Triton Awarded 300K Grant from DOJ to Increase Student Safety Programs

Increased educational programs and training focusing on sexual assault and domestic violence prevention will further ensure the safety of students and community members on Triton College’s campus.

Triton was recently awarded a $300,000 grant from the United States Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) to implement the new programs in partnership with the River Grove Police Department and Oak-Park-based Sarah’s Inn, a domestic violence resource center.

“We are extremely excited about the DOJ/OVW award,” said Sacella Smith, Triton College executive director of Grants Development. “We know the long-term impact of the grant will be transformative not only for the institution but for the entire community. Studies have shown that many victims of domestic violence, stalking and sexual assault suffer in silence because they are afraid to report the incident or because they don’t know where to go for support. This OVW grant may be the catalyst that helps us shift that paradigm.”

Grant funds will support the newly formed Triton College Coordinated Community Response Team (TCCRT), which will implement a mandatory sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking prevention program for all incoming Triton students. Increased training will also be offered to River Grove and Triton College law enforcement personnel as well as other campus employees to help them more effectively respond to sexual assault and domestic-violence-related incidents.

“This grant will assist in the coordination of on-and-off campus victim services organizations and the local criminal justice system to provide holistic support and services for our students,” said Corey Williams, Triton College dean of Student Services. “Further, the OVW grant is yet another way to help Triton College students improve readiness and response, as well as work to prevent incidents involving gender-based sexual violence from happening on and off campus.”

Additionally, survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence will have 24-hour accessibility to confidential victim services and advocacy offered through Sarah’s Inn.

"We look forward to the opportunity to share our expertise in domestic violence and dating violence, and to build upon the work we have collaboratively started over the past several years to improve Triton College's response and support systems, and ultimately to help victims and survivors thrive within their community,” said Sarah’s Inn Executive Director Carol Gall. “Triton has a comprehensive team in place and we are confident that through our collective efforts we will develop a model system that strives to follow best practices and serve their student population and the larger community with the best resources and support."

The Department of Justice received 106 applications for OWV grants requesting over $34 million. Triton was one of only 53 projects selected for funding.

For more information on programs offered through the United States Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women Grant and related services offered by Triton College, contact Dean of Student Services Corey Williams at (708) 456-0300, Ext. 3868, email coreywilliams@triton.edu, or visit http://www.triton.edu/TitleIX.