Flynn: $102K in state grants awarded to Lackawanna County colleges to protect students from sexual violence.

HARRISBURG, Jan. 6 – State Rep. Marty Flynn, D-Lackawanna, was instrumental in getting nearly $102,000 for four institutions of higher education to combat sexual assault on campus.

Flynn said the It’s On Us PA program is designed to provide colleges and universities the resources needed to shift campus culture and promote healthy relationships.

“The program will help to ensure that our college campus students are potentially free from sexual assault, harassment and violence and hold offenders accountable for their actions,” Flynn said.

The following Lackawanna County colleges were awarded grants:

$30,000 to Johnson College

$29,941 to Marywood University

$22,692 to University of Scranton

$19,249 to Lackawanna College

The grants will provide funding through May 2022 to implement strategies on campuses to address goals of Gov. Tom Wolf’s It’s On Us PA campaign, which include:

  • Improve awareness, prevention, reporting, and response systems regarding sexual violence in schools, colleges, and universities to better serve all students.
  • Remove/reduce barriers that prevent survivors of sexual violence from reporting and/or accessing vital resources by creating a more consistent, empowering reporting process for student survivors of gender-based violence.
  • Demonstrate significant, proactive, and sustainable leadership to change campus culture by challenging Pennsylvania’s education leaders – including college and university presidents, as well as students, teachers, faculty, staff, families, and communities to pledge to improve their institutions’ climate around sexual assault.

Programs or activities considered for funding included campus wide training for students, faculty, and staff; institutional campaigns to raise awareness and understanding of the reporting process and resources available to and rights of survivors of sexual violence; programs that enhance awareness of available resources and students’ rights or seek to increase mechanisms for anonymous reporting; and efforts to improve capacity to collect federal- or state-required data.

The It’s On Us campaign is a national initiative started by the Obama administration to raise awareness about sexual assault; teaching participants that assault includes non-consensual sex, advising them on how to identify dangerous situations, empowering them to intervene, and urging them to create an environment of support for victims and survivors.