Webster University Gorloks Aware Program Selected for Grant Extension

Webster University Entrance Sign on Main Campus

The Webster University Gorloks Aware program has been awarded a 16-month grant extension from the U.S. Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women (OVW). The OVW Campus Prevention grant program was created by Congress in recognition of the unique issues and challenges that colleges and universities face in preventing and responding to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.  

Gorloks Aware is a violence prevention program at Webster University. It is aimed at raising awareness and preventing domestic and dating abuse, sexual abuse, and stalking by creating a proactive culture in which we all do our part to create an anti-violence culture. 

Webster University received the initial grant for Gorloks Aware in October 2020. The nearly $300,000 grant was set to support a program that ran for three years.  

However, Webster was recognized for its success in the program and invited to apply for a time extension. Typical grant extensions are 12 months. However, Webster was selected for a longer extension because of the work and dedication of staff. Webster will now complete the program in January 2025.  

“This grant has been tremendous for the campus,” shared Fletcher Ferguson, director of student conduct and community standards and Gorloks Aware Program supervisor. “It is helping build a culture of acceptance and accountability for students on campus.”  

During the first three years of the grant, Gorloks Aware has made a significant difference on campus. Notable achievements during the grant include:  

  • Development of the Sneaky Links program – a program that guides students through an exploration of their own relationship values around healthy and unhealthy relationship behaviors  
  • Development of The Gentleman’s Club - a program that supports men engaging in violence prevention and reduces stigma in getting needed services for male survivors
  • Regular requests for Gorloks Aware programming in classrooms, in trainings, and at events
  • Training Resident Assistants (RAs) how to handle disclosures in a trauma-informed way, utilize intervention strategies, and identify red flags of domestic violence, dating abuse, sexual abuse, and stalking (DVDASAS)  
    • 100% of RAs (who completed a survey) report they know more about DVDASAS, are aware of support resources for survivors, and know how to talk about their role as a mandatory reporter
  • Widespread commitment from students to be an active bystander, believe survivors, and care for their Webster University peers
  • Recognition of Gorloks Aware program strengths by the OVW and consequent program grant extension  

“The Gorloks aware program is bringing some essential issues out of the shadows to make us a safer campus,” attested John Buck, dean of students. “I am grateful for the opportunity to continue the work of the grant.” 

As part of the grant extension, Gorloks Aware will facilitate Green Dot Bystander Intervention trainings. Green Dot is a bystander intervention model in which acts of violence are considered red dots. Reactive and proactive green dots can counteract red dots. A reactive green dot includes actions such as causing a distraction to interrupt an argument, calling an RA for help, or telling someone it is not ok to hit their partner. A proactive green dot includes actions to promote awareness: such as having a conversation about bystander intervention or hanging a poster that includes resources for survivors. When there are more green dots than red dots, the culture is shifted.  

“I’m so excited to see how the Green Dot Bystander Intervention training makes a difference on campus,” says Rachel Amick, director of housing and residential life. “With these (Gorlok Aware) resources, we have been able to better train our students and staff about sensitive topics and involve them in prevention work!”  

“We all have a role in creating a safer campus for everyone,” said Gorloks Aware Program Director Ali Brokaw. “Whether you are attending a prevention event, intervening in a red flag situation, or posting about services for survivors on your social media account, your voice and effort matters here.” 

Brokaw was recently appointed to the Prevention Advisory Council, a national council that assists all OVW grantees with violence prevention guidance and toolkits. 

“With Ali’s appointment to the Prevention Advisory Council, it has placed Webster University on the national stage to be recognized for cutting-edge prevention work,” shared Ferguson. 

During the grant extension, Gorloks Aware will continue to provide trainings, facilitate Sneaky Links and Gentleman’s Club programming, and identify strategies to ensure violence prevention and bystander intervention are ingrained as campus values.   
If you would like to learn more about the Gorloks Aware or request a violence prevention training/presentation, contact Ali Brokaw at alisonbrokaw@webster.edu.

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