WILLIAMSPORT -- For most of the students at Lycoming College the goal is to get a degree, but the path they take to get there isn't always an easy one. Abuse survivor Victoria Dent believes that story is worth sharing.
"On college campuses, sexual assault is something that happens, and it needs to be discussed. It needs to be heard, and survivors need to understand there is support for them everywhere you go," said Victoria Dent.
Kate Hummel is the Associate Dean of Students at Lycoming College. She tells Newswatch 16 there are thousands of undergraduate students across the country who are sexually assaulted every year. Her school provides prevention and awareness programs for sexual and dating violence.
"Being a victim of sexual assault (is something) you hope that no one has to go through, but that they can be supported through and given the right resources," said Kate Hummel.
Thanks to a $300,000 federal grant Lycoming College will expand that program. The school is teaming up with the social services group Wise Options and the YWCA in Williamsport to create a Coordinated Community Response Team.
"Also, we are partnering with the Williamsport Bureau of Police to bring in more training for our faculty staff and students," said Hummel.
"We need to bring that issue into more light and to have those difficult discussions about it," said Deisy Moncada.
"Speaking up and speaking out isn't a bad thing. You sharing your story and your voice won't give you the negative backlash that a lot of people think come with it. In our community and on our campus, survivors are listened to and supported," said Dent.
To find out more about the sexual abuse prevention program, and how you can help click here.