Karen Donoghue and Susan Birge Awarded Grant From the U.S. Department of Justice's Office on Violence Against Women

Karen Donoghue and Susan Birge Awarded Grant From the U.S. Department of Justice's Office on Violence Against Women

The $299,954 “Comprehensive and Inclusive Victim Specific Services at Fairfield University” Grant will enhance the University’s social justice and morality education by shedding light on violence against women.

Karen Donoghue '03, associate vice president and dean of students, and Susan Birge, EdD, assistant vice president of Counseling & Psychological Services have been awarded a $299,954 grant from the Office on Violence Against Women, within the U.S. Department of Justice, to be used to implement a comprehensive coordinated approach to reduce sexual violence against women, and to increase awareness and education among students, faculty, and parents.

“This federal grant will significantly enhance and expand Fairfield University’s ongoing efforts to provide education and training to all members of the University community regarding sexual misconduct, as well as to train our students in prevention strategies such as bystander training,” said Susan Birge, one of the two faculty members awarded the grant.

This program will be a collaborative effort between Fairfield University, the Center for Family Justice, and the Fairfield Police Department. An Office of Advocacy (OOA) will be implemented, with plans to employ a full-time director to oversee the project goals. The Office of Advocacy will be tasked with providing mandatory prevention and education campus wide. It will also provide ongoing training for law enforcement -- both Department of Public Safety officers and Municipal Police Department officers, as well as campus judicial disciplinary board members. 

Bystander intervention training, targeted to incoming first year students and third year students, will also be developed. The goal of this training will be for students to learn clear definitions and examples of consent, among other sexual assault awareness issues. Incoming freshmen and transfer students will attend sessions during Orientation regarding sexual assault and bystander strategies, and their parents will be educated about these same topics through an online, campus-specific tool.

In addition, a website for the Office of Advocacy will be created. This website will include an online awareness and training module specific to Fairfield University, to provide education in areas such as sexual assault awareness on college campuses. It will also offer response and bystander tactics, and maintain a list of available community resources.  

The ultimate goal of this project is to reduce violence against women by giving the University community the information and training required to understand how each and every member of the community can do their part to prevent this kind of violence. This project will enhance the Fairfield University mission to educate its students to be socially aware and morally responsible members of society.

Tags:  Faculty or Staff Stories,  Parent Stories,  Student Stories

Last modified: 11-02-18 8:34 AM

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