Professor to lead violence prevention effort



Katie Kaukinen, associate professor at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs' School of Public Affairs, will work with campus and community leaders in an effort to reduce domestic violence among students at UCCS and Pikes Peak Community College.

Kaukinen will be the principal investigator of a $499,645 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to develop programs that protect students from victimization and build healthy relationships.

"We envision a broad-based team of professionals at both colleges and within the Colorado Springs community to connect with students where they are in their lives," Kaukinen said. "Both genders will be involved as we try to teach fundamentals such as anger management and healthy relationships as well as how to recognize when intervention is necessary."

Kaukinen envisions a team of experts in fields ranging from psychology, nursing, law enforcement and student life joining in early 2011 to develop programming that meets the needs of student bodies at both campuses. The programs will go into place by fall 2011.

For example, Kaukinen envisions different presentations for traditional-age college students that focus on issues such as dating violence, sexual assault and healthy intimate relationships. In contrast, nontraditional age college students might receive information on recognizing spouse or domestic partner violence and how to cope with it, including what community resources are available.

But Kaukinen is quick to emphasize her goal is not only to prevent crime but to give students counsel about how to prevent problems, a message that is directed at both men and women.