RAINN day educates students on ways to prevent sexual violence


Active members of Phi Sigma Kappa (from left to right) Luke Deford, Justin May, Max Druiz, and Cody Lewis hold a sign from the 2013 Rainn Day event. Photo by Rachael Purget.

Rachel Purget

Rape Abuse Incest National Network, RAINN, teamed up with Kent State’s Office of Sexual & Relationship Violence Support Services, SRVSS, to promote RAINN Day.

RAINN is a national network and support hotline that supports survivors of sexual abuse and allows them to find support and healing anonymously. RAINN uses RAINN Day as an on-campus event to offer support to students who may have been victims of sexual violence and, most importantly, educate about prevention.

RAINN representative Marci Matthews coordinated with SRVSS and the Greek community to bring RAINN Day to Kent State.

“I think RAINN Day is important nationwide because it’s a really good way to reach out and let people know that there are resources out there for them and spread as much awareness and education as we can. It’s for everyone. Just because it’s on campus doesn’t mean we’re limiting it to college people, but it’s very important for college people because they are four times more likely to be victims of sexual assault.”

The Greek community encouraged members to come by and fill out RAINN Drops, or raindrop-shaped papers that students could fill out to show how sexual violence affected them or how to prevent it. Greek put together Songfest, a philanthropic event, which will benefit RAINN this year.

Alexis Iagulli, sophomore special education major, is a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma and participated in RAINN Day by filling out a RAINN Drop and writing a support message to survivors.

“I was sexually abused when I was younger, so this cause is something that’s close to home for me and something that I’m really glad that the Greek community is supporting this year,” Iagulli said. “I think sexual violence is something that more people need to know about, not just if you are sexually assaulted or hurt, but also if someone else is and what to do to be able to prevent it.”

SRVSS participated to show students on campus and outside resources what they could do as survivors. SRVSS also puts on seminars for students and staff throughout the semester.

Jennifer O’Connell, SART education intervention coordinator for the Women’s Center, represented SRVSS at the table.

“Sexual violence is an issue that’s been talked about a lot in these five weeks. I think everybody should be informed about it. I think it’s important to be aware no matter where you, especially for women because a lot of guys and girls will try to take advantage of someone just to demonstrate how much power they have.”

Services available to students:

  • RAINN’s hotline is anonymous and available 24/7 internationally by calling (800) 656 HOPE.
  • SRVSS office is available during standard university hours to provide support for students and direct them to the appropriate course of action.
  • Townhall II is Portage County’s Rape Crisis Center that provides counseling and education.

Contact Rachel Purget at [email protected].