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MIT awarded grant to combat violence against women

MIT has received a grant of nearly $200,000 from the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women.

"Congratulations to Laura Stuart, Maryanne Kirkbride and others who led the effort to secure this grant," said Dr. William Kettyle, the director of MIT Medical, in announcing the award late last month.

This grant will allow MIT to improve its policies, programs and services related to issues of sexual assault and dating and domestic violence, according to Stuart, an MIT health educator, who will also serve as project director. Kirkbride is the clinical director for campus life.

"This grant is a tribute to the many dedicated students and staff who have worked over the past few years to raise awareness and enhance our response to violence in our community," said Stuart. "I am thrilled this grant will allow us to formalize our collaboration and bring our work to the next level."

The MIT grant, made possible by the federal Violence Against Women Act of 2000, will be used to address a broad array of needs, including training faculty, staff and students; developing and disseminating educational materials and policies; and strengthening victim services.

The project will be implemented in collaboration with many diverse campus organizations, the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center, the Asian Taskforce Against Domestic Violence, and the Victim Witness Services Bureau of the Middlesex District Attorney's Office. As a first step, the Center for Health Promotion and Wellness at MIT Medical will convene the Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence Coordinated Community Response Group (CRG) in September.

"I look forward to working with other campus and community organizations to keep the MIT community safe and raise awareness of these important issues," said Kettyle.

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