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University of Central Missouri
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Contact: Jeff Murphy
WARRENSBURG, MO (Nov. 27, 2007) – Development of a new institutional model that allows UCM to address issues such as partner violence and sexual assault is a goal for the next year as federal funding for current programs concludes.
The university announced that the U.S. Department of Justice Violence Against Women grant which provides financial support for The Lighthouse Violence Prevention and Intervention Center will end in May 2008. UCM opened the facility in spring 2004, and has operated it since fall 2005 with much of the funding coming from the grant totaling $200,000.
“Although we applied for grant renewal, our request was not awarded. We believe this has more to do with a change of focus in terms of the types of projects being funded and the large volume of funding requests, not as a reflection of The Lighthouse’s performance,” said Amy Kiger, assistant director of university health services for violence and substance abuse prevention. “We’re proud of what we’ve been able to achieve in short period of time, and we want to look at opportunities to continue the good work that has been set in motion.”
The Lighthouse is operated within the university’s Division of Student Affairs. Currently located in Richards Hall, it is a place where those affected by sexual assault, partner violence, and stalking can receive confidential support, information and assistance. The Lighthouse grew out of an effort initiated in 2002 by the campus’s Sexual Assault Prevention Team and when it opened in 2004 was staffed by volunteers and a graduate assistant. The Department of Justice grant enabled The Lighthouse to hire a full-time coordinator in 2006, sustain a part-time staff position, launch a new peer education program, and provide a campus-wide media campaign to help address sexual assault and related issues.
Working with key partners who can assist, the Division of Student Affairs is actively developing a new model for carrying out The Lighthouse’s responsibilities. As plans become finalized, they will be shared with campus constituents.
“This is an opportunity to assess the best ways we can use our existing campus resources to have an impact in this crucial area. We want to create a new model that represents our commitment to prevention of sexual assault and violence against women – but one that we can sustain and build upon over time,” said Rich Morrell, vice president for student affairs.