University of the Pacific and Women’s Center – Youth and Family Services Formalize Partnership to Address Sexual Violence on Campus
Dr. Elizabeth Griego, Vice President for Student Life at Pacific, and Joelle Gomez, executive director of Women's Center-YFS sign the first ever formal agreement between Pacific and the Center. The agreement will further strengthen the ties between the two organizations. Pictured from left to right are (back row) Associate Vice President Steve Jacobson, Success-Trio Program Executive Director Anita Bautista , Dean of Students Joanna Royce-Davis, Pacific Women's Center Director Corrie Martin, Pacific's Victim Advocate Mary Ann Pearson, and Assistant Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement Lisa Cooper. Front row are (l-r) Gomez and Griego.
The first-ever formal operational agreement between University of the Pacific and Women's Center - Youth and Family Services (Women's Center-YFS) was signed Friday morning by Dr. Elizabeth Griego, Vice President for Student Life at Pacific, and Joelle Gomez, executive director of Women's Center-YFS.
Under the new memorandum, the University will partner more closely with the Women's Center-YFS to encourage students and employees to make use of the center's resources, thus adding to Pacific's existing comprehensive educational and training approach for sexual violence and student misconduct. The operational agreement outlines mutual goals for addressing sexual violence and specifies individual and collective responsibilities toward addressing this important social issue. Last year, Pacific implemented a similar agreement with the San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office and the Victim-Witness Assistance Program.
"Pacific and Women's Center - Youth and Family Services have a long history of collaboration," Griego said. "By formalizing and detailing our partnership we hope to strengthen our mutual support and continue to implement the very best possible practices in gender violence prevention and response to these crimes."
Women's Center-YFS is San Joaquin County's primary community-based organization providing a wide range of supportive, educational, and crisis intervention services to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Pacific's connection with the organization can be traced back to its founding in 1976, when a group of faculty spouses helped establish the Women's Center of San Joaquin County. The Center merged with Family and Youth Services of San Joaquin County a few months ago, and the combined operation expanded its support services and renamed itself Women's Center-YFS.
Gomez affirmed that the relationship with Pacific would continue to grow. "Women's Center-YFS remains committed to working closely with Pacific to bring a heightened awareness to the serious and prevalent problem of sexual assaults," she said. "We look forward to working in partnership to initiate effective change so that survivors of sexual assault are encouraged to report and are supported during this traumatic experience."
Last month, Pacific and Women's Center-YFS collaborated on a $500,000 grant application to the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women's Campus Grant Program. The grant proposal includes partnership with neighboring San Joaquin Delta College and would add and enlarge current prevention education and training to reduce sexual violence, domestic violence, dating violence and stalking on campus.