EdCC wins $550,000 grant to help prevent sexual violence

Edmonds Community College (EdCC) received a $550,000, three-year grant from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to help address sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking both on campus and within the greater community.

This is the second time EdCC has won such a grant, though the new grant is not a continuation of the last grant. This time, EdCC has even larger goals.

The earlier grant, worth $300,000, ends this year and funded a partnership with Alteristic, which provided a curriculum for sexual violence education. Training was provided to faculty and staff, and EdCC’s Coordinated Community Response Team (CCRT) and Healthy Relationships Team (HEART) were created.

Work with this curriculum and local partners will continue with the new grant.

“We aren’t, in essence, focusing on ourselves, we are looking at what our place is as a whole,” said Dr. Steve Woodard, dean for student success at EdCC. “We also connect with organizations within the community to make sure we have a healthy community.”

“We would strongly say this is a win for the community as a whole,” Woodard said.

Community partners involved in the CCRT include:

  • Lynnwood Police Department
  • Providence Intervention Center for Assault and Abuse
  • Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County
  • Verdant Health Commission
  • Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office
  • Snohomish County Prosecuting Attorney

The CCRT is always growing, and community organizations interested in becoming a part of it can learn more at the HEART website.

Training and communication help bystanders build the skills they need to respond to a situation that “doesn’t seem right,” Katy Griffith, project coordinator for HEART, said.

“We will be training up folks in the next couple of years on the ‘Green Dot’ strategy,” Griffith added. Green Dot helps teach community members how to recognize high-risk situations, how to respond and how to prevent the situations in the first place by leveraging leaders and sharing the message that violence is never okay.

Starting this year, EdCC will also be working with Green River College in Auburn, to help bring similar CCRT resources to Green River and surrounding community. Woodard said this is an opportunity for EdCC and HEART to think about “community” in an even broader sense.

“Green River is a good 50 miles from us, but they are part of our network, so we need to make sure we are working together,” he said.

EdCC is excited to continue this work with the DOJ grant.

“It is truly humbling to not only have earned that first (grant), and to get this next grant is exciting,” Woodard said. “Now more than ever, you need clarity around what healthy relationships look like and how they should be expressed. To be able to have this support… is truly amazing.”

EdCC’s $550,000 grant is one of several grants totaling $18 million awarded to 57 colleges across the country to address sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking at college campuses. Bellevue College was also among the winners, as was Lewis & Clark College in Oregon and colleges located in 29 other states, including California, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

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