Sexual Assault Awareness Month

There is no place for sexual assault in our community. Together, we must support survivors through their healing journey, amplify the voices and conversations of communities who have been left out of the discussion, reinforce a sense of community, and come together to build a future without sexual assault.

Join the Columbia community for a host of awareness, education, and advocacy events aimed at preventing sexual violence and fostering a respectful community.

These events--such as Denim Day--aim to raise awareness of sexual assault and provide education that helps to end sexual violence in our communities.

Past Events


Thursday, April 9, 5:00PM - 6:30PM. 

Turn Up the Volume on healthy sexual relationships!

RelationShorts is an interactive workshop that uses short films and television clips to help students to identify effective and accessible communication methods relating to sexual relationships.

We will also explore the barriers to successful communication and negotiation regarding individual sexual wants and needs with partners.

  • Joli Ienuso, M.Ed., Prevention Coordinator at Columbia Health Sexual Violence Response
  • Charlene Bernasko, M.A., Ed.M., Violence Prevention Educator, Columbia Health Sexual Violence Response

If you require disability accommodations to attend an event sponsored by Columbia Health, or by the University, contact Disability Services at 212-854-2388 in advance of the event.


Virtual Denim Crafting Party

Tuesday, April 14, 5:00PM to 6:30PM. Zoom.

Join SVR to upcycle your old jeans into a beautiful coaster set, and discuss ways to stay connected.

You'll need:

  • Old Denim
  • Scissors
  • Glue (hot glue or fabric glue work best)
  • Additional Fabric (optional)

Click on this Zoom link to join.

Expresso Yourself: Navigating Intimacy and Relationships During a Pandemic

Thursday, April 16, 3:00PM - 4:30PM. Register on Zoom.

Participate in an exploratory conversation with sex educators, Bianca Laureano and Francisco Ramirez around navigating intimacy and relationships of all kinds under the current climate. We will also consider the opportunity and possibilities to re-imagine how the nature of intimacy and relationships could shift when a new life resumes for us all.

Topics include:

  1. What does it mean to build “healthy” relationships with self and others under the current circumstances?
  2. Is this an opportunity for increased connectivity and the cultivation of interdependent systems?
  3. How do we talk about boundaries considering the climate and what could this mean when it comes to physical expressions of affection and comfort or pleasure? 

Francisco Ramirez, MPH (@FranciscoNYC) talks about sex, all the time. He is an award-winning sexuality educator, tech founder, and college speaker. He holds a Master of Public Health and has worked at the UN since 2005, talking about sex everywhere from Afghanistan to Uganda. Ramirez is a host on MTV and NPR, and recently released OkaySo, a smartphone app connecting young people to sexperts. Most recently, he co-starred in “Sex Probz” on The Cut, and served as Vice President at Planned Parenthood. For the past 10 years, he has put out two chairs and a sign that reads “Free Sex Advice” in New York City parks and subways.

Bianca Laureano, MA2, CSE, CSES is an award-winning educator, curriculum writer, and sexologist. She is a founding member of the Women of Color Sexual Health Network (WOCSHN) and her most recent project is ANTE UP! a virtual freedom school offering professional development and certification. She has written several curricula focusing on communities of color and wrote the sexual and reproductive justice discussion guide for the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene published in 2018. She is an AASECT certified sexuality educator and supervisor.

Co-sponsored by SVR and Being Barnard.

If you require disability accommodations to attend an event sponsored by Columbia Health, or by the University, contact Disability Services at 212-854-2388 in advance of the event.

Register in advance for this webinar.


Turn Up the Volume on Sexual Citizens!

Thursday, April 23, 3:00PM - 4:30PM. Register on Zoom

Join Columbia Health’s Dr. Melanie Bernitz in conversation with Jennifer S. Hirsch and Shamus Khan, authors of Sexual Citizens: A Landmark Study of Sex, Power, and Assault on Campus.

