Jennifer Warwick, PLU Victim Advocate and Voices Against Violence Project Administrator, was selected to participate in the national Think Tank on Sexual Violence Prevention on College and University Campuses organized by the Centers for Disease Control.
Warwick, who has worked with the Department of Justice since 2006 with PLU’s Campus Grant Project and over the past three years as a private contractor to review grant submissions, was recommended by the DOJ to take part in this meeting of experts who will compose a set of guidelines for funding future grant projects out of the CDC.
“The purpose of this Think Tank is to pull together 40ish professionals (including law enforcement, healthcare providers and university professionals) to develop a guidance document for best practices around sexual-violence prevention on college campuses,” Warwick said. “These recommendations, I believe, will be what guides state-level funding for Rape Prevention Education grants.”
The letter to Warwick from James Mercy, the CDC’s acting director in the Division of Violence Prevention, read, in part: “… you have the breadth and depth of knowledge around preventing sexual violence on campuses that we need represented in the Think Tank. … Recognizing that public health cannot prevent sexual violence by itself, Think Tank participants will represent public health departments, sexual violence coalitions, researchers, law enforcement, and college and university staff and administrators.”
As part of Not Alone: The First Report of the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault, the CDC and the American Public Health Association, in collaboration with the departments of Education and Justice, convened the Think Tank in Atlanta from May 5-6 to inform the development of guidance for a comprehensive approach to sexual-violence prevention on college campuses.
In July, CDC and APHA will host a meeting for CDC’s Rape Prevention and Education (RPE) grantees to put the Think Tank’s guidance—including Warwick’s considerable input—into action.
“I am excited to share some of the successful programs that PLU has led, such as SAPET (the Sexuality Awareness and Personal Empowerment Team) and Sex+, as well as the educational programs we do for targeted populations, such as athletes, students studying abroad and incoming students,” Warwick said. “More importantly, I am looking forward to learning other ways of ‘doing’ prevention education that I can bring back to PLU so we can enhance and expand our current programs. This is a fantastic opportunity for me professionally as well as for PLU to be again recognized as experts and leaders in the area of sexual-violence prevention.”