Florida State receives federal grant to address personal violence on campus communities

The proposal was crafted by staff from University Health Services, led by Interim Director Amy Magnuson. (FSU Photo)

A new grant from the U.S. Department of Justice will help Florida State University prevent and respond to power-based personal violence on campus and around the community.

FSU will receive $300,000 from the DOJ’s Office on Violence Against Women under the Grants to Reduce Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking on Campus Program.

“This grant is a big win for Florida State University,” said Angela Chong, associate vice president for Student Affairs. “It certainly positions Florida State as a leader in the prevention of power-based personal violence.”

Grant funds will be used to enhance the efforts of the university’s three-tiered Coordinated Community Response Team, which includes an advisory panel as well as a prevention team and a response team. Those groups are tasked with supporting the FSU campus community and anyone who reports experiencing power-based personal violence.

The grant will be used to help the prevention team continue to promote greater awareness of the issues by creating a mandatory prevention and education program about sexual assault, dating violence and stalking for all incoming students.

The response team will implement a collaborative project to ensure that information on resources, awareness events and programming are tailored to meet the needs of each student population. The project, “Collective Empowerment: A Trauma Informed Approach to Caring for Tallahassee College Students,” will involve representatives from FSU’s CARE Program, Student Veterans Center, Center for Global Engagement, Student Disabilities Resource Center and the Pride Student Union.

The proposal was crafted by staff from University Health Services, led by Interim Director Amy Magnuson.

“Our upcoming initiatives through this grant will demonstrate that these crimes will not be tolerated,” Magnuson said. “They will send a clear message that perpetrators will be held accountable and that holistic services are available for survivors.”

In addition, the university plans to enhance training of all campus law enforcement and campus disciplinary boards to respond effectively to situations involving power-based personal violence.

The enhancements the grant will provide involve more than 20 campus partners and external entities, including FSU’s Victim Advocate Program, the Athletics Department, the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life and the Refuge House, Tallahassee’s local rape crisis center. Magnuson also plans to use the funds to strengthen collaboration between FSU, Florida A&M University and Tallahassee Community College.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with several campus departments to expand and enhance our current coordinated response at FSU in addressing prevention and intervention of interpersonal violence,” Magnuson said. “We look forward to engaging our community partners and other institutions of higher learning to provide a unified trauma-informed message to improve survivor well-being.”