Each fall and winter semester, SAPAC hosts a day-long Ally Training for members of the University of Michigan community who want to learn more about being an ally to survivors and ending sexual violence. Our fall 2015 Ally Training took place on November 22nd this year and our team reached 29 people that included students, faculty, and staff.
The eight-hour training provided a multitude of learning opportunities, including various presenters, question forums, and group collaboration. The day began with an overview of the different issues that fall under the umbrella of sexual violence. We talk about how power and control is at the center of these crimes and give our participants the tools to recognize sexual violence in its many forms.
We then move on to talk about the individuals affected by these issues. We explore the many barriers that survivors might face to reporting these experiences, how to support someone who has experienced sexual violence, and what the University’s response and policies look like.
After talking about being allies to individuals, we engage in ways to address the broader cultural issues impacting and perpetuating sexual violence.
We end the day with some reflection on what it means to be an ally and how the information covered in our one-day training can be used moving forward. Each participant fills out an “Ally Action Plan” that outlines how they plan to be an ally in their day to day lives.
On behalf of SAPAC’s staff, I would like to thank the members of the UM community for attending Ally Training. We hope you gained useful knowledge and skills that will help you in your efforts to support survivors and end sexual violence.
Also, thank you to the Ally Training Team for their hard work in organizing this training and for presenting pieces of the training themselves! Team members met weekly for the duration of the semester to plan content, develop evaluations, and practice facilitation. Team members include Claire Taigman and Allie Ravid, volunteers with the Peer Education Program, and Shannon Mabee, volunteer with the Bystander Intervention and Community Engagement Program.
Thank you also to the following folks who presented material for the training:
Christina Kline, Investigator with the UM Office of Institutional Equity, for presenting information on Title IX, the Student Sexual Misconduct Policy, and reporting options at the University.
Meg Collins, SAPAC MSW Intern, for presenting information on how to respond to disclosures of sexual violence and support survivors.
Lindsay Cannon, Peer Education Program volunteer, for presenting information on stalking.
Stephanie Stevanovic, Peer Education Program volunteer, for presenting information on intimate partner violence.
Ben Frey, Bystander Intervention and Community Engagement Program, for presenting information on barriers to reporting.
If you are interested in participating in Ally Training next year, please apply at sapac.umich.edu/application.
By Sarah Richards, SAPAC MSW Intern and Ally Training Coordinator and Anne Huhman, Program Manager for Education and Prevention