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College, Area Organizations Receive Federal Grant

College, Area Organizations Receive Federal Grant

September 27, 2006 - Collin County Community College District and two social service organizations will team up thanks to a grant from the U.S. Justice Department.

The college, Hope's Door and The Turning Point were awarded a $206,014 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women. The corresponding project will be a "coordinated community response to violence against women on campus," according to Dr. Linda Qualia, director of Counseling Services at Collin.

"Our goal is to create a coordinated, seamless system of training, education, intervention, prevention and treatment," Qualia said of the grant's program to fight violence against women. Using the grant monies, all three institutions will provide extensive training and education to college students, faculty, staff, campus police and administrators about domestic violence and sexual assault. An online training module will be established to train students in recognizing and preventing domestic violence and sexual assault.

Among other strategies, a series of intervention protocols will be developed and disseminated to the college community.  According to Patricia Randall, LCSW, executive director of The Turning Point, the key to this program is collaboration between the three parties.

"The funding is important, but the most important part of the program is working together," Randall said. "When we can work together and bring a lot of people together and give them the information they need, that is an extraordinary thing."

Randall cites the recent candlelight vigil held at Collin's Spring Creek Campus in Plano where Texas' first lady Anita Perry spoke April 6. The theme for the evening: "We Stand Together Against Sexual Assault."

"Everyone has a role in preventing sexual assault and domestic violence," Randall said. "We will have a part to play in making society safer. I'm very excited about this project because it has all the components to be very effective." Hope's Door is a domestic abuse shelter for individuals or families that offers a 24-hour crisis phone line, safe shelter, free counseling and community awareness.

"The program is tremendously important," Tammy Taylor, Hope's Door director of Education and Public Relations, said. "We will see the impact because individuals will gain the knowledge they need to date smart and make wise decisions about their dating partners. It is going to be phenomenal in regard to the people we will reach."

Collin County Community College District (Collin) serves more than 41,000 credit and continuing education students annually and offers more than 100 degree and certificate programs. The only public college in the county, Collin is a partner to business, government and industry, providing customized training and work force development. For more information about the grant, contact the Collin Counseling Services Department at 972.881.5126.