Victim’s mother to visit Penn State Hazleton for Sexual Assault Awareness Month

February 13, 2020

Penn State Hazleton will host a special event on Wednesday, April 1, in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Tracy Matheson, mother of rape and homicide victim Molly Jane Matheson and founder of Project Beloved: The Molly Jane Mission, will speak at 7:30 p.m. in Room 115 of the Evelyn Graham Academic Building. She will talk about her daughter and the organization she founded in her memory during her first public appearance in Pennsylvania.

Molly Jane Matheson was 22 years old when she was raped and murdered at her apartment near Texas Christian University in April 2017. Her suspected killer had been linked to another rape, but remained free. Then Molly Jane and another woman, Megan Leigh Getrum, were killed.

Tracy Matheson’s advocacy helped lead to the passage of “Molly Jane’s Law” in Texas last year. The law requires all state law-enforcement officials to enter information for each sex offense they investigate into a program administered by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, ViCAP (Violent Criminal Apprehension Program).

Matheson said, “I am determined that Molly Jane’s life and her death will be a catalyst for change in how we respond to, investigate, prosecute and convict cases of sexual assault. We can do better and we must. I am also grateful to Penn State Hazleton for inviting me to come and visit.”

Tracy Matheson founded Project Beloved with a mission to educate, advocate and collaborate to change the conversation about sexual assault and empower survivors to find their voices. One of the initiatives of the organization is to create “Beloved Bundles,” which include clothing, undergarments, hygiene products and other necessary items so that sexual assault and rape survivors can leave the hospital with dignity. When a survivor goes to the hospital to have a Sexual Assault Nurse Examination (SANE), often called a “rape kit,” many times their belongings and clothing are held as police evidence and they are left with nothing to wear home from the hospital.

Following Matheson’s talk, students and others in attendance will prepare Beloved Bundles. Representatives of the Victims Resource Center and the Sexual Assault Resource and Counseling Center will participate in the event. Following the event, they will distribute the bundles to victims of sexual assault who undergo a rape kit.

Members of the community are invited to hear the talk and participate in the service project, which will take place in the lobby of the Graham Building. Jennifer LaRegina, campus nurse, and Dana Sukeena, campus counselor, will lead the project.

Coordinator in Residence Life Keith Underkoffler said, “I am thrilled by the opportunity to help spread awareness of the amazing work Project Beloved: The Molly Jane Mission is doing, while also creating Beloved Bundles to support the local communities. I have the utmost respect and appreciation for Tracy Matheson and her inspiring advocacy work.”

For more information about the event, contact Underkoffler at 570-450-3161 To learn more about Project Beloved, visit www.projectbeloved.org.

Last Updated February 13, 2020