High Schools Targeted for Sexual Assault Prevention

Posted: March 7, 2000 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Darshana Patel

Sexual Assault Services is using a unique approach to reduce the incidence of sexual assault in the community, thanks to a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). High school students are often victimized by sexual assault, yet they know little about what they can do to get help for the trauma they feel, says Connie Kirkland, coordinator of Sexual Assault Services. Thus, when they come to George Mason or another university, they come with unresolved trauma and their ability to function well academically is jeopardized.

The goal of the new program is to strengthen delivery of primary sexual assault prevention to the George Mason community. The CDC endowment also will help the Sexual Assault Services Office work collaboratively with representatives from Northern Virginia Community College and Northern Virginia campuses of other Virginia colleges to increase knowledge about sexual assault prevention. Printed materials about sexual prevention and regional victim resources will be distributed throughout Northern Virginia, both on college and high school campuses, in locations frequented by college students and on public transportation modes.

“This grant will help the George Mason community by creating a greater awareness of the number of resources in the Northern Virginia area which respond to the issue of sexual assault,” says Kirkland. “Since many of our students are commuters and have lives of their own apart from the university, it will be helpful for them to know the network of providers that exist wherever they live.”

This is the first time the CDC grant has been made available to universities. The University of Virginia, James Madison University, and Virginia Commonwealth University also received the grant.

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