Posted: Sep 25, 2012 9:24 PM by Cristy Aranguiz - KPAX News
Updated: Sep 26, 2012 6:39 AM
MISSOULA- A $300,000 U.S. Department of Justice grant will help the University of Montana expand a campus-wide program focusing on student assault, including sexual assault and partner abuse.
"It allows us to focus in a way that we haven't before on the continuous improvement and assessment of our tracking of student assault," John Sommers-Flanagan, a professor of counselor education.
He said university administrators took input from professors, administrators and students on how to best create the program when they applied for the grant.
UM administrators say the DOJ money funds a new employee, whose job will be to focus on student assault. Sommers-Flanagan said the person will be "the guru" on campus on dealing with violence.
"Everyone I think in Missoula is aware of sexual assault, which is one form of assault that happens on college campuses," he said. "Another form is intimate partner violence and this grant allows us to help us address that issue or problem. Stalking is another kind of violence that can occur on college campuses."
He said UM doesn't want to finger point, but engage students to help them better their own community. Meanwhile, a DOJ investigation that came in the wake of several sexual assault reports on how UM handles sexual violence is ongoing.