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University of Texas at Austin domestic violence institute awarded $180,000 grant from RGK Foundation

The Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault in The University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work has received a $180,000 three-year grant from the RGK Foundation to develop training and education programs to better meet the needs of victims and survivors.

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AUSTIN, Texas—The Institute on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault in The University of Texas at Austin School of Social Work has received a $180,000 three-year grant from the RGK Foundation to develop training and education programs to better meet the needs of victims and survivors.

A unit of the School of Social Work, the institute supports multidisciplinary research on domestic violence and sexual assault, training, technical assistance and public awareness of domestic violence services.

“We are very grateful for the support from the RGK Foundation,” said Dr. Noël Busch, assistant professor of social work who was lead investigator of a 2003 study that showed more than 12 percent of Texans have been sexually assaulted at some point in their lives.

“The overarching goal is that these new training programs will be used to increase the competence of students and practitioners and thus advance best practices for victims and survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.”

The institute has several community partners including the Austin Police Department, the Travis Country District Attorney’s Office, SafePlace, the Austin Travis County Family Court, the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault, the Texas Council on Family Violence and the Texas Department of Human Services. The Texas Council on Family Violence and the Texas attorney general released new data last month showing that 74 percent of all Texans have personally experienced some form of domestic violence or have a family member or friend who has experienced it.

Among its partners at the university are the School of Law, the School of Nursing, the Center for Women’s Studies, the McCombs School of Business, the University Employee Assistance Program and the departments of Anthropology, Psychology, African American Studies and Sociology.

The institute also receives funding from the Hogg Foundation, the Shield Ayres Foundation and the School of Social Work.

The RGK Foundation was established in 1966 by Ronya and George Kozmetsky. The foundation’s focus has broadened over the years and now includes three main component areas of education, community and medicine and health.

For more information contact: Nancy Neff, 512-471-6504.