Grants to help UA, Troy prevent assaults, assist victims

MONTGOMERY - Two Alabama universities will uses grants awarded Tuesday to prevent assaults and offer professional assistance to students who become victims of domestic violence, stalking or sexual assault.

The University of Alabama's Women's Resource Center will receive $86,417 to maintain its Project HOPE program, and Troy University will continue its Sexual Assault and Violence Education Project with a grant of $43,104.

"College students should be able to focus on their education without fear of assault," said Governor Bob Riley. "I commend the work these organizations do to help students avoid dangerous situations and protect themselves if they are threatened."

Both programs offer crisis intervention, counseling and advocacy services to help victims with the emotional trauma after an attack and to ensure violators are prosecuted. The services are free and confidential.

Project HOPE and SAVE also provide students with instruction on how to reduce the risk of sexual assault, and what to do in case of an attack. Programs are offered through presentations, workshops and educational materials.

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grants from funds made available by the U.S. Justice Department.

Riley informed Cynthia Hope, director of sponsored programs at the University of Alabama, and Dr. Jack Hawkins, chancellor of Troy University, that the grants had been approved.

INFORMATION SOURCE: Governor's press office