Commission will study and address gender-based violence on college and university campuses
By Niagara University
Troy Vincent, NFL executive vice president, and Tommi Vincent, chair of the National Domestic Violence Hotline, have launched The Vincent Commission, a newly established entity formed to study and address gender-based violence on college and university campuses.
The Vincent Commission will partner with Niagara University to conduct “The New Ground Study on Gender-based Violence” to focus on understanding how young men, through their thoughts and experiences, perceive domestic and gender-based violence.
“I want to commend and congratulate Troy and Tommi Vincent on The Vincent Commission and their continued commitment to finding solutions to address gender-based violence,” said the Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., president of Niagara University. “Their leadership and dedication to this work aligns with our mutual values and the missions of both The Vincent Commission and Niagara University. We hope that this partnership will forge a path for innovation and change to provide institutes of higher education with new approaches to better address gender-based violence and assault on our campuses across the United States.”
The research study, which will include an informational summit this fall, is expected to be completed in 12-18 months. The research will be led by well-respected Niagara University scholars Jennifer Beebe, Ph.D., and Dana Radatz, Ph.D. A vital cornerstone of the work will seek to better understand how young men’s experiences influence how they perceive, understand and process the impact of all forms of gender violence.
Based on results from “The New Ground Study,” The Vincent Commission will recommend best practices for prevention, educational approaches, and policy changes. In addition, core findings from the study will also enable the commission to offer a new model for higher education institutions on the prevention of gender-based violence, and bring awareness to bystander intervention. The intention is that the model framework will be easily replicated, customized and adapted to other campus communities while informing policy, future research and practice prior to implementation.
Because of their deep commitment to eradicating gender-based violence, creating The Vincent Commission was the obvious next step for Troy and Tommi Vincent.
“The number of acts of gender-based violence keep going up. Despite all the dedicated advocacy work and preventative measures being taken around the country, we are not seeing the changes in behavioral trends that we need to see,” Tommi Vincent said.
“My wife, Tommi, and I feel called to do more, which is why we created The Vincent Commission,” Troy Vincent continued. “Through the work of the commission and the help of our dedicated partners, we plan to go where no research study has gone before. We are looking for new data, a new model and, ultimately, a new culture of respect and advocacy in communities across the country.”
Radatz said, “A key component to addressing violence within our culture is to emphasize prevention, which we do by educating people on ways to reduce their risks for harm, identifying potentially harmful situations and red flags, how to seek help, and how to help others. I’m truly looking forward to continuing to advance our violence prevention work through The Vincent Commission with our integral partners.”
Beebe added, “Institutionalizing prevention and education efforts on gender-based violence has helped us to further cultivate a climate that supports the learning and wellness of all in a safe and respectful environment at NU. Partnering with The Vincent Commission will help us to advance research on gender-based violence, which highlights the importance of both theory and practice. As a result of this partnership, we hope that NU will serve as a national hub for leading scholarship and resources on prevention and education efforts on gender-based violence.”
Since 2015, Beebe, an associate professor of clinical mental health counseling, and Radatz, an associate professor of criminology and criminal justice, have steadily built and institutionalized violence prevention and education initiatives into Niagara University and its surrounding community.
They were key consultants on the first and subsequent mandated Title IX climate surveys administered at NU. They created and organized “Take Back the Night” and “Living in Light,” two annual violence prevention programming events at the university.
They have also built and strengthened university-community relationships with a number of agencies and organizations working to address gender-based violence, including the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office victim assistance, Niagara Falls Police Department, New York State Police campus sexual assault unit, Pinnacle Community Services, and the YWCA of the Niagara Frontier.
Niagara University has been a leader in ensuring a safe environment on campus and in the community. Working with Beebe and Radatz, the university deepened its commitment with the establishment of the Office of Violence Prevention and Education, which works to increase dialogue and engage all individuals in prevention, education and intervention efforts surrounding domestic violence, dating violence, assault and stalking.
“I also want to thank Kathleen Neville, a member of Niagara’s board of trustees,” Maher said. “Kathleen has played an integral role in working with Troy and Tommi, and bringing the pieces together for the establishment of The Vincent Commission. I am confident there will be many success points along the way, and we can thank Kathleen for her continued role in supporting the incredible work of The Vincent Commission.”
The Vincent Commission team will include academic scholars and experts in the field of domestic and gender-based violence.