Merski, Harkins: Nearly $30,000 awarded to Mercyhurst University as part of statewide campaign to combat campus sexual assault

ERIE, Jan. 6 – A $29,250 grant to Mercyhurst University under the state’s “It’s On Us” program will help ensure students remain safe from the threat of sexual violence, state Reps. Bob Merski and Pat Harkins announced today.

The lawmakers said the grant will help the school implement strategies to raise awareness about sexual violence and prevention, the reporting process and the resources available for survivors.

“Sexual violence has no place in our community, but the reality is that it can happen anywhere –including college campuses – with devastating effects,” Merski said. “College is a place for young adults to learn, thrive and mature, but that’s only possible if they feel safe. The grant funding awarded will help ensure Mercyhurst has the resources it needs to maintain the safest possible environment for all students.”

Harkins said: “No student should live in fear, but banishing the threat of sexual violence requires resources and vigilance. This grant will fund programs to raise awareness about this repugnant crime, help prevent campus assaults, and ensure students are aware of protections, reporting procedures and other available resources.”

The funding for Mercyhurst University is part of a package of grants to postsecondary schools statewide. The schools use the funding for programs ranging from campus-wide training for students, educators and staff to campaigns to raise awareness about the reporting process and resources that are available to those victimized by sexual assault.

After It’s On Us started as a national campaign in 2014, Pennsylvania became the first state to establish its own statewide program, “It’s On Us PA.”

More information about the grants is available here.