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Keene State Awarded $400,000 DOJ Grant To Lead Effort To Reduce Cycle Of Sexual Violence

Story By:
Paul Miller | Director of Strategic Communications and Community Relations

Keene State College is receiving a $400,000 grant from the Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) to be used over three years to coordinate education and prevention work around keeping students and the greater community safe.

Keene State received an OVW grant in 2019 — $300,000 over three years — and during that time a community coalition comprised of 20 partners, including the Keene Police Department and the Monadnock Center for Violence Prevention (MCVP), was convened.

Implementation of a strategic plan and grant initiatives around these new funds will begin immediately, according to College officials. New strategies and initiatives can only benefit from “already-established relationships” with key stakeholders in the shared work that was done and the shared work ahead, said Jeff Maher, Title IX Coordinator at the College.

“Keene State is grateful to our New Hampshire delegation and the Office on Violence Against Women,” he said. “This federal grant will allow Keene State to further move our efforts beyond primary prevention toward an ongoing dialogue that leverages all our formal and informal learning spaces to foster a safe, vital, inclusive, and sustainable community based on mutual respect.”

“It is a reality that sexual and interpersonal violence happens on college and university campuses. This grant will expand upon our ability to create meaningful initiatives, working collaboratively with students, campus partners, and community members,” Kat Dougherty, Assistant Dean of Students, added. “This grant will give Keene State the opportunity to add additional focus, intention, and expertise to our sexual violence prevention efforts.”

That rates of this kind of violence at Keene State are lower than national averages, but in no way, Maher said, does that minimize the need to take steps to help mitigate the problem. He added that the College’s support resources make it uniquely positioned to lead and stay committed to this priority issue.

Kelli Jo Harper, Sexual Misconduct and Bias Investigator at the College, added:

“The support available through this grant will help to foster a college experience that is safe, inclusive, and where each student feels an authentic sense of belonging through a campus that is vigilant in both preventing and addressing sexual misconduct.”

MCVP will no doubt be a big part of what Maher said he sees as another broad community action plan. Besides its role in helping to implement strategies previously, MCVP supported this most recent grant application through an internal memorandum of understanding.

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Keene, New Hampshire 03435