Case Western Reserve University’s Flora Stone Mather Center for Women has received significant support through a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to fund sexual violence prevention and victim services on campus—and they have CWRU students to thank.

Awarded through the DOJ’s Office of Violence Against Women—and largely inspired by important conversations led by students over the last year—the three-year grant will help fund additional staff, new violence prevention education, and improved services, ultimately creating a team of staff fully dedicated to cultural change and student support. 

Photo of Angela Clark-Taylor
Angela Clark-Taylor

“Student activism, along with the work of the gender equity and sexual misconduct committees on the For a Better CWRU Task Force, provided a lot of direction and inspiration for what was proposed in the grant,” said Mather Center Director Angela Clark-Taylor. “This funding will not only allow us to continue to support our existing services, but expand opportunities in the future and have a more coordinated response to sexual assault and violence on campus.” 

Leading the efforts over the next three years will be a newly created project director position overseeing the Mather Center’s education coordinator and student advocate staff members, creating a team approach to violence prevention efforts. This team effort will also include broad departmental involvement through the creation of a Community Coordinated Response Team focusing on culture change and education on campus. The team—composed of staff representatives from offices across campus such as greek life, athletics, orientation, student success and disability services—will also help increase awareness of victim services on campus.

“I’m thrilled that this grant will allow us to create a cohesive team of professionals to address these critical issues on our campus,” said Clark-Taylor. “We’ll now have three staff members fully dedicated to violence prevention and education, along with support from the Mather Center’s director and associate director. Having a true team focusing on this 40 hours a week is a huge deal.” 

The grant will allow for the expansion of victim advocacy services on campus through the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center (CRCC), serving as backup for the student advocate and providing additional advocacy services for faculty and staff.

The project director for violence prevention and response will spend their first year in the role planning for the remaining two years of the grant, meaning the campus community can expect to start seeing new initiatives, programs and services implemented in spring of 2023. 

Looking toward the future, the Mather Center hopes to take advantage of the opportunity to renew the grant up to two additional times, giving them as many as nine years to continue to develop and secure funding for additional campus programs and services. 

“When we reapply in three years, we’ll have to show how we’re advancing the work,” said Clark-Taylor. “We’re already thinking about opportunities for expansion, but for now I’m just so excited that we got the grant, and I can’t wait to start implementing our plans.”

Clark-Taylor served as the principal investigator for this grant, with assistance from Alicia Robinson, Mather Center associate director for research; Joy Dismukes, assistant director for the Office of Research and Technology Management; and Michele Stephens, Student Affairs finance manager.