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The Ionian

The Student News Site of Iona University

The Ionian

The Student News Site of Iona University

The Ionian

G.I.V.E. Grant Column: Resources available to those affected by dating violence

In the Feb. 22 Gael Interpersonal Violence Education (G.I.V.E.) Grant Column, the subject of distinguishing between an unhealthy relationship and a healthy relationship was discussed. While this is important to know, it is equally important to know the resources available to those affected by dating violence, both directly and indirectly. 

On-Campus Resources 

There are confidential services available on-campus for those affected by dating violence. The Iona University Counseling Center, located on the second floor of Spellman Hall, is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., with walk-in hours Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Father Gerard Mulvey, the campus chaplain, can be reached by email at [email protected] or by phone at 914-633-2630.  

Iona University has a Title IX Office located in McSpedon Hall 202 and can be reached by email at [email protected]. Title IX Coordinator Jenn Lykins can be reached by phone at 914-633-2455.  

Victim Assistance Services (VAS) 

The Victim Assistant Services (VAS), a component of the Westchester Community Opportunity Program, Inc. (WestCop), engages a skilled staff of advocates, community educators, support staff and therapists to provide free, confidential and comprehensive services to all victims of crime. Currently, services are offered in English and Spanish. 

VAS offers many communication services to victims of crimes, including victims of dating violence.  

VAS has a 24/7 bilingual helpline that provides confidential counseling over the phone to all victims of all crimes. VAS also offers bilingual online chat and a texting option, both staffed by certified counselors available to offer support Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. 

Beyond communication, VAS offers multiple health services.  

VAS employs licensed trauma therapists to help victims of crimes re-establish a sense of safety in life. Therapists also form support groups for various victimizations – including dating/domestic violence – depending on community needs. Crisis intervention helps victims develop coping strategies and a long-term safety plan. VAS maintains a team of Sexual Assault Forensic Examiners (S.A.F.E.) to conduct forensic exams for victims of sexual assault. 

The VAS has offices located in Elmsford, Mount Vernon, White Plains, Yonkers, and Peekskill. Here are the phone numbers for each office: 

Elmsford – Main Office: 914-345-3113 

Mount Vernon Office: 914-465-5411 

White Plains Office: 914-848-7348 

Yonkers Office: 914-965-0217 

Peekskill Office: 914-739-8046 

Sexual Assault, Abuse and Victims Empowerment Program (SAAVE) 

The Sexual Assault, Abuse, and Victims Empowerment Program (SAAVE), a program run by the Westchester Medical Center, provides crisis intervention and advocacy services for sexual assault, domestic violence, intimate partner violence, human trafficking, harassment, stalking, and trauma victims.  

SAAVE advocates help create personalized safety plans and offer versatile comfort. Advocates can meet victims for medical appointments and appointments with law enforcement to provide comfort throughout the recovery process. SAAVE also offers the services of the Forensic Acute Care Team (FACT), skilled nurses that provide medical and forensic care 24/7.  

Use the SAAVE 24/7 toll-free bilingual rape crisis hotline at 1.833.220.2444. 

You are not alone. 

If you are someone you know has been affected by dating violence, use the resources available and start the path toward recovery right away. You are entitled to safety.  

 “If you suspect that your friend might be a victim of dating violence, cautiously reach out and tell them about your concerns,” advises Connor Murray ’25, “Remind them that there are people and resources on campus, like Title IX, that can help.” 

Neurodiversity Club President Ethan Moskowitz ’24 encourages students to join the G.I.V.E. Grant Student Advisory Board to make a direct, collective impact on dating violence education efforts. “I enjoy being part of a team who cares and creates a safe environment,” Moskowitz says, “We’re here to make campus as safe as possible.” 

Stay tuned for the next G.I.V.E. Grant Column!

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Adrian Vazquez
Adrian Vazquez, Assistant News Editor

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