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SVPA Chapters Launched To Prevent Campus Sexual Violence

The Sexual Violence Prevention Association (SVPA) has announced its first class of Campus Chapter Fellows. The award was granted to Vanessa Basso Fiuza of Columbia University and Mehreen Kamal of Boston University who are both remarkably gifted, passionate, and accomplished individuals.

The SVPA is a national non-profit dedicated to preventing sexual violence systematically. This includes providing bystander intervention training, working with colleges to improve their practices, and advocating for legislation. Fiuza and Kamal are the first cohort of fellows. The launch of the fellowship and the addition of these new chapters mark the first expansion of the SVPA’s Campus Chapters program.

SVPA Campus Chapters are student groups that are founded and run by student survivors with the goal of systematically preventing sexual violence on campuses. The Chapters equip youth organizers across the country with the tools to further the SVPA’s mission of sexual violence prevention. The fellowship is given to exemplary student survivors to empower them to build community and launch their campus chapter. 

The Chapters prevent sexual violence on their campus through events, student organizing, administration accountability, and advocating for legislation. They host trainings and events covering topics such as bystander intervention, the red zone, and Title IX. They also host speak-outs on social media and in person. Speakouts empower survivors to share their stories of experiencing sexual violence on campus. 

Amplifying survivors’ stories breaks the silence, increases awareness, and fosters a collective effort to address and prevent sexual violence. Student organizing and mobilizing on campus is essential to build coalitions and foster collective action. By uniting student voices and advocating for change, SVPA Chapters encourage campus administration to improve practices, policies, and resources for preventing sexual violence. 

Members of the Sexual Violence Prevention Association speak at the Clinton Foundation’s Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting

SVPA UArk has held several programs around campus, sometimes in collaboration with other campus groups. This includes their physical #3toPreventSV campaign where they raised over $1,100 in partnership with multiple Greek life chapters. SVPA UArk also held a ‘letters to survivors’ for students to create positive messages for survivors of sexual violence during Sexual Assault Awareness Month. They also held a program in partnership with Zero Hour Arkansas, a climate activist organization, to explore healing through the sustainable practice of collaging. This increased awareness of the intersection of sexual violence and climate change. 

SVPA UArk has had several achievements since its inception in January of 2023. It was designated a Clinton Global Initiative and Pinckard represented the group at the 2023 Clinton Global Initiative University Annual Meeting. SVPA UArk also received the Registered Student Organization Program of the Year Award from the University of Arkansas’s Office of Student Outreach Organization and Involvement Experience (S.O.O.I.E). The chapter’s impact has also been recognized in several news articles including the university newspaper, campus broadcast network, and local news stations.

Following the successes of UArk SVPA, the new chapters, SVPA Columbia headed by Vanessa Basso Fiuza, and SVPA BU headed by Mehreen Kamal, will expand the SVPA’s efforts, impacting over 80,000 students. The Campus Fellows are key changemakers in the Sexual Violence Prevention Association’s initiative to promote survivor-led sexual violence prevention on campuses across the US. 

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Since our start in 2021, the Sexual Violence Prevention Association (SVPA) has been dedicated to preventing sexual violence systemically. Our advocacy, resources, and institutional actions have had broad impact across the country. Check out our impact report to learn more!