UCPO, Kean University hosting “21-21” forum on campus sexual violence

On Monday, January 13, 2020, beginning at 6:00 p.m., the Union County Prosecutor’s Office is hosting a public forum at Kean University on the topic of campus sexual violence. The forum will be held in Room 106 of the Maxine and Jack Lane Center for Academic Success (CAS) on the main campus of Kean University in Union. Admission is free, and parking will be available on site.

The event will be presided over by acting Union County Prosecutor Lyndsay V. Ruotolo, who will moderate a discussion with a panel of experts, active in addressing the serious problem of campus sexual violence. Panel participants will include Prosecutor’s Office Chief of Detectives Patricia Gusmano, Special Victims Unit Supervisor and Union County Assistant Prosecutor Caroline Lawlor, Special Victims Unit Sgt. Sofia Santos, Union County Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) and Forensic Nurse Examiner (FNE) Coordinator Dorothy DiFabio, and New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault Assistant Director Robert Baran.

According to Ruotolo, the event is intended to raise public awareness both as to the shocking extent of the problem and of the many services available to the survivors of sexual violence. The Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) has reported that 11.2 percent of all college students nationwide experience some form of sexual assault, including 23.1 percent of female undergraduates, with those of ages 18-24 being at triple the national-average risk.

The meeting is the eighth in a series of events hosted by the Prosecutor’s Office as part of the 21-County, 21st Century Community Policing Project, launched by New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal in April 2018.