UMBC receives grant to strengthen sexual assault prevention and response, joins MHEC in sharing campus climate survey results

UMBC and nine fellow members of the Baltimore Area Higher Education Coalition Against Sexual Violence have received a three-year, $750,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Office on Violence against Women to create new strategies to prevent, respond to, and investigate sexual assault, domestic violence, relationship violence, and stalking, and to strengthen trauma-informed survivor services.

Specific coalition objectives include increasing awareness of and access to victim services on and off campus, and assessing and enhancing the capacity of campus response teams to address sexual violence. The coalition is also working to provide more comprehensive and actively inclusive survivor-centered trainings to serve the needs of all groups, including specific information on serving LGBT students and students of color, among other goals.

The grant is part of a $25 million funding package announced by the DOJ in fall 2016. Loyola University Maryland is administering the Baltimore coalition’s award. In addition to the ten participating universities, this partnership includes collaboration with the Baltimore City Police Department, Baltimore Collegetown Network, and TurnAround, Inc., a Baltimore-based service provider for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.

Concurrent with applying for this grant, and in accordance with the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC), UMBC’s Office of Human Relations administered a Campus Climate and Sexual Assault (CCSA) survey in spring 2016. The survey sought to better understand student perceptions, experiences, and awareness related to sexual assault and relationship violence.The UMBC Office of Human Relations, in collaboration with the Division of Student Affairs, has created a one-page infographic highlighting the main CCSA survey findings.

MHEC has also published a more comprehensive Report on Campus Climate and Sexual Violence at Maryland Colleges and Universities (see volume 1 and volume 2, that includes combined data from UMBC and other institutions.

Students who have experienced sexual assault or relationship violence, or know of someone who has, can access confidential support and resources through the Counseling Center and University Health Services at UMBC’s main campus, or the Center for Counseling and Consultation at the Universities at Shady Grove campus. Members of the UMBC community can file reports with UMBC Police and Title IX Coordinator Bobbie L. Hoye, and can access the Women’s Center as a quasi-confidential resource. Additional resources and the university’s policy on sexual misconduct are available through the Office of Human Relations.