Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has committed $1 million to counter sexual harassment in post-secondary institutions across the state. Governor Wolf said the money would be available to colleges and universities through the state’s “It’s On Us PA” grants.
Launched in 2016 by the Obama administration, “It’s On Us PA” is a statewide initiative to raise awareness about sexual assault. It brings together education leaders, including school superintendents and college presidents, to protect students from gender-based violence on campus. So far, Pennsylvania has awarded almost 200 such grants totaling $5 million to 75 higher education institutions.
“Sexual assault cannot be tolerated, and we all have a responsibility to promote healthy relationships,” Governor Wolf said during the event. “My administration created the ‘It’s On Us PA’ grant program to create pathways to tools and training to change campus culture. This year’s grant funding will continue to support this important work on campuses across the commonwealth.”
Utilizing the Grants
Colleges and universities will use the grant money to improve awareness about sexual harassment. The funding will also enhance reporting, prevention, and response to incidents of sexual assault in schools, colleges, and universities.
The campaign aims for schools to create an “empowering reporting process for student survivors.” Institutions must pledge to make campuses safe spaces for everyone and better serve all survivors of sexual violence.
Institutions can apply for grants of up to $30,000 through October 20, 2021. Applications are available on the Pennsylvania Department of Education’s website.