University Communications

Immaculata University to Receive Grant to Fund Preventative Education on Dating Abuse and Violence through the I2U Peer Education Program

Immaculata, PA (March 21, 2011) – Immaculata University has received a $5,715 grant from the beauty and fashion boutique mark., as part of its m.powerment by mark. Healthy Relationship Peer Educator Program, which is managed by the Avon Foundation for Women through its Speak Out Against Domestic Violence initiative. The grant will fund the I2U Peer Education program at Immaculata University to promote healthy dating relationships among college-age women and men. This is the first year Immaculata University has received funding from the m.powerment program.

"We are proud that the Avon Foundation for Women and m.powerment by mark. shares in Immaculata´s mission and have chosen to support our program. With these funds we will be able to expand our I2U Peer Educators program to include a strong campus outreach component that focuses on healthy relationships. Through this component, undergraduate peer educators will receive intensive training to facilitate workshops, increase participant´s understanding and knowledge of issues related to sexual assault, harassment, and stalking. To further expand the impact of the healthy relationships component, Immaculata will use curriculum-infusion. Here, I2U Peer Educators will collaborate with professors to reach a greater percentage of the campus community," commented Dr. Stephen J. Pugliese, Vice President for Student Development and Engagement, Immaculata University.

It is the University´s goal to continue to create a safe environment for all victims to feel comfortable reporting incidents. To achieve this goal, Immaculata will expand its I2U Peer Educators program to include a strong campus outreach component that focuses on healthy relationships. Undergraduate students will receive intensive training to facilitate peer education workshops to increase participant´s understanding and knowledge of issues related to sexual assault, harassment, and stalking. Programming will be targeted toward incoming freshmen in the College of Undergraduate Studies, as first-year students are a vulnerable population.

The grant is one of 23 m.powerment by mark. Healthy Relationship Peer Educator Program grants totaling nearly $220,000 awarded to colleges nationwide to fund a network of dating peer educators on college campuses. The peer educators will provide preventive education on dating abuse and violence, sexual assault, harassment, stalking, and the promotion of healthy relationships, as well as offer local resources and provide referrals for community-based domestic violence experts. The grant also supports educator training, materials and support sessions about healthy relationships.

Women ages 16-24 experience the highest rates of partner violence and dating abuse, which affects millions of people and often results in physical and emotional injuries and even death. According to the National Dating Abuse Helpline, one in three girls who have been in a serious relationship say they have been concerned about being physically hurt by their partner. While strides have been made in the fight against this abuse, many victims will not get the support they need.

Avon Foundation for Women and Speak Out Against Domestic Violence
The Avon Foundation for Women, the world´s largest corporate-affiliated philanthropy focused on issues that matter most to women, was founded in 1955 to improve the lives of women. The Avon Foundation launched Speak Out Against Domestic Violence in 2004 to support domestic violence awareness, education and prevention programs, as well as direct services for victims and their families. Through the end of 2010 in the United States, the Avon Foundation has donated more than $23 million to the domestic violence cause. Globally, Avon supports efforts to end violence against women in more than 50 countries by raising funds through special Empowerment product sales and raising awareness through educational information disseminated by more than 6 million global Avon Representatives. To learn more about the Avon Foundation for Women, call 1-866-505-AVON or visit www.avonfoundation.org, where you can access information about Speak Out Against Domestic Violence and download a free Domestic Violence and Dating Abuse Resource Guide in English and Spanish.

m.powerment by mark.
m.powerment by mark. is a philanthropic initiative committed to breaking the cycle of dating abuse and partner violence. In June 2008, mark. launched m.powerment by mark. in an effort to bring awareness to – and help educate – young women about the potential for abusive relationships to impact their lives and to help them recognize the signs of healthy relationships. Since its launch in 2008, m.powerment by mark. has raised more than $700,000 to break the cycle of dating abuse and partner violence among women ages 16-24, who experience the highest rates of partner violence. For more information on m.powerment by mark., visit www.meetmark.com/mpowerment

For more information about relationship abuse, please visit www.breakthecycle.org. To receive immediate help, please contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−SAFE (7233) or the National Dating Abuse Helpline 1-866-331-9474

For more information on the I2U Peer Education program at Immaculata University, please contact Ruth Conboy, Director of Counseling Services, at 610-647-4400, Ext. 3478 or via e-mail at rconboy@immaculata.edu. Website: www.immaculata.edu

Immaculata University, a Catholic, coeducational institution, is located 20 miles west of Philadelphia south of the intersection of routes 30 and 352, between Paoli and Exton.

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