SEPTEMBER 20, 2006

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Violence prevention grant renewed at Wilburton college


Eastern President Dr. Richard Bernard, right, along with project coordinator Levenia Carey, signs documents accepting the continuation of a U.S. Department of Justice Violence Prevention Grant for the Wilburton-based college.

Officials at Eastern Oklahoma State College were recently notified that the Wilburton Campus had been selected for a two-year, $200,000 continuation grant from the U.S. Department of Justice and the Office on Violence Against Women.

The grant is part of a funding project under the Grants to Reduce Violent Crimes Against Women on Campus. This award provides the opportunity for the recipients to develop and strengthen effective responses to violence against women.

These comprehensive efforts are designed to enhance victim services, implement prevention and education programs, and develop and strengthen security and investigation strategies to prevent and respond to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking crimes on campuses.

This grant allows Eastern to incorporate with community partners that include Kibois Women’s Shelter, PC-CARE, Wilburton Police Department and Latimer County Sheriff’s Department, Eastern Department of Public Safety, numerous campus clubs and organizations to increase services to students and within the community.

The grant program is coordinated through Eastern’s Student Services Office under the supervision of Preston Boyles, dean of students.

Levenia Carey serves as the project director/coordinator/counselor with additional funds provided by the grant for a part-time assistant.

“The grant will provide the opportunity for Eastern to continue to develop and strengthen services on campus and enhance services within the community by providing training and collaborative services,” Carey said.

Eastern president Dr. Richard Bernard said the grant renewal will expand the services provided to the community.

Bernard said that during the last two years of the grant, Eastern has been able to increase campus security by enhancing lighting on campus and is in the process of installing emergency telephones throughout campus. These emergency telephones are a direct link to 911 and will be placed strategically around the Wilburton campus.

The grant begins Oct. 1 and during the next two years Eastern will increase services to the international student population and work with community partners on education and training for a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners Program (SANE) start up. This portion of the grant will include working with existing community partners and services.

Carey said, “We will provide education and training to all 'first contact' responders on how to assist a victim, proper ways to respond to a victim and how to connect her with available services.

“Eastern will provide cross training and education opportunities for our staff, response team members, domestic violence shelter and crisis center staff, as well as, law enforcement personnel to enhance understanding of services and responders roles. This training will aid in decreasing further victimization and assist with the healing process.

“With our community partner PC-CARE, campus and local law enforcement will be able to connect students with sexual assault examinations in a non-threatening and confidential atmosphere.

“The International Student Awareness Program will work closely through Eastern’s Director of International Students’ Amy Fair to address barriers within the international student population to include rights and accountability, protection, abusive relationships and education,” she said.

Carey says her grant responsibilities include development, coordination and implementing programs to raise awareness in reference to violence on campus. Carey will provide counseling services to any female student that has been a victim of violence in dating relationships (i.e. domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and dating).

Carey will coordinate and facilitate trainings for administration, faculty, staff, students and community partners to improve awareness, prevention and safety on campus and within the community.

For additional information on the program, contact Levenia Carey at 918.465.1757.