Sexual Assault Awareness Month


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23.1% of female students and 5.4% of male students in the United States experience sexual assault and most cases go unreported.

Tiffany Persaud, Assistant Features & Lifestyle Editor

Trigger warning: this article discusses rape and sexual assault. 


April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and as a community that enforces safety regulations and comfortability for its students, Iona is taking measures to prevent sexual assault and help those who have been victims of sexually heinous crimes. Even though women are statistically more likely to experience sexual assault or harassment, the safety of all genders is emphasized on Iona College’s campus.  

According to a survey taken by the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), over 23.1% of undergraduate female students and 5.4% of undergraduate male students in the United States experience sexual assault or violence by force and incapacitation.  

College campuses are considered a home away from home for most students — residents or commuters. Yet, there are many reasons why assault still goes unreported on and off-campus. Students often feel that there is ‘no purpose’ in reporting their assault because of the lack of enforcement taken to provide the victim with justice. Moreover, since college students are adults, strict supervision by authorities is not necessary and may be considered an invasion of privacy.  

RAINN also concludes that only a quarter of all reported rapes leads to an arrest, only a fifth leads to prosecution and only half of those prosecutions results in felony convictions. 

Throughout April, Iona College’s Counseling Center, in collaboration with the Office of Student Development and the Office of Human Resources, is engaging students, faculty and staff in programs to raise awareness of sexual assault preventionsupport resources and take action against sexual violence.  

Dr. Brielle Stark-Adler, a psychologist and director of Iona College’s Counseling Center, especially calls attention to “Denim Day.  

“On April 28, International Denim Day, all students, staff and faculty are encouraged to wear denim attire in support of the movement to stop sexual violence,” Dr. Stark-Adler said. “This year we are asking you to show your support by posting pictures of yourself, friends and colleagues in your favorite denim attire.”  

Her Campus, a women’s college blog, renders four practical ways to promote a “culture of consent” on your campus:  

  1. Understand what consent is and how it can be affirmed  
  2. Normalize consent with your friends and partners  
  3. Look out for each other
  4. SHUT DOWN victim blaming 


Furthermore, everyone should also be aware of their Title IX rights 

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.” 

Navigating the world of sexuality in a collegiate setting may be a time of uncertainty and curiosity. So, everyone should learn how to be proactive in their safety measures as college is considered a socially hyperactive environment. More importantly, aggressors should seek immediate counseling to prevent maltreating themselves and others.  

If you are seeking help, contact the Iona College Counseling Center: (914) 633-2038 or The National Sexual Assault Crisis Hotline: 800-656-HOPE (4673)