Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center

Winter Ally Training Cover Photo and Information

University of Michigan Gains New Allies

The smell of fresh coffee, the sounds of St. Patty's weekend, and the shine of the early morning sun permeated as 13 members of faculty and the student body participated in SAPAC's winter semester Ally Training.

Many wonderful members of SAPAC and the wider University community volunteered their time and facilitated multiple workshops throughout the day.

Topics included:

  • sexual assault
  • intimate partner violence
  • stalking
  • sexual harassment
  • rape culture
  • the neurobiology of trauma
  • responding supportively to disclosures of sexual assault
  • confidentiality
  • the University's Student Sexual Misconduct policy
  • bystander intervention

At the end of the training, participants developed an "ally action plan"; where they came up with strategies for being an ally to survivors and helping to create positive social change in their lives in the future. The tone of the room was collaborative, engaging, and positive, despite the discussion of some somber social justice issues. This exemplified the tenacity and willingness to learn that is present in the University of Michigan community.

According to the pre-surveys, every participant in Ally Training "wanted to learn more about being an ally, help gain skills in crisis intervention, and be advocates at the university". Broadly speaking, an ally is an individual who consciously strives towards promoting justice and disrupting and ending marginalization.

SAPAC's Winter Ally Training 2016 gave students and faculty the tools to determine how they can be allies to survivors and help create a healthier, more respectful, more inclusive community. As a result of the training, U of M now has new allies to help promote SAPAC's message.