Tribal College Stands Against Sexual And Domestic Assault - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Tribal College Stands Against Sexual And Domestic Assault

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It's fitting that a conversation on stopping domestic and sexual assault should happen now, since April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. United Tribes Technical College's national grants to combat the problem are running out. National and community leaders met at UTTC today to talk about ways to stop the violence on campus.

The United State Department of Justice Associate Attorney General Tony West said he was impressed not only by the passion against campus sexual assault, but the community involvement in helping to prevent it as well.

We all want to think of college as a wonderful experience, and it can be, but it can also be a dangerous time. Some statistics show that as many as one in five women will be sexually assaulted or abused during her college career.

The United States Department of Justice Associate Attorney General Tony West is on a nationwide tour of colleges to raise awareness about campus sexual assault.

Phil Baird "The college has stepped up in a proactive way to bring together wrap-around services. To bring together the partners necessary to address these kinds of issues," says UTTC Interim Phil Baird.  

All of which is funded by the "Grants to Reduce Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence, and Stalking on Campus Program." Baird says UTTC is the only tribal college in the nation to receive the grants.

Since women make up two-thirds of UTTC students, he says it's important that the grant continue.

West says he understands, it's continued protection.

"Half of all native women are exposed to some type of domestic violence or sexual assault by an intimate partner," says West. 

West continued saying native students were two times more likely to experience some type of domestic abuse than other students.

"We need this grant to continue, this is vital," says Pat Heinert of the Burleigh County Sheriff's Department. "Those statistics are outrageous in my mind. But on the other side of it. It tells me how much help and how much work is being done out here and how much need there is."

The UTTC works with the Burleigh County Sheriff Department, the Bismarck Police and the Abused Adult Resource Center to create a safe haven for victims.

UTTC says they're hoping to hear good news about the grant renewal this summer.

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