Walsh University Recommended for Award

Walsh University has been recommended for a $10,000 grant by the Ohio Department of Higher Education (ODHE) to further its commitment to preventing and responding to sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking on campus. This grant, co-written by service learning students in a course led by Professor Kathy Buttermore aimed at addressing the pressing issue of power-based relationship violence, will enable Walsh University to expand its prevention efforts through innovative programming and community partnerships.

Power-based relationship violence is a life-altering event with significant consequences that affect survivors’ lives in profound ways. Research shows that one in four women and one in ten men experience sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking in their lifetime. The economic impact of these crimes can be as high as $120,000 over a lifetime, including medical costs, lost wages, and legal fees.

In response to this pressing issue, Walsh University is launching the Interpersonal Leadership Endorsement program which aims to link sexual violence prevention with existing campus initiatives in student affairs, residence life, and freshmen programs. Students who complete the program will receive a certification that they can add to their professional resumes, LinkedIn profiles, and other portfolios.

The Interpersonal Leadership Endorsement program will encompass four key components:

Social Norms Marketing: Utilizing the Red Flag Campaign Package, designed to encourage open dialogue about sexual violence, dating violence, and stalking.

Healthy Relationship Training: Implementing the “Love Notes” curriculum by The Dibble Institute, which provides evidence-based lessons on making wise and healthy decisions related to relationships.

Bystander Intervention Training: Conducting training sessions using the “Bringing in the Bystander” curriculum by Soteria Solutions, aimed at empowering all members of the community to intervene in risky situations.

Experiential Service Learning: Engaging participants in creating aftercare bags for victims of sexual violence discharged from hospitals, fostering empathy and community engagement.

To ensure the success of the program, Walsh University will collaborate closely with campus partners, including Residence Life, Student Affairs, and the peer mentorship program Cavs Cor. Additionally, community partnerships with organizations such as the COMPASS Sexual Assault Crisis Center and the Aultman Community Hospital Serenity Program will further enhance the program’s effectiveness and reach.

“This grant will allow Walsh University to expand our efforts in preventing sexual assault and domestic violence on campus,” said Melanie Timco, Director of Prevention Education and Programming at Walsh University. “Through the Interpersonal Leadership Endorsement program, we aim to equip our students with the knowledge and skills to create a safer campus environment and become leaders in eradicating power-based relationship violence.”

The grant funding will also support an evaluation plan to assess the program’s impact on participants’ knowledge, attitudes, and skills related to power-based relationship violence prevention.