Clark Anti-Violence Education Program

News and Events

Press Release About Launching of CAVE

The Clark Anti-Violence Education (CAVE) program at Clark University has received $474,992 in grant funding from both the U.S. Department of Education and the Department of Justice. Two separate grants were awarded. The DOJ granted $296,988 to fund the project titled, "Building Community to Foster Change on College Campuses: A Coordinated Multilevel Violence Prevention and Intervention Program," in effect from Oct. 2009 through Sept. 2012. The DOE award, titled "Preventing Sexual and Dating Violence on College Campuses: An Extension of the Bystander Program," totals $178,004, with another $180,833 authorized for the second phase. Those funding periods run from July 2009 until June 2011. The combined federal funding support what was launched at Clark in fall 2009 as the CAVE program. In October 2012, Clark University was awarded another grant through the DOJ in partnership with Assumption College, College of the Holy Cross, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute. The goal of this new award is to extend programming and services targeting decreasing sexual and dating violence across campuses in the greater Worcester area.

"Our goal is to raise awareness of these issues on campus, so that students know that sexual assault, dating violence, and stalking can happen here, too, and if they witness such an event about to take place or talk with a friend or acquaintance who has been victimized, students will know how to safely intervene and help," says project co-director and Clark University research assistant professor of psychology Denise Hines. Kathleen Palm Reed, research assistant professor of psychology and co-director of the program, and doctoral student Vicki Ameral are coordinating the program with Professor Hines. Through education programs and campus campaigns, the team works to create a model of dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking prevention and intervention programming for other schools in the region and ultimately across the nation.

"Through this program and others that we are instituting on campus, we hope to create an environment on campus where dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking are not tolerated," Palm Reed explains. "We also hope that all students, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, and race/ethnicity/culture will become confident that our coordinated effort is here to help them if they or a friend are victimized, so that they will be comfortable coming forward and reporting the incident to people who can help."

And already, CAVE is seeing results. According to an anonymous survey that Hines and Palm Reed administered to Clark students in November of 2008, 2009, and 2010, the self-reported incidence of dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking have gone down at each time point. In addition, the percent of students who said they were victimized by such incidents and sought help from campus authorities has increased at each time point.

View the entire press release

Bringing in the Bystander

During orientation, all of the incoming students (first-years and transfer students) participate in a program called, "Bringing in the Bystander." This is a 120-minute program, where students divided into same-sex groups of about 30 to discuss what dating violence and sexual assault are and how to properly and safely intervene before, during, or after an incident of dating violence or sexual assault that they may witness.

During the Spring semester of 2011, at the request of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee e-board, the CAVE program presented the "Bringing in the Bystander" program to all of the Athletes on campus.

Other News

The U.S. Department of Education featured the CAVE program in their collection of case studies featured on their webpage:

The U.S. Department of Education's Higher Education Center

Links to press releases are now available:

Clark Hub press release: July 11, 2011
Worcester Telegram & Gazette press release: July 17, 2011

Other Events

The CAVE program often collaborates with campus and community partners to bring other types of programming to campus—such as plays and discussion groups—usually during key times throughout the year, including Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October and Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April. We will post information about these programs as they are scheduled.