UNI centers around violence prevention

UNI's Center for Violence Prevention aims to decrease gender violence on Iowa's three state university campuses

The Center for Violence Prevention opens its doors on Feb. 3, 2011.

UNI received a $700,000 grant from the Department of Justice; a $10,000 grant from Verizon; $115,000 in funding from the Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention; and $15,000 in funding from the Iowa Department of Public Health. This financial assistance will ensure that the center is a leader in violence prevention initiatives on Iowa's three state universities.

The University of Northern Iowa officially opened the doors to its Center for Violence Prevention (CVP) on Feb. 3. The goal of the center is to aid in campus violence prevention, training curriculum development and programming.

With the help of the Department of Justice, the Waitt Institute for Violence Prevention, the Iowa Department of Public Heath and Verizon, this center will work to develop best practices for responding to and preventing interpersonal violence at Iowa's three state universities, in K through 12 classrooms, and in Iowa communities and the surrounding region.

With recent events such as the shooting in Tucson, Ariz., where six people were killed and many injured, and the political unrest in Egypt, this center has opened at a solemn, but necessary, time.

Annette Lynch, professor of applied human sciences and director of the center, said, "The new Center for Violence Prevention formally marks the important leadership role UNI has played over the past 10 years in bringing more than $2.5 million in external funding from the Violence Against Women Office to the three state universities in Iowa."

Initiatives for this center include increasing victim support services and decreasing gender violence, sexual assault, bullying, school violence and other forms of violence.

One of the core missions of the center is to create a regional dissemination site to share research, services and violence-prevention education.

The Center for Violence Prevention opens its doors on Feb. 3, 2011. John Flannery, vice president of external and government affairs for Verizon.

Annette Lynch, professor of applied human sciences and director of the center, said, "It's recognition from the U.S. Department of Justice of the strong collaborations we have built in Iowa, including Iowa's three state universities, state and local victim service agencies, Iowa Department of Public Health, campus and local police departments, and private foundations."

Pictured above (from left): Senator Chuck Grassley, Annette Lynch, John Flannery and President Ben Allen.

Senator Chuck Grassley spoke at the center's opening and said, "The center will provide leadership in developing solutions to campus violence and research ways to stop tragic events from ever occurring."

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