The Pennsylvania Department of Education announced 39 institutions of higher education and postsecondary schools have been awarded It’s On Us PA grants of up to $60,000 each, totaling more than $1.3 million.
It’s On Us PA is the nation’s first statewide campaign to combat campus sexual assault and violence, nearly seven years ago and has made Pennsylvania a national leader in improving campus safety.
“PDE is committed to supporting efforts that keep college campuses safe, inclusive, and welcoming spaces for all students,” said Acting Secretary of Education Eric Hagarty. “The It’s On Us PA campaign cultivates change and provides colleges, universities, and postsecondary career and trade schools with the support and resources necessary to protect learning environments and ensure they are free from sexual assault, harassment, and violence.”
The grants provide funding from January 1, 2023, through May 31, 2024, to implement strategies on campuses to address goals of the It’s On Us PA campaign, which include:
- Improve awareness, prevention, reporting, and response systems regarding sexual violence in schools, colleges, and universities to better serve all students.
- Remove or reduce barriers that prevent survivors of sexual violence from reporting incidents or accessing vital resources by creating a more consistent, empowering reporting process for student survivors of gender-based violence.
- Demonstrate significant, proactive, and sustainable leadership to change campus culture by challenging Pennsylvania’s education leaders – including college and university presidents – as well as students, teachers, faculty, staff, families, and communities to pledge to improve their institutions’ climate.
The national It’s On Us campaign was created to raise awareness about sexual assault, teach participants that assault includes non-consensual sex, advise them on how to identify dangerous situations, empower them to intervene, and urge them to create an environment of support for victims and survivors.