About Penn Violence Prevention

Penn Violence Prevention (PVP) engages the Penn community in the prevention of sexual violence, relationship violence, stalking, and sexual harassment on campus. We foster collaborative relationships across campus to ensure a survivor-centered, multi-faceted approach to support services and primary prevention. Through collective community action, we are committed to ending interpersonal violence by addressing gender inequity, social injustice, and oppression through outreach and education.

PVP is a collaborative program that grew out of the Penn Women's Center. It is now managed by the Director of Sexual Violence Prevention and Education, housed in the Division of the Vice Provost of University Life. PVP works closely with a team of colleagues across campus to provide education and outreach. The staff also serve as confidential resources for students affected by sexual violence, relationship violence, and stalking. 

Key campus partners include:
Special Services, Division of Public Safety
Penn Women's Center
Student Intervention Services
Student Health Services
Office of Alcohol & Other Drug Initiatives
Cultural Resource Centers 
Office of Student Affairs Fraternity & Sorority Life


Jessica Mertz, Director

Jessica-Mertz_resize.jpgJessica A. Mertz is the Director of Sexual Violence Prevention at the University of Pennsylvania where she helps coordinate the university's efforts to educate students about sexual violence, relationship violence, stalking, and sexual harassment. She oversees Penn Violence Prevention, a collaborative program that aims to engage the community in the prevention of interpersonal violence and to ensure students have access to safe and effective resources.  Jess began at Penn in 2009 as the Violence Prevention Educator and then worked as the Associate Director at the Penn Women's Center, before taking on this newly created position in 2014.  Previously, she has worked as a community organizer and a empowerment counselor. She earned a B.A. in English at St. Joseph's University and master's in women's and gender studies at Rutgers.

(215) 746-2642 I jmertz@upenn.edu

Malik Washington, Associate Director

malik_square_resize.JPGMalik Washington is Associate Director of Sexual Violence Prevention and Education. Malik is notable for his work with young men on masculinity, gender-based violence, trauma, and emotional literacy. He has trained and presented across the U.S. and internationally on topics related to youth and social justice. Prior to joining Penn in 2016, Malik was based in Washington, D.C. and worked with numerous local organizations dedicated to community outreach and violence prevention; including as executive director of The William Kellibrew Foundation, and training with Break The Cycle and the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Malik graduated from Howard University with concentrations in communications, Africana studies, and political science.

(215) 746-2645 I malikw@upenn.edu

Katie Chockley, Program Coordinator

katie_square_resize.JPGKatie Chockley is the Program Coordinator of the Office of Sexual Violence Prevention and Education. She advises the peer education group PAVE and manages the website and departmental social media. Previously, she performed health policy and bioethics research at Penn as Dr. Zeke Emanuel's research assistant in the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy. She is currently a student in the Master of Public Health program. Katie graduated cum laude from Yale with degrees in American Studies and Economics and, as an undergraudate, was a Peer Liaison with the Office of LGBTQ Resources and involved in campus anti-violence activism. 

(215) 746-2642 I kchock@upenn.edu

Wyatt Perez, Work Study

picture of Wyatt on Locust Walk

Wyatt Perez is a work-study employee and a freshman in the College of Arts & Sciences. He is originally from the Dominican Republic but was raised in the Bronx, NY. He is helping facilitate the Men & Masculinities Summit for 2019.

Sarah Hahn-Du Pont, Work Study

picture of Sarah in front of trees

Sarah Hahn-Du Pont is a work-study at Penn Violence Prevention. A junior in the College majoring in Political Science with double minors in Economic Policy and French, she is interested in effecting high-impact change for at-risk populations, specifically for women and children. Outside of her work at PVP, she is involved in Women's Club Ultimate Frisbee, the QuakerNotes, and her sorority, Chi Omega. Sarah has been with PVP since her first year at Penn, and she is incredibly grateful and proud to work with such an amazing team.

Desteni Rivers, Work Study

picture of Desteni in front of brick wall

Desteni Rivers is a junior majoring in Gender, Sexuality and Women's Studies and double minoring in Law and Society and Medical Sociology. She is currently the Administrative Chair of Consent Collaborative, an umbrella group consisting of four anti-violence clubs at Penn. Outside of PVP, Desteni is working at the School of Nursing to implement an HIV prevention intervention for women. Desteni hopes to continue work in public health to serve minority populations, in particular Black women and children.  In her free time, Desteni enjoys hanging out with friends, cooking new recipes, and exploring Philly!

Kristen Ukeomah, Work Study

Picture of Kristen on Locust WalkBio to come!

Anna Hardie, Work Study

Photo and bio to come! 

Alicia Chatterjee, Graduate Assistant

Alicia in front of a white wall

Alicia Chatterjee is a graduate assistant at Penn Violence Prevention, where she focuses on engaging graduate students across the university in prevention and education efforts on topics of IPV, sexual violence, and sexual harassment. Alicia is an MSW/PhD student at the School of Social Policy and Practice. She has a background in community mental health and co-founded an award-winning arts activism project. Her interests include critical studies of trauma, anti-racist and anti-colonial practices in social work, and embodiment work through meditation and yoga.

PVP staff in front of the LOVE statue

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