Niagara University has received a $400,000 federal grant from the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) to continue its ongoing efforts to educate about and respond to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking (DVDVSAS) on campus. This grant is the second the university has received from the OVW and will help support the work done by the university’s Office of Violence Prevention and Education.
The new grant will enable the university to advance the awareness, prevention, and bystander programming that was instituted under the previous award, strengthen new-hire and existing staff development, and provide resources for the creation of print and electronic informational material. It will also facilitate continued collaborations with community partners, including the YWCA of the Niagara Frontier, Pinnacle Community Services, the Seven Dancers Coalition, the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office, and the New York State Police.
Dr. Dana Radatz, associate professor of criminology and criminal justice, and Dr. Jennifer Beebe, associate professor of clinical mental health counseling, in coordination with Emily Pike, OVPE director, will oversee these continued efforts, which institutionalized the work that Drs. Radatz and Beebe have been doing since 2016.
In recognition of their efforts, Drs. Radatz and Beebe have been named OVPE research fellows.
“We are committed to being a part of the larger national conversation on decreasing dating violence, domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking,” said Beebe. “This grant will provide more opportunities to train 21st century leaders who will help to further this cultural transformation, while embracing the mission and values of Niagara University.”
"With the 2020 OVW campus grant award, we were able to build a strong foundation for violence prevention across campus and centralize efforts in a holistic approach that included students, faculty, staff, and the broader community,” added Dr. Radatz. “With this 2023 grant, we are able to add building blocks to the foundation that will expand and enhance our current efforts alongside our invaluable community partners, without whom we would not be able to do this work. The success we have had thus far, and the success we hope to continue having, comes largely from our collective teamwork approach, where everyone is invited to be a part of violence prevention within our campus community."
"The Office of Violence Prevention & Education is committed to educating students, staff, and faculty on the importance of healthy relationships and bystander intervention," said Pike.
“Niagara University remains dedicated to providing a safe environment, through prevention and education programs, for every member of our campus community,” said the Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., president of Niagara University. “I want to thank Dr. Radatz, Dr. Beebe, and Emily Pike for their work to create a culture of awareness and advocacy around these issues on our campus and in the broader community.”
The awards are provided through the U.S. Department of Justice Campus Program, which supports the work colleges and universities do to recognize and address the unique issues and challenges that these institutions face in creating a safe campus environment and encourages collaboration among community partners.