California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH) has received a three-year, $298,719 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ’s) Office of Violence Against Women to develop and launch the Grants to Reduce Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking on Campus Program at CSUDH.
Established by Congress in 2006, the grant supports community-based approaches to enhance victim safety, provides services for victims/survivors, and supports efforts to hold offenders accountable. CSUDH was the only campus in California to receive one of the 50 grants awarded in October 2019.
The grant was secured by CSUDH’s Center for Advocacy, Prevention and Empowerment (CAPE) coordinator, Mayra Romo, who will also serve as the project director. CAPE is a new campus department that provides confidential assistance, support, and education for those impacted by sexual abuse/assault, intimate relationship abuse, stalking, or sexual harassment.
The goal of CAPE is to help individuals overcome the negative consequences of abuse in order to accomplish their academic, professional, and personal goals. All services are available to CSUDH students, staff, and faculty.
“This grant will enable us to make a more significant impact in the lives of victims/survivors, and will help shape CAPE in a way that best serves the specific needs of the CSUDH community,” said Romo, who joined CSUDH in 2017.
Within a span of three years, the DOJ grant will provide training for campus personnel responsible for responding to cases of interpersonal violence, establish a comprehensive bystander intervention program, and enhance direct services for victims/survivors on campus. The goal is to create a coordinated and comprehensive response to incidents of violence on campus and the surrounding community.
Several CSUDH departments will be engaged with the grant project: Athletics; the Title IX Office; University Police; Women’s Resource Center; University Housing; Multicultural Affairs; Student Life; and the Office of the Dean of Students. This grant project also includes collaborations with off-campus agencies such as the YWCA’s of Greater Los Angeles Sexual Assault Services program, Rainbow Services Domestic Violence Agency, and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Victim Services.
The first year of the grant will consist of strategic planning to organize the program, while a core group of individuals at CSUDH will attend a DOJ training institute.
“The training involves law enforcement, student conduct related to Title IX, and prevention,” Romo said. “We will also be networking with other campuses that might have student populations with similar issues.”
The grant will also fund a grant coordinator position for CAPE to manage day-to-day activities and provide campus-wide education. Funding is also provided to help pay for emergency housing and transportation needs for students that are impacted by violence and abuse.
Increased access to information and resources that support survivors’ ability to act independently and make informed decisions is a significant component of the grant. To better improve the campus climate and reduce the incidence of interpersonal violence, CAPE will also use the grant funding to implement a campus-wide bystander intervention program that educates students, staff, and faculty on how to be proactive in order to help prevent violence.
“I would like to congratulate Mayra Romo for crafting a most stellar grant,” said William Franklin, vice president for Student Affairs at CSUDH. “The grant mirrors the complete attention to detail and comprehensive services provided by CAPE, and it will allow them to continue to advance confidential assistance, support, and education for those impacted by abuse/assault, intimate relationship abuse, stalking, or sexual harassment.”
For more information about CAPE please visit www.csudh.edu/cape.