'It’s On Us PA' grant will further sexual assault prevention and education

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State received a $30,000 grant as part of the “It’s On Us PA” campaign to help expand educational efforts around sexual misconduct and sexual violence across all Penn State campuses, including World Campus. The Office of Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response, a unit of Penn State Student Affairs, applied for the grant with support from campus and community partners.  

“Penn State and the surrounding community have a long history of addressing the issues highlighted in the ‘It’s On Us’ national campaign,” said Damon Sims, vice president for Student Affairs at Penn State. “This grant underscores our ongoing commitment to providing an educational environment free from sexual violence and is an important step in bringing more awareness to the problem of sexual violence on and around college and university campuses.”  

This grant will fund a collection of training and promotional videos to raise awareness about sexual misconduct and sexual violence on campus and in the community. In addition, the videos will provide information about the reporting avenues, resources and support services available to Penn State students, faculty and staff.

“One of the really difficult things about raising awareness and educating our students is making our voice stand out,” said Paul Apicella, director of the Office of Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response. “A video helps us diversify our message so we can reach people in a different way. Video can be an engaging, yet informational tool to make people more aware of the issues and the help that we can provide if they or someone they know has experienced sexual misconduct.”

The videos, which will range from eight minutes to 20 seconds, will be able to stand alone or be used as part of training curriculum. By partnering with entities across Penn State, the Office of Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response anticipates the videos will be used University-wide on websites and social media as well as at events and in classrooms. Educational materials will accompany the longer videos so faculty can work the videos into classroom discussions.

“The focus of this grant affirms the importance Penn State's Sexual Assault and Sexual Harassment Task Force placed on our educational programming being clear, consistent, and system-wide,” said Peggy Lorah, director of the Center for Women Students, a unit of Penn State Student Affairs. “The grant furthers the hard work done by campus and community partners on education and prevention of sexual assault.”

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf launched the “It’s On Us PA” campaign on Jan. 29, 2016, with the goal to increase awareness, education and resources to combat sexual assault in schools, colleges and universities. Pennsylvania was the first state to launch an “It’s On Us” campaign, building off the national campaign launched in 2014.

Penn State and community partners on the grant include WPSU Penn State, who will be producing the videos; the Center for Women Students; the Centre County Women’s Resource Center; the Student Affairs Research and Assessment Office; Residence Life; the Office of Student Orientation and Transition Programs; and the Faculty Senate Special Joint Committee on First-Year Students' Well-Being and Safety.

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Last Updated April 19, 2017