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L&C Secures Grant to Reduce Gender-based Violence

November 26, 2018

Lewis & Clark has formally accepted a $297,889 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Violence against Women (OVW) to strengthen the college’s existing efforts to address gender-based violence.

Melissa Osmond, Associate Director for Health Promotion, led a collaborative effort last spring to submit a grant application on behalf of the College. OVW announced that 57 colleges across the country were being funded in the 2018 grant cycle, with Lewis & Clark being the only college in Oregon to receive funding.

Created in 1995 as an outgrowth of the 1994 Violence Against Women Act, OVW administers financial and technical assistance to communities across the country that are developing programs, policies, and practices aimed at ending domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.

In an interview with the Pioneer Log, Osmond talked about how she engaged with external partners to meet the grant’s stipulations.

“As a small campus, and a campus that doesn’t have sworn law officers, we are required to partner with a local law enforcement agency, and a second external partner requirement is a victim service agency,” Osmond told the newspaper. “We chose the Portland Police Bureau because of our long-standing strong partnership with them on addressing crimes on campus. Call to Safety was chosen for their expertise and the wide range of services that they offer to the community of Portland. “

Gender-based violence on campus is truly a national concern, and Lewis & Clark is committed to making its campus as safe as possible for all. LC staff have been working since 2015 to position the College for a successful application for one of these highly competitive grants, which are focused on helping campuses across the country respond to crimes of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.

With the support of this grant, Lewis & Clark will:

  • Develop a coordinated community response team (CCRT) to improve coordination among campus and community partners, including the Portland Police Bureau and Call to Safety;
  • Hire a program coordinator to oversee institutional efforts to reduce gender-based violence, with a special emphasis on the needs of historically marginalized populations, including, but not limited to, students of color, LGBTQ+ students, students with disabilities, and students with low English proficiency;
  • Plan and implement universal prevention strategies that include bystander intervention and other prevention efforts;
  • Implement enhanced training for Campus Safety staff and members of the campus disciplinary process on how to effectively respond to gender-based violence; and
  • Expand our existing educational program as well as our victim response systems.