About Project EMBRACE and the OVW Grant
The Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) grant is a federally funded grant awarded to higher education institutions to support efforts to reduce sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, and stalking (SADVDVS) on college campuses. The funds are used to support a Project Director to coordinate all grant activities related to the prevention of and response to SADVDVS. Through a victim-centered, trauma-informed lens, these activities are carried out with the goals to reduce the rate of violence on campus.
The funds were also used to develop an on-going multi-disciplinary coordinated community response team (CCRT) during the first year of the grant. The team is made up of key stakeholders from across the CSB/SJU campuses and the greater community committed to creating campus culture that is dedicated to the prevention of and response to SADVDVS through education, safety, and prevention efforts. There are also representatives with expertise in the Clery Act requirements who work with the campus to disseminate the Annual Security Report with CSB Campus Security and SJU Life Safety taking the lead on this report.
The CCRT oversees and ensures implementation of all prevention and intervention efforts, facilitates communication between key campus departments and community partners, sees that messages across campus are reliable and reinforced and that the system’s response to victims is seamless, consistent, and supportive.[i]
The CCRT values a campus and community response that embraces the following areas:
- Coordination and accountability that encompasses working across campuses and communities to ensure trauma informed responses that are survivor centered.
- Courageous work rooted in integrity and dedicated to the empowerment of each other to achieve progress toward the mission through fostering dialogue that values evidence-based practice, practice-based research, and self-care.
- Diversity of membership that includes culturally relevant analysis, inclusion of underserved populations, and is representative of the voices of those impacted by interpersonal violence.
Currently, the CSB and SJU CCRT is comprised of 40 members. Many of the CCRT members are also a part of smaller work groups who are tasked with the planning and delivery of specific activities identified through the previously developed strategic plan. The work groups meet regularly and provide updates to the full CCRT during quarterly meetings. The smaller works groups are:
- Comprehensive Prevention
- Overall goal is to create a widespread culture of prevention through enhancement and development of awareness, education, policy, and community engagement.
- Law Enforcement/Campus Security
- Overall goal is to enhance response through a trauma-informed, victim-centered approach as well as engage in relationship building with the campus community.
- Student Conduct
- Overall goal is to enhance the current student conduct process to include additional training for panel members and ensuring victims are receiving support and resources available to them.
- Victim Services
- Overall goal is to provide easier access to victim services for our campus community through community victim service partnerships.
Project EMBRACE (Empowerment, Belief, Respect, Advocacy, Care, Equity) is the name given to the OVW grant to create awareness of the grant efforts as well as provide support and information to our campus communities.
[i] Assessing the Effectiveness of Campus-Based Coordinated Community Response Teams (CCRTs), A Toolkit for OVW Grantees. Campus Technical Assistance and Resource Project. Fall 2020