The Norse Violence Prevention Center opened in April 2014 after receiving a three year grant from from the Department of Justice and the Office on Violence Against Women and accepts interns. This year, Katie Sebastian, a senior social work major, is serving as their intern.
The center aims to prevent power-based personal violence including sexual assault, partner violence and stalking on campus
“We really want to create a culture here at NKU where we take care of one another and violence will not be tolerated,” Gabby Molony, coordinator of the Norse Violence Prevention Center, said.
Kentucky has the largest number of stalking reports in the United States according to a 2012 study done by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
In an interview with the Lexington Herald-Leader Dr. TK Logan, a University of Kentucky professor and expert on partner violence, said college students are key victims because many might not recognize the problem.
“Power based personal violence is an issue on all college campus and students should know they have a place to go,” Sebastian said.
Molony is the only full time employee at the Norse Violence Prevention Center. The center relies on help from Sebastian, the student board and student volunteers. Molony estimates 300 students have signed up to be volunteers but there is about five to eight dedicated volunteers.
“Katie has this strong desire to do all that she can and also to do it well,” Molony said, “ I feel really energized and motivated because I have Katie.”
“It is really easy to be energetic when you are at a job you really like to do and feel like you are really making a difference,” Sebastian said.
Sebastian’s passion sparked after taking a gender studies course with Professor Meredith Smith.
“Professor Smith really opened my eyes to feminism,” Sebastian said.
Sebastian duties at the center are community outreach, working on projects and meeting with the student board.
“(Being involved) makes college so much more fun. I just don’t go to class and go home. It motivates me to do better in class,” Sebastian said.