Grant To Fund Program To Fight Domestic Violence

Wednesday, September 5th 2007, 10:26 am
By: News On 6

ADA, Okla. (AP) _ East Central University won a $1 million federal grant to work with five other regional schools in developing a program to help prevent violence against women.

The project could reach more than 41,000 students in 66 counties, said Ann Holloway, Regional University System of Oklahoma regent.

The U.S. Justice Department grant will be used to establish the Regional University System of Oklahoma Violence Prevention Project serving ECU, Northeastern State University, the University of Central Oklahoma, and Northwestern, Southeastern and Southwestern Oklahoma State Universities.

Funds from the three-year grant will be used to hire a project director at ECU and a coordinator at each campus, develop educational campus programs and provide training for campus police and personnel.

ECU already has a program addressing prevention of violence against women. The Campus Initiative to Reduce Crime Against Women was created through two consecutive grants from the Justice Department and its success is the reason ECU was invited to apply for the new grant, said Steve Turner, ECU's interim vice president for finance and administration and the lead author of the grant proposal.

Marcia Smith, executive director of the Oklahoma Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, said educating the college population is essential because women face the highest risk of assault from the ages of 16 to 24.

``Most often, a woman in college would be assaulted by someone she knows and less likely to report the accident and get follow-up care,'' Smith said.