty and staff; institutional campaigns to raise awareness and understanding of the reporting process and resources available to and rights of survivors of sexual violence; programs that enhance awareness of available resources and students’ rights or seek to increase mechanisms for anonymous reporting; and efforts to improve capacity to collect federal- or state-required data.
Grant applications are available on the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s website.
The It’s On Us campaign is a national initiative started by the Obama Administration to raise awareness about sexual assault; teaching participants that assault includes non-consensual sex, advising them on how to identify dangerous situations, empowering them to intervene, and urging them to create an environment of support for victims and survivors.
Governor Wolf signed legislation in June creating the first new state laws in recent memory to address campus sexual violence. One of the laws requires post-secondary institutions to offer online, anonymous options for students to report sexual assaults. The other law protects students reporting sexual assault from being disciplined for violating school drug, alcohol, or other policies.
The governor launched It’s On Us PA in 2016, the nation’s first statewide campaign. Pennsylvanians are invited to visit the It’s On Us page on the governor’s website and take the pledge to “recognize that non-consensual sex is sexual assault, identify situations in which sexual assault may occur, intervene in situations where consent has not or cannot be given, and create an environment in which sexual assault is unacceptable and survivors are supported.”
Users may also quickly and easily tweet pre-written messages of support to spread the word to their social networks about the pledge.
MEDIA CONTACT: J.J. Abbott - 717-783-1116
Eric Levis, PDE, 717-783-9802
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