Sexual Citizens is based on years of research interviewing and observing college life – with students of different races, genders, sexual orientations, and socio-economic backgrounds. Hirsch and Khan’s landmark study reveals the social ecosystem that makes sexual assault so predictable, explaining how physical spaces, alcohol, peer groups, and cultural norms influence young people’s experiences and interpretations of both sex and sexual assault. Through the powerful concepts of “sexual projects,” “sexual citizenship,” and “sexual geographies,” the authors offer a new and widely-accessible language for understanding the forces that shape young people’s sexual relationships."


Dr. Melanie Bernitz, Associate Vice President and Medical Director of Columbia Health


Jennifer S. Hirsch, Professor of Socio-Medical Sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health, Co-Director of SHIFT, Columbia University

Shamus Khan, Professor and Chair of Sociology, and Co-Head of the Ethnographic Team of SHIFT, Columbia University

Find Sexual Citizens A Landmark Study of Sex, Power, and Assault On Campus at a library near you:

If you require disability accommodations to attend an event sponsored by Columbia Health, or by the University, contact Disability Services at 212-854-2388 in advance of the event.

Register in advance for this webinar.


#JammiestoJeans Campaign

In these times of uncertainty, community matters more than ever. Every April for over twenty years, people around the globe have honored survivors of sexual assault on Denim Day, wearing their solidarity on their sleeves (or pants, or jackets…). Thanks to social media, this year we can show our support for survivors while still practicing responsible physical distancing.

Let's switch things up from #JammiesToJeans to raise awareness around sexual violence. SVR wants to see how YOU can incorporate denim into your day whether you’re working from home, studying remotely, cooking a meal, and/or watching Netflix, and quarantining, starting today all the way up to April 29th!

Three ways to participate:
  1. Post a photo of you and your denim to your Facebook page with one of the following hashtags (#JammiestoJeans, #DenimDay) and tag @SVR.Columbia
  2. Post your photo on Instagram and tag @columbiahealth
  3. Send your photo to and we’ll highlight them on our Facebook page!
Taking a group photo on Zoom? Use one of the backgrounds below!

Download: White Background | Denim Background

“Roll Red Roll” and the Reality of Rape Culture

Wednesday, April 29, 2:00PM - 4:30PM. Register on Zoom.

In 2012, two members of the beloved high school football team in Steubenville, Ohio, raped a female classmate in an assault captured on cellphone cameras and later uploaded to the internet. Years before #MeToo, this shocking crime launched a national dialogue about the role of community and media in the perpetuation of rape culture, the failure of bystander intervention, and toxic masculinity.

In conjunction with SVR’s recognition of Denim Day, we invite you to join us for a screening of the film “Roll Red Roll”, directed by Columbia School of the Arts filmmaker Nancy Schwartzman. This film explores the extensive cover-up perpetrated by a close-knit community and the complicity of media culture that regularly engages in blaming and shaming victims of sexual assault.

After the screening, stay for a talkback session with Ms. Schwartzman, a noted film maker, advocate, and human rights activist, to discuss the film and the issues it underscores.


Nancy Schwartzman is a documentary film director, producer, and media strategist who uses storytelling and technology to create safer communities for women and girls. Roll Red Roll is her feature film debut, and goes beyond the headlines of the notorious Steubenville, Ohio high school sexual assault case to uncover the social-media fueled “boys will be boys” culture that let it happen.

Debjani Roy is the Assistant Director of Training and Prevention for the Sexual Violence Response Office. She has been a thought leader and an advocate for gender equality and justice in the US and UK for over fifteen years.

If you require disability accommodations to attend an event sponsored by Columbia Health, or by the University, contact Disability Services at 212-854-2388 in advance of the event.

Register in advance for this event.

Hosting your own SAAM event?




Get Involved


Apply as a peer educator or peer advocate.

Spread the word on social media.

Share SVR's Facebook posts throughout April or post your own!