Public Safety Awarded Grant to Expand Support Services for Sexual Assault Victims

The University of Cincinnati’s department of public safety has received a $12,400 grant from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office to enhance services for victims of sexual assault. 

The funds are part of $3 million in federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funding set aside by Attorney General Mike DeWine earlier this year to enable colleges and universities to better serve sexual assault victims by providing additional programs, promoting education and awareness, and creating partnerships with community-based victim service agencies.

UC’s Public Safety Department will use the funding to establish a private location on UC’s Uptown campus for victims of sexual assault to receive forensic examination services from trained Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) of Butler County.  

“We believe that having a three-prong approach to student well-being –physical safety, emotional well-being and medical wellness –will result in long-term increased awareness and reporting and, ultimately, decreased incidents,” said James Whalen, director of public safety at UC. ”Our goal is to create a campus culture in which students feel comfortable coming forward to report a sexual assault.”

“On-campus SANE services will benefit victims who may express concern about going to a hospital, or leaving campus,” added UC Chief of Police Jason Goodrich. “We also believe this will provide a central hub for victims to receive coordinated care and support from many of the university’s resources including Title IX, Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) as well as community resources such as Women Helping Women. “

In April of 2015 the Department of Public Safety created a Special Investigations Unit, the first of its kind in the region, dedicated to responding to and investigating incidents of sexual assault. The Unit includes a trauma informed special investigator and a victim services coordinator.

“We want our students and members of our campus community to know that we are here to provide them the support and assistance they need. The establishment of an on-campus location for sexual assault examinations can help us do just that,” added Whalen. 

More than $1.2 million in grants have been awarded to assist victims of sexual assault on Ohio campuses. 

   

SANE of Butler County is a private, non-profit (501c3) organization that was developed in 1998 to provide professional medical legal forensic examinations. SANE now serves 28 medical facilities in Butler, Montgomery, Miami, Warren, Hamilton, Preble, Shelby, and Green Counties in Ohio.

For more information about UC’s Public Safety Department and additional safety tools and resources, visit www.uc.edu\publicsafety.

Visit UC's Title IX site.

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