At Kean University, there are many platforms that are able to be reached and shown through various events. The Office of Residential Student Services (RSS) planned a week of action to spread awareness about sexual assault and domestic violence.
What is sexual violence? According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) sexual violence is any type of unwanted sexual contact including sexual assault and rape
Important facts about sexual violence:
- 1 in 2 women have experienced sexual violence other than rape in their lifetime
- 1 in 5 men have experienced sexual violence other than rape in their lifetime
- 1 in 6 boys are sexually abused before age 16, and 26.2 percent of men who experienced childhood sexual abuse disclosed at the time of the abuse
Many resources were given to each student who attended such as a local 24-hour hotline including:
- Trinitas Regional Medical Center Crisis Hotline
- Union County Rape Crisis Center Hotline
- Union County Domestic Violence Hotline
These events also brought attention to the many resources within our campus such as:
- University police located by the Downs Hall police station
- Health services located in Downs Hall, Room 126
- Counseling Center located in Downs Hall, Room 127
- Community standards and student conduct located in the Miron Student Center (MSC), Room 317
- Student support services advocate located in Downs Hall, Room 126
The Clothesline Project is a program started in Cape Cod, Massachusetts in 1990 to address the issue of violence against women and men.
On Monday, April 23, the RSS started off with the Clothesline Project from 3 to 4:30 p.m. in the New Upper Multipurpose Room (NUMPR). It was hosted by Resident Hall Directors (RHD) Laneesha Bacchus and Amanda Rosamilia, and it is a project that acts as a tool to help victims express their emotions and share the stories of abuse.
It also allowed them to hang and let go of the issues that affected them. In addition to giving students the access to express themselves, it allowed others to learn facts and to be aware and alert about domestic violence and abuse.
Each color represents something meaningful:
- White represents women who died because of violence
- Yellow represents battered or assaulted women
- Red/Pink/Orange represents rape and sexual assault victims
- Blue and Green represents survivors of incest and sexual abuse
- Purple represents women attacked because of their sexual orientation
- Black represents women who are attacked for political reasons
Sole Survivors/ 50 Shades of Consent
On Tuesday, April 24, students were encouraged to visit the Sole Survivors/50 Shades of Consent in the New Upper Screening Room (NUSR).
RHDs Nina Strazdas and David DelaRosa discussed the importance of behind week of action, which includes statistics about sexual assault victims on college campuses. Alongside statistics, they gave advice on how to become an up-stander to sexual assault or rape, which allows students to recognize when something is wrong and act to make it right.
After the presentation, resident assistant (RA) Katherine discussed different forms of consent and how to enforce the word "No". Following that, she introduced an interactive game, "Consent Game" where scenarios were acted out in order to teach consent.
That game later led to students being able to discuss their questions, opinions and thoughts about consent within college and how to be prepared for it.
Late Night Paint & Sip
On Wednesday, April 25 from 10:15 p.m to midnight in the Sozio Hall Community Center, RHD Anthony Francis and the Sozio Hall RA staff introduced an excellent way for students to create meaningful art pieces to spread awareness about domestic violence.
This provides students an outlet of resources to help them understand and deal with sexual assault and domestic violence while expressing their feelings through their artwork.
Condom Olympics & a Discussion on Safer Sex
On Thursday, April 26 from 8 to 9 p.m. in NUMPR RHD Regina Wickline gave students the opportunity to interact with each other and learn about ways to maintain safe sex.
Games created included:
- Safe Sex Jeopardy
- Dam Tug of War
Students were able to expand their knowledge on issues regarding safe sex and different forms of protection.
Singing for Strength Karaoke
To end off the Week of Action, Wickline and PARC encouraged students to sing and support their friends Friday April, 27 from 9 to 11 p.m. in the NUSR.
Students could be seen engaging with each other and providing strength and support for those who may have been victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.
Maria A. Gomez, the coordinator of education services for the office of residential student services wants students to discuss the importance of awareness, especially on campus.
"It is important to have these events on campus because it showcases our ability to understand and have compassion for others in this situation," said Gomez.
The week of action was an event that brought awareness to our campus and seeks to leave a piece of knowledge with those who attended.