UH Women's Center Awarded $200,000 U.S. Department of Justice Grant
Award Will Assist in Addressing Violence Against Women on CampusUniversity of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Director of the Women's Center
The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa‘s Women‘s Center was recently awarded a $200,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice‘s Violence Against Women on Campus Program. The grant will assist in the center‘s development of the Program Against Violence to Women (PAVE). The funding is intended to provide institutions of higher education with the resources needed to successfully address domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking in campus communities.
According to the Women‘s Center, UH Mānoa has one of the most ethnically diverse student bodies in the nation with two-thirds of its students coming from Asian or Pacific Island cultures including Japanese, Chinese, Hawaiian, Korean, and Filipino. A 1999 report of the National Violence Against Women survey showed that women of these cultures are the least likely to formally report any kind of physical victimization. According to the 2001 UH Crime Statistics for the Mānoa campus, five cases of forcible sexual offenses on campus were reported including forcible rape, forcible sodomy, sexual assault with an object, and forcible fondling.
The goal of the PAVE program is to create a coordinated campus-community partnership response (CPR) program that will improve comprehensive services to victims of violence and prevent violence from occurring on campus. Components of the PAVE program will include development of a CPR infrastructure, effective response procedures, and prevention and education programs.
PAVE will build upon prior programs including the Creating Options for a Rape-Free Environment rape education project, initiated in response to a 1988 assessment which indicated that one in three UH Mānoa women surveyed had experienced sexual violence and more than half knew their assailant.
Another program that will aid the PAVE cause is the Sexual Assault Prevention Team (SAPT) initiated in 1998. SAPT sought to increase awareness about sexual assault and relationship violence on campus and in housing through peer educators.
PAVE will be implemented in partnership with the Women‘s Center and the Office of the Gender Equity Counselor. In addition, they are partnering with the Sex Abuse Treatment Center, a program of the Kapiʻolani Medical Center for Women and Children and the largest provider of sexual assault services in the state. Other nonprofit and public partners include representatives of the State Department of the Attorney General and the Domestic Violence Clearinghouse and Legal Hotline.
Since the enactment of the Violence Against Women Act of 1994, groundbreaking work has taken place in communities as victim advocates, police officers, prosecutors, and judges forge relationships with each other to address violence against women. As a result, the Violence Against Women Office challenges all college and university communities to think creatively about how to address violence against women on campuses so that institutions of higher education can create safe and supportive learning environments for all students.