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Ramapo College and County of Bergen Annual Violence Prevention Symposium to Be Held on March 28

originally published: 03/21/2023

Ramapo College and County of Bergen Annual Violence Prevention Symposium to Be Held on March 28

(MAHWAH, NJ) -- Ramapo College of New Jersey, in partnership with the County of Bergen and a number of county and community-based organizations, will host a Violence Prevention Symposium on Tuesday, March 28, from 6:00pm to 8:00pm in the Trustees Pavilion at Ramapo College, located at 505 Ramapo Valley Road, Mahwah, NJ. This event is open to the public.

The theme of this year’s symposium, Power-Based Violence: A Look into College Life, takes a deep dive into dating violence and the college student population. Topics include social media harassment, what violence prevention looks like on a campus, stalking behavior and recognizing the signs, as well as resource disparities and barriers that prevent marginalized populations from coming forward to report these crimes.

Moderated by New Milford Councilman Matthew Seymour, symposium panelists include: Laura Melendez (Bergen County Alternatives to Domestic Violence/ADV); Simaza Sadek, MSW, LSW (Director, YWCA Northern New Jersey healingSPACE); Marie-Danielle Attis (Ramapo College); Onya Brown, Esq. (Felician University); Lieutenant Kevin Mathew (Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office – Special Victims Unit); Sergeant Melissa Cohen (Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office – Special Victims Unit); Assistant Prosecutor Lee Schaer, Esq. (Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office); Amanda Murray (Center for Hope and Safety); and Honorable Ronny Jo Siegal (Retired NJ Superior Court Family Law Judge).

Welcome remarks will be delivered by Bergen County Sheriff Anthony Cureton, Bergen County Prosecutor Mark Musella, and Ramapo College President Cindy Jebb. 

Councilman Seymour created this program in 2019 in New Milford “to provide information about resources and services that are available to domestic violence survivors. I am honored to partner with Ramapo College to present a symposium that is specifically tailored to the college student population. With the tragic events that occurred earlier this year near a college campus in Idaho, it is imperative to address stalking and dating violence.”

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High school and college students as well as parents and guardians of these populations are encouraged to attend to learn more about intimate partner violence prevention and how to recognize the signs.

According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline:

* 1 in 6 college women (16%) has been sexually abused in a dating relationship.

* 57% of all college students say it is difficult to identify dating abuse.

* 38% of college students say they do not know how to get help for themselves if they experience dating abuse as a victim.

* 58% of college students say they do not know what to do to help someone who is a victim of dating abuse.

* 52% of college women report knowing a friend who’s experienced violent and abusive dating behaviors, including physical, sexual, digital, verbal, or other controlling abuse.

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* Nearly 1 in 3 college women (29%) say they have been in an abusive dating relationship.

* Most female (69%) and male (53%) victims of rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner had their first experience with intimate partner violence before the age of 25.



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