In Focus: Violence Against Women Prevention Program

Office on Violence Against Women Logo Jan. 27, 2006 -- Because violence against women is generally underreported, Francine Oputa and Bernadette Muscat want to elevate the confidence victims have in campus authorities, police and community agencies. Thanks to a recent grant from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), California State University, Fresno now has a program in place to combat the problem.

The combined funds will support procedure development and extensive training functions, designed to bring multiple agencies together in a concerted effort to improve the campus and community response to violent crimes against women on campus.

Francine Oputa Project directors Oputa (left) and Muscat are collaborating with six community agencies and three criminal justice agencies as part of the program. Oputa has been the Women’s Resource Center coordinator at Fresno State for 14 years, while Muscat is an Assistant Professor in the University’s Criminology Department, where she focuses her research on domestic violence and response.

The new programs goal is to coordinate existing services and programs for victims of sexual assault, domestic violence and stalking, including prevention, intervention and education, while also creating a new awareness and prevention program to address violence against women.

As the project directors wrote in their proposal, "It is our purpose to collaborate with partners, establish new understandings, create new procedures, and improve the responsiveness of all organizations representing the Violence Against Women Prevention Program."

Specifically, the funds will be used to hire staff to (1) create a new peer-led awareness, prevention and intervention program to address violence against women, and (2) work collaboratively to coordinate existing services and programs for victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking. The new program builds upon the earlier work done by the campus Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Work Group, established in 2000.

For more information, contact Doug Carey in the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, 278-0856.

At a Glance

Title: Violence Against Women Prevention Program
Sponsor: U.S. Department of Justice
Award: $199,796 over two years (9/1/2005 - 8/31/2007)
Project directors:
Francine Oputa
Bernadette Muscat

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