In the 2010-2012 Clery Report, there were 40 counts of sexual violence at the University of Rhode Island, two of which were on the Providence campus. Stop and Speak Out Against Sexual Violence will be raising awareness about sexual violence to URI students on April 24. The event will be held on the quad from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.

“Raising awareness on sexual violence on campus especially became my mission once my mentor, Paul Bueno De Mesquita made me aware of this issue,” said coordinator of the event, Alyssa Degala.

The Stop and Speak Out event will bring forth speakers to educate students on sexual violence. Among the speakers will be Sandy Malone from Day One, an organization that provides services for victims of violent crimes. Among those are victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.

Degala hopes the event can educate URI students and the public on the prevalence of sexual violence and sexual assaults.

“The White House Council 2014 explains that only 12 percent of cases are reported,” said Degala. “Nationwide, the White House Council also reported 22 million [people were] affected by sexual violence.

Concerned by the statistic that one in five women are affected by sexual violence, Degala believes it is extremely necessary to bring awareness to this issue.

I wanted to make this issue known because once people are aware, we can come together and help to bring an end to this crisis,” she said.

Degala explained that men can be victims to sexual crimes, not just women. Becoming aware of this issue can help people come together and take the precautions needed to reduce the prevalence of these acts.

Passionate about creating a change, Degala said, “I feel that organizations should dive into this movement because now the issue is in the air and it’s no longer brushed under the rug.” 

In efforts to engage others to spread awareness on this issue, the event will have great entertainment and will be decorating awareness T-shirts with students. The event will end with a powerful spoken word engaging the public to speak out about sexual violence.

Students can become more involved by spreading the word about this issue and assisting in teaching others how they can learn to intervene when they notice sexually violent behavior,” said Degala.

This will be the first time Stop and Speak Out Against Sexual Violence will be held at URI. Degala believes people should continue to be educated on this issue.

I would actually like for this event to continue so that we can work on intervention and prevention programs at The University of Rhode Island and so that this issue can no longer be under the radar and finally dealt with,” said Degala.