Wilmington, NC – The university will use the money to address domestic violence against students, creating a model program other schools may someday adopt.
Rebecca Caldwell, the university's director of substance abuse and violence prevention, describes domestic violence on campus as a sleeping tiger,' saying that when she looked for a recommended university program on which to base UNCW's she couldn't find any.
It's going to take some really purposeful efforts, Caldwell said, To make it safe for people to come forward and to engage people in discussions about what's healthy.
Congressman Mike MacIntyre was on hand to present Caldwell and UNCW's Chancellor Rosemary DePaolo with a ceremonial check for the $260,304 grant amount. The total grant is four times the program's current annual operating budget.
DePaolo said campus police responded an increased number of domestic violence calls last year, but credited the rise to better awareness.
We have made it clear to all of our students, as well as our entire campus community, through our website and other means, how to report these crimes. So I think people are really responding to that.
The grant will fund a two-year position to coordinate the relationship violence program, with an emphasis on working with men to prevent violence. DePaolo said the university would look at taking over funding the job with the grant expires.
The university's domestic violence policies have been in the spotlight since the murders of two female UNCW students two years ago.