WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-09), a member of the House Ways and Means and Budget Committees, announced that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) awarded a $1,315,906 grant to Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU) to fund a pilot program to address campus sexual assaults in the United States. The Campus Sexual Assault Perpetrator Treatment Pilot Project will include the development, implementation and evaluation of an evidence-based, interdisciplinary response to individualized sanctioning of student perpetrators.
“I commend Fairleigh Dickinson University for putting together a competitive application that takes an important step in addressing campus safety in our nation,” said Rep. Pascrell, a former educator who served as a professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University. “As we send our children away to colleges across the nation, their health and safety must remain paramount. During this time of economic recovery, many college campuses lack the resources to adequately address sexual assaults. This federal grant makes a significant investment in addressing the epidemic of sexual violence on our college campuses by developing protocols to identify potential offenders along with treatment needs.”
Through the Campus Sexual Assault Perpetrator Treatment Pilot Project, FDU will develop a standardized risk assessment protocol that identifies a higher likelihood of re-offending in the unique population of college perpetrators and directly link it to the assignment of therapeutic interventions. Researchers will also use existing literature and generate new data to identify the thoughts and behaviors that constitute a risk profile of those men with a higher likelihood of being sexually aggressive. The risk assessment process will be based on that profile and on the extant research on college students.
“We are honored to receive this important grant,” said University President Sheldon Drucker. “Colleges and universities need to better address the problem of sexual assault and do all that is possible to ensure a safe environment on campus. By developing a comprehensive risk assessment and response program we can better address victims’ needs, hold those responsible accountable and prevent perpetrators from committing repeat offenses.”
Data produced through the pilot program will also be used for the design of a modularized intervention package that can be applied in individual cases by trained counselors or therapists. The standardized risk assessment tool and treatment curriculum will be supported by training materials and a manual without which fidelity to the treatment design cannot be assessed.
Earlier this year, President Obama issued a Presidential Memorandum to establish the “White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault.” The taskforce is charged with sharing best practices, and increasing transparency, enforcement, public awareness, and interagency coordination to prevent violence and support survivors. The creation of this Task Force builds upon the President’s 2010 call to action, which urged the federal government to support survivors and aggressively take action against sexual assault.
In recognition of his commitment to education in New Jersey, FDU awarded Rep. Pascrell an honorary degree during their commencement ceremony in May.
Posted September 16 2014 at 8:22 PM Permanent Link