DOJ Grant will Help USD Organize Sexual Assault Prevention

VERMILLION, S.D. -- Dozens of organizations and people at the University of South Dakota and in the Vermillion community will use a $300,000 U.S. Department of Justice grant to coordinate efforts to reduce sexual crimes and help victims.

The university already has programs to educate and help students, but the grant will create a centralized organization to improve communication and coordination of efforts across the campus and the community. The funding, paid over three years, will focus on sexual assault education, prevention and support.

The project, called Coyotes Advocate, Respond, and Educate (CARE) to Stop Violence at USD, will include hiring a coordinator to oversee the effort and the involvement of 14 campus offices and programs, three student organizations, three faculty representatives and four community organizations.

It has three main goals: Participation in a broad campus and community engagement to address issues of sexual assault; reduce sexual assault on campus; and provide effective interventions for people who experience sexual assault.

“This grant will help us get out in front on the issue of sexual assault and combine our efforts on prevention,” said Kimberly Grieve, vice president and dean of students.

The on-campus CARE committee members:

  • USD offices and programs: executive leadership team; Student Services; University Police Department; Student Rights & Responsibilities; Office of Equal Opportunity & Diversity/Title IX; Marketing Communications & University Relations; Disability Services; Center for Diversity & Community; University Housing; Student Health Services; Psychological Services Center Student Counseling Center; Department of Political Science Criminal Justice Studies; Women and Gender Studies;
  • Student organizations: Phoenix Survivors’ Support Group; Student Government Association; Association for the Advancement of Women’s Rights;
  • Faculty representatives: Bridget Diamond-Welch; S. Jean Caraway; and Cindy Struckman-Johnson.

Off-campus CARE committee members: Domestic Violence Safe Options Services; Sanford Health-Vermillion; Clay County State’s Attorney’s Office; and the South Dakota Network Against Family Violence and Sexual Assault.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 205 undergraduate and 73 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 17:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 17 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Michael Ewald
USD News