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UNL Commits 3.2 Million to Establish Sexual Violence Prevention Center on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

RAPID CITY  –As part of its 2022 Grand Challenges Catalyst Competition, the University of Nebraska–Lincoln has committed $3.2 million to establish an Indigenous-led sexual violence prevention center (SVPC) on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.

Indigenous peoples experience sexual violence at rates higher than any other racial/ethnic group in the U.S. Sexual violence among Indigenous peoples is rooted in colonization and multiple historical traumas, as well as ongoing systemic racism and oppression.

The center’s approach will be adapted from IMpower United, an evidence-based, impactful and comprehensive sexual violence prevention program and support system for survivors. After initial implementation, the center’s Indigenous staff will work with other Tribal/Indigenous communities across the U.S. to offer culturally adapted IMpower sexual violence prevention programming.

In the first year the initiative will:

•Focus on center start-up, feasibility and community needs assessments, community engagement and coordination activities, cultural adaptation of IMpower and intensive staff training.

• Staff will learn how to conduct cultural adaptations and process and outcome evaluations. All research will receive appropriate Tribal approval, and that Tribes will own the data from their respective communities.

• Staff will also begin to learn about grant writing and other sustainability efforts.

The SVPC — to be named by the community — will create jobs, provide training and education opportunities, and bring sexual violence prevention to K-12 youth across the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.

More details on this work will be available soon, including opportunities to be involved.

For more information, please contact:

Katie Edwards, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, CYFS and Educational Psychology

SVPC Co-Lead

[email protected] | 603-422-3207