Responding to Dating Violence and Stalking on Campuses

The Lauren McCluskey Foundation announced five initiatives on Friday to respond to dating violence and stalking on campuses. The announcement marked the three-year anniversary of the murder of McCluskey, a University of Utah student and track and field athlete who was killed outside her dorm in 2018 by a man she’d dated briefly.

The University of Utah has acknowledged having failed McCluskey, who repeatedly notified university police of concerns about her ex-boyfriend’s behavior, and the university said in a 2020 settlement agreement with her family that her death was “preventable.”

The initiatives were announced Friday during a press conference on Utah’s campus involving Utah’s president. They include:

  • Raising awareness of the problem on college campuses through an annual Dating Violence and Stalking Awareness Day, to be held every year on Oct. 22, the anniversary of McCluskey’s murder.
  • Expanding adoption of Lauren’s Promise, a statement professors can include in their syllabi that alerts students that the faculty member will listen to them and believe them if they are being threatened.
  • Develop a “best practices blueprint” for effective campus responses to dating violence and stalking.
  • Develop and disseminate a “campus safety score” rating colleges based on procedures, training and resources that are available to respond to campus safety threats.
  • Share resources and advocate for advocating for stronger laws on dating violence and stalking.

“Telling Lauren’s story, as painful as it is, makes a difference,” said Jill McCluskey, Lauren’s mother and the president of the foundation. “This is someone who died because she wasn’t helped.”

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