Penn State University announced today that it will give $1.5 million from its share of postseason bowl game revenues to a pair of sex-crimes advocacy groups. The decision comes as university officials continue to grapple with the aftermath of sex abuse allegations against former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky.
The funds are part of a newly formed three-year partnership between the school and the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.
"As a University and as people within a caring community we believe it is essential to take a deeper look at the core issue of child sexual abuse and to openly acknowledge the scope of the problem," said University President Rodney Erickson.
The money will come from Penn State's share of revenues from bowl games that include Big Ten teams.
Erickson said there are many ways that Penn State can combine its resources and expertise with those of the organizations to "effectively combat one of society's most devastating crimes."
School officials say that the partnership could focus on a number of areas over the next three years, including:
- Professional education and development for Penn State employees
- Curriculum content and certificate programs
- Educational outreach initiatives to communities throughout Pennsylvania
- Promotion of public awareness about child sexual abuse
- Assistance in developing research priorities on child sexual abuse and sexual violence
- Public policy development
- Internships and other educational opportunities for students
The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, formed in 1975, is the oldest anti-sexual violence coalition in the U.S. The organization represents 51 sexual assault centers that serve victims in the state's 67 counties.
The National Sexual Violence Resource Center provides leadership, consultation and technical assistance by generating and facilitating the development and flow of information on sexual violence intervention and prevention strategies.