Molloy College Receives Three Year Grant For Sexual Assault Awareness

By Richard Staple | MolloyLife Media | News Content Editor

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, an annual campaign that is used to raise public awareness regarding sexual assault and educate various communities on how to prevent sexual violence. Molloy College will spread the message with extra support from a new grant awarded to the school.

The Office of Violence Against Women approved a $300,000 grant for Molloy College last year. The school will receive funds over the course of three years; the money will go towards raising awareness towards sexual assault as well as increasing training and office locations. The hope is that the incidences and other forms of violence will be reduced, if not, dispatched altogether using a multi-disciplinary approach.

Jessica Wallace, the project coordinator in the grant program, took some time to elaborate as to how this program will benefit not only Molloy but the entire community at large. "This grant will help the students tremendously because awareness will be heightened, and students will be better positioned to react in certain situations." It was also mentioned that the grant will address behaviors of domestic violence, dating violence and stalking. 

Jessica Wallace

Jessica Wallace, the project coordinator of the grant program located in the Sienna Women's Center.     

Underneath this program lies a methodical procedure. "The hope is to have an organized process in which we raise awareness for the students first, and then prevention can follow afterward." This is not the only context in which a sequence of organized actions will be at play. This also applies to the three years in which the grant program will be active.          

"The grant program functions in a specific time frame from the moment we first have the funds dispensed to us. We will submit our plan for specific interventions by this October, and it will be reviewed by the Office of Violence Against Women. We then implement that plan, and we review what can be corrected and what is sustainable."            

Jessica also mentioned that the long-term goal is to have students integrated into the planning process. While the school can apply for a renewal of the funds for another three-year period, there is a litany of resources available for students who have concerns in the form of Public Safety, a partnership with the Safe Center and the Student Counseling Center. "I highly recommend students to utilize the resources available on campus if a situation arises. They are very efficient in their jobs."            

While the grant will certainly assist in this initiative, there have been other actions taken by Molloy College to increase awareness. Molloy will be participating in the national Denim Day movement on April 24th, where students are encouraged to wear jeans to protest the false reasons why women are raped. Denim Day started in the early 90s after an Italian court case ruled in favor of the accused because the woman's jeans were too tight for the aggressor to pull off, creating the "jean alibi" (Denim Day Info, n.d.). In addition, a coordinated community response team comprised of both faculty and students have also been created to get suggestions on what the current needs may be.     

Denim DayMolloy College will be taking part in a nationwide event to raise awareness of sexual assault on Wednesday, April 24th.        

There will be many who are participating in a movement to raise sexual assault awareness, and Molloy College looks to be one of the leading figures. For more information on the grant and this program, feel free to contact Jessica Wallace at jwallace@molloy.edu