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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: Get ready to kickoff Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Graphic courtesy of www.nsvrc.org. The theme of SAAM 2024 is Building Connected Communities, acknowledging the community wide impact of sexual violence.

As March winds to a close and April begins, it’s time to learn about Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM)!  

According to the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, over half of women and almost 1 in 3 men have experienced sexual violence involving physical contact during their lifetimes. Sexual violence is an umbrella term that includes any type of unwanted sexual assault, harassment and abuse.  

Sexual violence is an umbrella term that includes any type of unwanted sexual assault, harassment, and abuse.  

Sexual violence represents a range of behaviors. Forms of sexual violence include: 

  • Rape or sexual assault. 
  • Sexual harassment. 
  • Sexual abuse. 
  • Unwanted sexual contact/touching. 
  • Sexual exploitation and trafficking. 
  • Exposing one’s genitals or naked body to others without consent. 
  • Nonconsensual image sharing. 
  • Words and actions of a sexual nature against a person’s will and without their consent. 

Together, the Iona community can identify and combat sexual violence. The national theme for SAAM this year is “Building Connected Communities”. Building Connected Communities helps reduce the likelihood of sexual abuse, assault and harassment in communities. Any space where people come together is a community, whether in neighborhoods, workplaces, campuses, organizations, or even online spaces. 

Every Tuesday this April, there will be an information awareness table from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. on the Murphy Green with a specific theme: 

Tuesday, Apr. 2nd 

Table Name: “Why do you wear teal?” 

Theme: National Kickoff of SAAM and Day of Action with Teal Ribbon Day. 

Tuesday, Apr. 9th 

Table Name: “Let’s TACO ‘BOUT consent – What is it and how to ask?” 

Theme: Understanding consent. 

Tuesday, Apr. 16th 

Table Name: “Supporting Survivors” 

Theme: Know your resources, both on campus and off campus. 

Tuesday, Apr. 23rd 

Table Name: “Let’s get ready for Demin Day! Are you ready to make a commitment?” 

Theme: Why wear denim? Let us act by signing the Proclamation.  

Sexual Assault Awareness Month is a time to draw attention to the prevalence of sexual assault and educate individuals and communities about how to prevent it. By signing the SAAM Proclamation, the Iona community joins advocates and communities across the county to prevent sexual violence. 

In addition to information tables, a trio of programming unique to SAAM will be taking place!  

On Wednesday, Apr. 10, there will be an art exhibit answering the following question: “What were you wearing?” The exhibit will be based on survivor descriptions of the clothes they were wearing during their sexual assault. The purpose of the exhibit is to eliminate the victim blaming myth that clothing somehow invites sexual assault. 

Wednesday, Apr. 24 is National Demin Day! Denim Day is a call to action for all people to come together by wearing denim as a visible sign of protest against sexual violence. Wear denim and join millions of people across the world to support survivors and learn about all forms of sexual violence.  

Finally, the 3rd Annual Walk-a-Mile in Her Shoes will be hosted on Friday, April 26, 1 – 2:30 p.m. starting in front of Spellman Hall. It will be hosted this year by the Council for Greek Governance (CCG) and G.I.V.E. Grant (Gael Interpersonal Violence Education Grant).  

Since 2001, men, women and families around the world have participated in Walk a Mile in Her Shoes: The International Men’s March to Stop Rape, Sexual Assault & Gender Violence. It is a momentous opportunity for Iona to raise awareness about the serious causes, effects, and remediations to men’s sexualized violence. 

These are only some of the events to look forward to – stay tuned for more as the month progresses! Let us all engage and encourage the Iona community to draw attention to the cause and continue to spread awareness, education and prevention about consent, supporting survivors and promoting a culture of respect and understanding. 

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Adrian Vazquez
Adrian Vazquez, Assistant News Editor

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