MC receives DOJ grant for prevention-education program

MC receives DOJ grant for prevention-education program

Oct. 9, 2019

Maryville College has received a $300,000 grant from the United States Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women to create the Preventing Assault and Violence through Education (PAVE) program.

The program will provide additional sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking (SADVDVS) prevention-education programs on the Maryville College campus and comprehensive victim services in collaboration with the broader community. The program will improve training, services and education around these issues to students and employees, as well as formalize relationships with important community partners who provide sexual assault and victim services.

Responses to a recent campus climate survey, as well as crime statistics compiled in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crimes Statistics Act, indicate low rates of SADVDVS incidents being reported to MC staff. However, these incidents often go unreported on college campuses nationwide, said Dr. Melanie Tucker, vice president and dean of students at Maryville College.

The PAVE program will allow MC administrators to better assess the needs of the student body and the extent to which victims understand how and where they might seek support both on and off campus, which will allow the College to better address the needs of student victims, Tucker said.

“This grant allows us to strengthen and enhance our prevention education efforts, including implementing a peer educator program to reach students at a broader range of developmental stages, from their first year on campus to graduation,” Tucker said.

The grant will allow for the College to hire a Prevention-Educator Coordinator, who will manage a newly created Violence Prevention and Education Center (VPEC). VPEC will serve as a vital resource for Maryville College students and employees, providing ongoing education and facilitating a Coordinated Community Response Team.

The coordinator will also collaborate with the Helen Ross McNabb Center, Haven House and the Maryville Police Department to facilitate the availability of comprehensive victim services to Maryville College students, to increase the College’s capacity to assist students in the midst of a crisis. While the College has had a long-standing relationship with these organizations, the grant allows for formalized relationships through Memorandums of Understanding (MOU).

The grant will allow Maryville College to develop protocols and services to better support non-native English speaking students – such as English as a Second Language (ESL), limited English proficiency (LEP), and international student victims.

Tucker cited statistics from the 2016 Report on the SASP Formula Grant Program from the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), which identifies LEP victims and victims from immigrant groups as critical areas of unmet needs. The National Sexual Violence Resource Center indicates that nearly half of multiracial women are subject to SADVDVS in their lifetimes.

Additionally, the coordinator will work to address the needs of culturally specific and underserved populations and will specifically seek to develop resources for supporting victims who are Deaf and hard of hearing at Maryville College.

“One component of the grant is an effort to reduce revictimization of our students,” Tucker said. “In formalizing our collaborations with community resources, we seek to increase the efficacy of prevention efforts, as well as reduce barriers for students seeking support beyond the campus community.”

Maryville College is a nationally-ranked institution of higher learning and one of America’s oldest colleges. For more than 200 years, we’ve educated students to be giving citizens and gifted leaders, to study everything, so that they are prepared for anything — to address any problem, engage with any audience and launch successful careers right away. Located in Maryville, Tennessee, between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the city of Knoxville, Maryville College offers nearly 1,200  students from around the world both the beauty of a rural setting and the advantages of an urban center, as well as more than 60 majors, seven pre-professional programs and career preparation from their first day on campus to their last. Today, our 10,000 alumni are living life strong of mind and brave of heart and are prepared, in the words of our Presbyterian founder, to “do good on the largest possible scale.”