UH Hilo receives grant to promote healthy dating relationships

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
Alyson Kakugawa-leong, (808) 974-7642
Director Media Relations, University Relations
Posted: Mar 24, 2014

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo recently received a $5,000 grant from the Avon Foundation for Women through its Speak Out Against Domestic Violence initiative. The grant funds Student Health & Wellness Program’s Men of Strength at UH Hilo to promote healthy dating relationships among college-age women and men. This is the first year UH Hilo has received funding from the m.powerment program.

The grant is one of 25 m.powerment by mark Healthy Dating Relationship College Program grants totaling $125,000 awarded to colleges nationwide to fund programs focused on preventive education on dating abuse and violence, sexual assault, stalking, and the promotion of healthy relationships, as well as offer local resources and provide referrals for community-based domestic violence experts. The grant also supports educator training, materials and support sessions about healthy relationships. 

“Women ages 16-24 experience the highest rates of partner violence and dating abuse, which affects millions of people and often results in physical and emotional injuries and even death,” noted UH Hilo Student Health & Wellness Programs Director Dr. Sulma Gandhi. “According to the National Dating Abuse Helpline, one in three girls who have been in a serious relationship say they have been concerned about being physically hurt by their partner. While strides have been made in the fight against this abuse, many victims will not get the support they need. 

“We are proud that the Avon Foundation for Women shares our mission and has chosen to support our program,” she added. 

Men of Strength (MOS) is a campus organization that is comprised of male students, faculty and staff who are dedicated to ending violence on campus and in the community, especially violence toward girls and women. MOS recently received an award for Innovative Programming through NASPA (Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education).

The Avon Foundation for Women launched Speak Out Against Domestic Violence in 2004 to support domestic violence awareness, education and prevention programs aimed at reducing domestic and gender violence, as well as direct services for victims and their families. Through the end of 2013, the Avon Foundation for Women has donated $33 million in the United States to support domestic violence programs, services and education. 

For more information, call (808) 932-7458.