St. Mary's University receives 300K grant for sex assault, domestic violence prevention

(SBG San Antonio photo)

St. Mary's University received $299,570.00 for programs that aim to reduce sexual assault, domestic and dating violence and stalking on college campuses.

Congressman Joaquin Castro announced the grant, awarded by the Department of Justice, Office of Violence Against Women program.

"These resources are critical," said Tim Bessler, Dean of Students at St. Mary's University. "When you have incidents of dating or domestic violence in a community. When you have incidents have sexual assault, incidents of stalking, those incidents directly tear the fabric of our educational community "

Bessler said the university will use the funds to implement new programs, training and resources geared towards decreasing sexual assault and domestic violence on campus.

"If we could take extra measures to prevent this from happening or if it has happened, at least be that support system, it's awesome so I'm glad we got it," said student Faith Ramirez.

St. Mary's has seen an increase in the number of those cases in the last 4-5 years.

"I know that we have seen an increase in those reports," Bessler said. "Five years ago, if we had one or two reports a year across those categories, it was a lot. Now the numbers are many times that and I think that's an indicator of members of our community feeling safe coming forward."

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