Governor Wolf announces new investment to help stop sexual abuse on college campuses

Governor Wolf announces new investment to help stop sexual abuse on college campuses

Author: Stephany Dugan/Wednesday, January 9, 2019/Categories: News and Views

Since taking up the mantle in January 2016 as the very first state to launch an It’s On Us campus safety initiative, the Wolf Administration has invested nearly $3 million in state grants across dozens of colleges and universities across Pennsylvania to combat the issue of sexual assault across college campuses.

Earlier today, Governor Tom Wolf announced nearly $1 million more in It’s On Us grants will be allocated to 38 Pennsylvania colleges and universities this year.

Wolf was joined by Secretary of Education Pedro Rivera and a network of leaders, including the national It’s On Us director Tracey Vitchers to announce the grant continuation.

“As a lifelong Pennsylvanian, it has given me an extra source of pride to know that the commonwealth was the first in the nation to become an It’s On Us state,” said Vitchers.

According to It’s On Us, the grants have allowed institutions to teach age appropriate consent education, bystander intervention and survivor support to their students.

It is estimated that one in five female students are sexually assaulted while enrolled at a college or university.

“I’m a father of two daughters and to me, that number is heartbreaking,” said Wolf.

The governor said his work on this issue is not complete, and that there’s still work to do legislatively to combat campus sexual assaults.

Wolf said he will continue to advocate for the passage of the package of bills that were introduced during the 2017-18 legislative session that were designed to make it easier for students to report sexual assault. He indicated he will sign the bills if they reach his desk.

Jennifer Kocher, spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-Centre) said, “As measures are introduced, we will evaluate the bills, giving the traditional leeway to our committee chairs to fully vet bills through the committee process.”

Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale lauded the governor for the investment followed by announcing his own plan to perform a follow-up audit of one performed in 2015 which examined the State System of Higher Education’s ability to handle grievances and notices of discrimination related to sexual discrimination and sexual violence on campuses, according to a statement.

The follow-up special report is set to begin this year.

Stephany Dugan is the Media Specialist and Digital Editor for The PLS Reporter. Have a question, comment or tip? Email her at stephany@mypls.com.
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