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World Bank offers grants to end sexual violence in memory of Hannah Graham

World Bank offers grants to end sexual violence in memory of Hannah Graham

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The World Bank will offer up to $1.2 million in research grants to combat sexual violence around the world as part of an initiative in memory of slain University of Virginia student Hannah Graham.

The grants — of up to $150,000 each — will be provided in cooperation with the Sexual Violence Research Initiative and will go to researchers examining prevention efforts in low- and middle-income countries. The World Health Organization estimates that more than one-third of all women around the world have suffered gender-based violence.

The competition for proposals is sponsored by an anonymous donor in Graham’s memory. Graham’s father, John Graham, is an environmental specialist at the World Bank’s International Finance Corp.

Graham, 18, of Fairfax County, was starting her sophomore year at U-Va. when she went missing in the early morning hours of Sept. 13, 2014. Her body was found more than a month later.

A Charlottesville man was arrested and charged with capital murder for her slaying, and police have said they believe Graham might have been targeted as an intended victim of sexual assault. That man, Jesse L. Matthew Jr., 33, was sentenced to life in prison for a 2005 assault on a woman in Fairfax and is also facing charges in the death of another young woman who vanished in Charlottesville in 2009.

Read more: Jesse Matthew charged with murder in death of Hannah Graham

The WHO estimates that 938 million people worldwide have suffered from some form of gender or sexual-based violence.

The applications for the World Bank grants are open until Dec. 9, and recipients of the new research grants will be announced in April.

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