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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: How to stand in solidarity against sexual assault

Forming a united front against sexual assault is the most effective way to combat sexual assault on a community level. The process of building solidarity against sexual assault was the main focus of the Gaels Interpersonal Violence Education (G.I.V.E.) Grant throughout April, which is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM).

On April 24, students across campus wore denim as a symbol of solidarity against sexual assault for SAAM National Denim Day. This nationwide effort bolsters support for those affected by sexual assault by showing those affected that they aren’t alone. In addition to wearing denim, students were provided SAAM ribbons to wear as an additional expression of their solidarity.

Photo courtesy of Leonora Campbell. Iona University faculty show their solidarity against sexual assault during National Denim Day.

G.I.V.E. Grant Director Leonora Campbell and her student advisory board were instrumental to the organization of National Denim Day programming and SAAM programming at large.

“We are supporting survivors by wearing denim and writing to survivors to encourage them to overcome their experience. It is a powerful message of solidarity,” explains student advisory board member Ethan Moskowitz ’24, “We have people come out and write supportive messages, entering a raffle to win a denim day related shirt and come see the history behind sexual assault awareness.”

Another powerful expression of solidarity during Sexual Assault Awareness Month was the week-long program called Cover the Cruiser, spanning Apr. 22 to Apr. 26. Students were able to write encouraging messages for those affected by sexual assault and post these messages on a campus safety cruiser.

Connor Murray ’25, president of the Criminal Justice Club and member of the G.I.V.E. Grant student advisory board, noted that seeing the cruiser covered in encouraging messages demonstrated that support from law enforcement is an essential component of lasting solidarity against sexual assault.

Photo courtesy of Leonora Campbell. The Cover the Cruiser event allows law enforcement and students to jointly support those affected by sexual assault.

Concluding G.I.V.E. programming for SAAM, the 3rd Annual Walk-a-Mile in Her Shoes: The International Men’s March to Stop Sexual Assault and Rape on Apr. 26 was a powerful display of community solidarity against sexual assault.

Student leaders from the fraternities and sororities under the Council for Greek Life and Governance (CGG) joined together to communicate resounding support for those affected by sexual assault, mindful of their ability to contribute to community solidarity against sexual assault.

“Check in with your friends and their wellbeing. Be an ally for those in need,” says Kevin Landino, a sexual violence prevention educator at WestCOP.

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Adrian Vazquez
Adrian Vazquez, Assistant News Editor

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