Photo submitted by Alysa Mozak
According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network website, one in five college women will be raped and one in 33 men have been victims of rape in their lifetime. Overall, 60 percent of sexual assault incidents are not reported.
This semester, the Drake administration created a new position for dealing with sexual assault on campus. On Sept. 6, Alysa Mozak was hired as the coordinator for sexual violence response and healthy relationship promotion.
“I serve as a victim advocate for students who have experienced sexual assault as well as educational programming,” Mozak said. “My job is to deal with preventative measures and intervention for victims.”
According to Dean of Students Sentwali Bakari, discussion of adding this type of position began a year ago when the administration formed a sexual assault committee.
“Along with the committee, the administration felt that it was good for Drake to have a position like this,” Bakari said. “That way we can have a person on staff that can devote most of their energy and time to doing the best work possible, in terms of working with these students.”
Mozak hopes to become a well-known member of the Drake community through her one-on-one interactions with students as well as her programming and work with organizations.
“October is domestic violence awareness month and I plan to hold many domestic violence awareness projects such as a ribbon campaign, a heart-art campaign where students can decorate hearts in support of non-violence, and I want to bring in speakers,” Mozak said.
Mozak received a bachelor’s degree in women’s studies from Iowa State University. She said that her passion for these issues arose from her first women’s studies course during her first year of college.
“We talked about violence against women and how it’s such a silenced occurrence, but at the same time it’s such a serious issue,” Mozak said. “I think those discussions are what really fueled my passion. I think its something that needs to be in the forefront of discussions.”
Before coming to Drake, Mozak worked with young kids who had been sexually molested.
“I got burnt out working with that young population, so I decided I wanted to work with older teens to adults who are more cognitive, and I can actually make a difference,” Mozak said.
As a result she went back to get her master’s degree from Iowa State then worked with the Young Women’s Christian Association before receiving the job at Drake.
“We’re really happy that she’s here,” Bakari said. “We think she’s going to do some good work, and I think it’s good for our campus to have her here. She’s high-energy and has so many plans for our community.”
Students can contact Mozak through email, by phone or by visiting her at her office located in the Office of Residence Life.
“I’m hoping someday I don’t have to be in this field; in my utopian world, there is no violence against women and men and that way I would be out of a job,” Mozak said. “Unfortunately right now I’m needed, and I’m glad to be here and to make a difference at Drake.”