S2S Peer Educators pose with Suzanne Schultz from the San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office at the first Student-to-Student Healthy Relationships event on the dangers and warning signs of relationship violence,"The Choice is Yours" and "Love You to Death," on Oct. 24.

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Pacific News

Verizon gives $25,000 for program to promote healthy relationships

The Student-to-Student Healthy Relationship Peer Education Program will incorporate workshops, events, trainings and mentoring to promote healthy relationships using a peer-to-peer model
Nov 18, 2013

A new grant from Verizon will help the Women's Resource Center at University of the Pacific create a broad-based, community-wide program to educate students about dating and domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.

The Student-to-Student Healthy Relationships Peer Education Program will promote healthy relationships using workshops, events, trainings and mentoring, according to material on the program.

"The goal of the program is to engage and empower individuals to address relationship violence, including sexual, dating and domestic violence," said Corrie Martin, Women's Resource Center director. "Research has shown that peer-to-peer models are an effective means of disseminating information, creating awareness, and developing nonjudgmental relationships with students."

Verizon's $25,000 grant will support the program operation and provide iPads for the peer educators to use in presenting workshops.

"Verizon has a long history of using its technology and resources to invest in programs that promote health and safety," said Russ Preite, region president for Verizon Wireless. "Verizon is proud to support Pacific in its efforts to improve campus safety."

"University of the Pacific is a supportive community with a strong and progressive record on women's issues. This grant should go a long way to helping in our effort to educate students about violence prevention," said Martin.

The Women's Resource Center plans to contract with the San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office and the Women's Center Youth and Family Services in Stockton to develop curriculum, present workshops and trainings. The resource center then plans to recruit and hire 10 full-time students majoring or having an interest in such areas as psychology, social work, social justice and education. The program seeks to recruit male students into the program since male peer-to-peer education is key to prevention, according to Martin.

Peer educators will undergo 40 hours of training, present at least two workshops during the academic year, and mentor students seeking support.

"Workshops will be presented on campus in residence halls, in lecture halls, fraternities and sororities, and to athletes," said Martin. "Eventually, every student will have a chance to sit through a presentation."

There will also be two campus symposia, said Martin, featuring experts in dating and sexual violence prevention that will connect the campus with local organizations and promote a community-wide effort to address dating violence.

Visit the Women's Resource Center at go.Pacific.edu/WomensCenter for more information on this and other programs.