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It’s On Us Campaign

One in five women in college experience sexual assault according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

That’s one of the reasons why the Wolf Administration awards “It’s On Us” grants, giving colleges funding to improve how sexual violence is prevented and handled on campus.

This week, Governor Wolf announced that 37 schools across Pennsylvania will be receiving these grants, including Juniata College in Huntingdon County.

“Sexual violence is truly happening on every campus. It doesn’t discriminate,” said Jennifer Pencek, Office for the Prevention of Interpersonal Violence Director at Juniata College.

She says Juniata College received $30,000 through the grant, and this is their fourth time receiving it.

“This is really important to have on a college campus, because as much as we would love for the day to come where we don’t need these types of efforts, we’re just not there yet. We know that we’re not there yet,” said Pencek.

Pencek says the “It’s On Us” grant will help with sexual violence prevention efforts, including bringing in guest speakers, having promotional events, and spreading awareness.

“We really want to try to ensure that students know of different resources, including confidential resources, and also know if something were to happen, what are different options are when it comes to reporting those things or getting support,” she said.

She says rape, sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, and relationship violence can be found on any college campus, no matter how big or small.

“We like to think of sexual violence as being something that’s happening out there to other people, but I guarantee you, I bet all of us at the very least know someone who’s been sexually assaulted. Even if we don’t know that we know them, we do know them. Because it’s also something that’s not talked about a lot,” she added.

She says they also want to grow their bystander intervention program, which teaches bystanders how they can intervene in situations to keep others safe.

“We can keep that goal in mind: a day when there’s just not a need for violence prevention efforts because there’s not any violence happening.”

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