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Sexual Assault on Campus

Sexual assault is an act of violence and control, using sex as a weapon. It is NOT motivated by sexual desire, but by the desire to overpower and dominate the victim. Sexual assault affects all genders from every race, class, and age group.



Why Come to the Counseling Center

  • Sexual assault can be an experience that is overwhelming and confusing. You may experience reactions from yourself and/or others that are unwanted or negative. Speaking to a counselor in a safe space can help you regain a sense of normalcy in your life.
  • Counseling can help with challenges you may be facing such as keeping up with academics, sleeping, eating, studying, and your relationships.
  • The Counseling Center is a confidential place where people can disclose a sexual assault without beginning a Title IX Investigation, which is a legally mandated investigation conducted by the College.
  • If you are unsure about whether or not you want to pursue action in the form of a Title IX investigation, you may want to speak to a confidential resource first.
  • There are limits to confidentiality, including concerns about immediate harm to self and others, child and elderly abuse, and subpoena of records by a court of law.
  • No one outside of the center will have access to your information, and cannot be told whether you are being seen at the Center, unless you choose to have your counselor disclose information to another party.
  • Each counselor will speak to you about all of the options you have in regards to immediate safety, medical care, filing for a Title IX investigation, and will answer any questions.
    • You will not be forced to make any decisions. You have choices and your counselor can explore them all with you. You have a voice in what steps you take next.

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What to Expect at the Counseling Center

  • When you first come to the Center you will be asked to fill out some paperwork.
  • Your counselor will take the first appointment to get to know you and ask you questions about your current problems, as well as your history.
  • You may be asked questions about the assault, including when the assault occurred, if you have received medical attention, who knows about the incident, and other questions regarding what took place. These are to get a better understanding about what resources you may need at the time and what resources you have already sought out.
  • If you feel uncomfortable with any questions being asked, let your counselor know. Your counselor will take time to address your concerns, whatever they may be.

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Who Can Come to the Counseling Center

If you are a currently enrolled student at Iona you can come to the Counseling Center and be seen by a counselor. Regardless of how you have been impacted by sexual assault, you have the right to services at the Center. Staff or faculty members can receive consultation regarding sexual misconduct concerns. Family members and friends can also call to consult regarding a student. We cannot provide specific information regarding potential clients of the Center but we can provide guidance in ways to help your loved ones.

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Gaels Get Consent

Consent Is Clear

  • Your partner may not tell you “no,” but that doesn’t mean they’re saying “yes”.
  • If your partner pulls away, tenses, laughs nervously, or is not responding, you don’t have consent!
  • Stop and check in with your partner about how they’re feeling.

Consent is Coherent

  • If your partner is drunk or high, they cannot give consent! Drunk consent is not consent!

Consent is Ongoing

  • Always ask for consent before you begin any sexual activity, including kissing — even if your partner consented in the past.
  • Keep checking in with your partner. Your partner can change their mind at any time.

Consent is Willing

  • Ask for consent in a way that makes it clear that it would be okay if they said “no”. Sometimes the person will say “no,” and that’s okay!

Help Prevent

  • If you see something, step in! Create a distraction. Directly intervene by helping your friend move away from the person.
  • Don’t leave drinks unattended.
  • Know your limits.

Use Your Resources

If you or anyone you know thinks they might be impacted by an unhealthy relationship, harassment, stalking, and/or sexual violence including sexual assault, consider these resources:

  • YOU decide if, when, and how you want to use any of these available resources
  • Call Campus Safety at (914) 633-2560 for immediate help
  • Call Title IX Hotline 24/7 at (914) 633-2167 to report within Iona College
  • Get free & confidential support at the Counseling Center
    • The Counseling Center is available Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m., virtually or in the 2nd floor of Spellman Hall
    • Call (914) 633-2038 to schedule an appointment
    • If you have questions related to Counseling Center services or appointments, you may also email the Counseling Center Director, Dr. Brielle Stark-Adler, at
    • The Counseling Center cannot report to Title IX or police without your permission
  • Help a friend by listening, not judging, and offering support
  • for more resources and 24/7 phone/chat help
  • If you believe you were sexually assaulted, do not change clothes, shower, use the bathroom, or brush your teeth. Go to Westchester Medical Center (100 Woods Rd, Valhalla, NY) for immediate medical treatment. You do NOT have to report a crime in order to receive treatment.

Support Resources

Other Sources of Support

There are many places to turn for support on and off campus. However, it is important for you to know that some people are mandated reporters of sexual misconduct. People who are mandated reporters at Iona include anyone who is employed by the College outside of the Counseling Center and Father Mulvey in confessional. This includes staff members, faculty, RA’s, Campus Ministers, and Father Mulvey outside of his role in confessional. You may choose to talk with someone who is not a confidential reporter, but please be aware that as a mandated reporter they are legally required to file a report with Jennifer Morris, the Interim Title IX coordinator, even if you do not wish them to do so.

Confidential Resources — On Campus

The staff listed below must maintain confidentiality. They will not report your information to anyone without your permission. Father Mulvey will maintain confidentiality only in the setting of confessional. Outside of this role he must report a disclosed sexual assault to the Title IX Coordinator.

Iona College Counseling Center
(914) 633-2038
Spellman Hall, Second Floor
715 North Avenue
New Rochelle, NY 10801
See Counseling Center website
Confidential during Confessional
Father Gerard Mulvey
(914) 633-2630
715 North Avenue
New Rochelle, NY 10801

Confidential Resources — Local and National Off Campus

There are many confidential resources available to you online or by phone. Below are just a few. Each resource has information for survivors in addition to how to help and support a survivor.

Sexual Assault and Sexual Misconduct:

Victims Assistance Services
(855) VAS-CALL (1-855-827-2255)
(914) 345-3113 (Main number)
Locations in Elmsford, White Plains Yonkers, Peekskill, Mount Vernon
24-hour emergency hotline
Crisis Counseling
Can provide an advocate to the hospital
RAINN National Sexual Assault Crisis Hotline
800-656-HOPE (800-656-4673)
See general information about RAINN
Learn more about state resources
Learn more about local resource centers
Child Abuse:

Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline
800-4-A-Child (800-422-4453)
See more about the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline

Domestic and Dating Violence:

Hope’s Door
888-438-8700 (24-Hour Hotline)
Locations in Pleasantville, Ossining, and White Plains
National Domestic Violence Hotline
800-799-SAFE (7233)
800-787-3224 (TTY)

Love Is Respect – National Dating Abuse Hotline

Other Resources

The resources below are non-confidential supports on and off campus. If you do report to one of these resources on campus it will begin a Title IX investigation.
Interim Title IX Coordinator 
Jennifer Morris
(914) 633-2643
McSpedon Hall, Second Floor
715 North Avenue
New Rochelle, NY 10801
See more about sexual assault and Title IX
Residential Life
Courtney Ferrick
Director of Residential Life
(914) 633-2336
Residential Life Office
Robert V. LaPenta Student Union, Second Floor
715 North Avenue
New Rochelle, NY 10801
Off-Campus and Commuter Services
Michele L. Nelson
(914) 633-2243
Robert V. LaPenta Student Union, Second Floor
715 North Avenue
New Rochelle, NY 10801
Campus Safety
Campus Safety Annex (Spellman Hall)
Staffed 24-hours
(914) 633-2560
Campus Safety Department
Robert V. LaPenta Student Union
(914) 633-2245
Learn more about Campus Safety
New Rochelle Police Department
Special Victims Unit
Emergencies: dial 911
(914) 654-2300 (non-emergency number)
475 North Avenue
New Rochelle, NY 10801
Learn more about the New Rochelle Police Department

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