UNI preventing gender violence and bullying

Gender violence in the U.S. continues to escalate. Bullying and violence affects people of all ages, race and socioeconomic status.

According to the University of Northern Iowa's Center for Violence Prevention (CVP):

  • In 2010, about 2.7 million students were bullied, and more than 160,000 children missed school for fear of being bullied.
  • One in four women will be a victim of sexual assault, or attempted sexual assault, during her collegiate years.
  • 50 to 80 percent of adults say they have been bullied at some point in their lives.
  • Nearly two million American workers report having been victims of workplace violence each year.

These statistics support the need for education about gender violence and bullying. UNI's CVP launched in January 2011 to provide strategies and best practices for community partners and education institutions to prevent interpersonal violence.

Center for Violence Prevention
Heisterkamp facilitating a Mentors in Violence Prevention module to UNI students.

UNI's CVP will create a Violence Prevention Certification for undergraduate students to learn about strategies for preventing acts of bullying and violence in their professional work.

"We want to empower future teachers, coaches, school administrators, social workers and family service providers to take the message of primary prevention to their various personal and professional destinations once they graduate from UNI," said Alan Heisterkamp, director of the Mentors in Violence Prevention Leadership Institute at UNI's CVP.

The program will teach students how to identify types of bullying and gender violence, the signs and symptoms of unhealthy dating and intimate relationships, and best practices in bullying and violence prevention in schools and communities. Heisterkamp hopes this is something that will be appealing to students from various academic departments at UNI.

"We want to ensure that the violence prevention certificate is adaptable and meaningful to students from various areas of study," said Heisterkamp.

Heisterkamp sees UNI as generating real change with this initiative. "UNI's Center for Violence Prevention is poised to be a leader in offering meaningful and purposeful training to future community leaders, future parents and all stakeholders in the areas of bullying and violence prevention."

For more information about UNI's Center for Violence Prevention, visit www.uni.edu/cvp.