Governor of Texas Funds College Campus Initiative to Support Student Victims

Nikki Barnett, Student Case Specialist for Campus Life & Student Development, was awarded $189,707 for a “College Campus Initiative” by the Criminal Justice Division (CJD) of the Office of the Governor of Texas. The funds will allow the university to provide campus advocacy services for students who are victims of crime, especially sexual assault.

Mirroring the spirit of the #MeToo movement and addressing the prevalence of sexual assault on college campuses, Barnett plans to “reduce stigma” surrounding sexual assault by increasing awareness on campus. She also hopes to “empower students to seek assistance” by providing resources and developing a safe, supportive environment. “We look forward to being able to offer support services to students who have been victimized by violent crimes.”

According to the Office of the Governor, their “ongoing goal to meet the needs of victims of crime in Texas more fully and support them in their recovery and restoration” led them to commit $20 million to victim assistance initiatives in 2017, including victim service programs on college campuses, housing and/or relocation assistance, and support for sexual assault nurse examiners and response teams. Barnett’s grant falls into the college campus category, which aims “to establish or expand on-campus victim services programs.”

The award extends from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018, and Barnett plans to apply for continuation of funding.