NH Delegation Announces Nearly $600K Investment to Combat Campus Sexual Assault & Support Survivors at St. Anselm College and Rivier University
U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), the Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that funds the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW), announced with U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Congress members Annie Kuster (NH-02) and Chris Pappas (NH-01) nearly $600,000 in federal funding through the OVW for St. Anselm College and Rivier University to invest in programs that combat campus sexual assault and boost support services for survivors. St. Anselm will receive $294,970 and Rivier will receive $299,900.
“Making sure college campuses are safe for all students must be every institution’s top concern. These new federal resources will help St. Anselm and Rivier uphold that commitment to its students by investing in programming to combat campus sexual assault, and ensuring support services are available for survivors,” said Senator Shaheen. “Survivors of sexual assault, especially during the COVID-19 crisis, need to know they are not alone and there are services available to seek help, stay safe and hold their attackers accountable. As the Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that funds these programs, I’ll fight to boost federal support in the upcoming government funding legislation.”
“Survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence on college campuses often face barriers in their attempt to hold perpetrators accountable,” said Senator Hassan. “These federal grants to Saint Anselm College and Rivier University will help these institutions better support survivors and take necessary steps to prevent these crimes. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to strain resources for survivors, I will keep working to secure additional federal dollars to bolster services that protect survivors and help bring perpetrators to justice.”
“All students should be able to pursue their education in a safe environment free from the threat of violence, assault, or harassment,” said Congresswoman Kuster, founder and co-chair of the Bipartisan Task Force to End Sexual Violence. “I’m proud of the work already being done on many NH campuses to keep students safe. These grants will help strengthen services and programs at Rivier and St. Anselm to support survivors and prevent violent crimes from occurring in the first place. Sexual violence is an unacceptable reality and I will continue to do everything I can to prevent it.”
“These federal grants will support a comprehensive, community based approach to reduce sexual violence across our campuses while increasing resources for survivors of these heinous crimes,” said Congressman Pappas. “I am thankful for the work that advocates as well as our colleges and universities do every day to support those in need, and I will continue to work with the delegation to focus on the safety and well-being of students.”
Saint Anselm College President Joe Favazza said, “Saint Anselm College is grateful to the Department of Justice/Office on Violence Against Women as well as the advocacy of Senator Jeanne Shaheen. It allows us to continue and strengthen the work of The Harbor, a campus-based center that draws visibility to issues of stalking, dating and domestic violence, and sexual assault on campus while creating a safe place for victims to gain confidential support and advocacy. We are committed to this work as part of our Catholic and Benedictine mission as well as our student-centered focus.”
Rivier University President Sister Paula Marie Buley said, “Rivier University is delighted to receive a continuation grant from the Office on Violence Against Women through the Department of Justice. This funding will support the University’s efforts to heighten awareness surrounding these issues through gender-based violence education and prevention programming. In collaboration with Nashua’s Domestic and Sexual Violence Support, the impact of this grant funding will substantially increase the University’s commitment to these critical social issues including domestic violence, dating violence and stalking.”
Throughout the pandemic, the New Hampshire congressional delegation has been working to provide more resources and services to domestic violence survivors nationwide. Senators Shaheen and Hassan have called on Congressional leadership multiple times to include additional funding to support the victims of family violence, domestic violence and dating violence in the fourth COVID-19 legislative package. In addition, last month, Shaheen and Hassan introduced the Lori Jackson Domestic Violence Survivor Protection Act, strongly-supported bicameral legislation to protect domestic violence survivors from gun violence.
Senator Shaheen has led efforts in the Senate to establish basic rights and protections for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Her bill, the Survivors’ Bill of Rights Act, was signed into law in 2016 and created the first federally codified rights specifically for sexual assault survivors and for the first time allowed survivors the opportunity to enforce those rights in federal court. Last year, Shaheen introduced the bipartisan, bicameral Survivors’ Bill of Rights in the States Act to build on the Survivors’ Bill of Rights Act by incentivizing states to pass legislation that guarantees the survivors rights included in the federal legislation. For the third year in a row, Senator Shaheen – Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee that funds the OVW – successfully added the highest funding amount ever for Violence Against Women Act programs in the fiscal year (FY) 2020 government funding.