FSU receives grants to activate bystanders, reduce sexual and relationship violence, stalking

Florida State University has been awarded a five-year, $614,584 grant from the Florida Department of Health’s Sexual Violence Prevention Program.

The grant will fund the Health Promotion Department in University Health Services to activate bystanders to reduce sexual violence, relationship violence and stalking. The grant is one of 13 awarded in Florida.

In addition, the Health Promotion Department has received a $10,000 grant for the second time from the Avon Foundation for Women through its Speak Out Against Domestic Violence. The Avon grant is one of 25 campus grants awarded to colleges nationwide.

Young women ages 16 to 24 experience the highest rates of dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. Since the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was passed, a variety of initiatives have been developed on the issues of gender violence — particularly sexual assault — to provide resources for college campuses to reduce violence. Although much has been learned, there is a great deal more that can be accomplished to implement effective campuswide policies and prevention practices to prevent and reduce incidences of violence.

“We are honored to be recipients of these grants that will help us implement the evidenced-informed Green Dot bystander intervention program here at FSU,” said Kori Pruett, sexual violence prevention coordinator. “We know that members of our community are experiencing power-based violence, and we know that we can do something to change that.”

Green Dot is an organization that promotes violence prevention through peer and cultural influence.

FSU currently has several prevention initiatives underway, including an online sexual violence prevention program for first-year students, outreach initiatives and discussions about healthy relationships.

“Through our campuswide Coordinated Community Response Team, faculty, staff and students collaborate to create a culture of care for our students,” said Rose Rezaei, assistant director of health promotion.

The Health Promotion Department also coordinates campuswide efforts on high-risk drinking prevention, sexual health and nutrition and eating disorder prevention.

“From a public health perspective, Green Dot utilizes several evidenced-informed theories and strategies, and we are confident that this initiative will help reduce interpersonal violence on our campus,” said Amy Magnuson, director of health promotion.

The funding for Green Dot began Nov. 1 and will continue for five years. A large campuswide kickoff of Green Dot at Florida State is scheduled for the spring of 2016.

To learn more about the Green Dot Etcetera Strategy, visit https://www.livethegreendot.com/gd_strategy.html to access information about this comprehensive approach to violence prevention that capitalizes on the power of peer and cultural influence across all levels of the socio-ecological model.

To learn more about the Avon Foundation for Women, visit www.avonfoundation.org to access information about Speak Out Against Domestic Violence.