Although great strides have been made to address sexual assault and dating and domestic violence on college campuses, the rates of violence remain quite high and many barriers still exist for survivors in seeking services. At the University of Michigan, the Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center (SAPAC) is one place that provides assistance for survivors. We provide educational and supportive services for the campus community related to sexual assault, dating and domestic violence, stalking, and sexual harassment.
Rape Trauma Syndrome
Many survivors experience what is called Rape Trauma Syndrome or RTS. Rape Trauma is characterized by a series of emotions and behaviors that a survivor experiences following rape. The following are three phases of rape trauma:
SAPAC is proud to have two generations of University of Michigan students committed to doing work on primary prevention of sexual violence on college campuses. As part of our commitment to continuing our work, SAPAC would like to welcome the 'I Will' campaign to the conversation on preventing sexual assault at the University of Michigan. We’d like to take the time to thank all participants in the campaign for joining in on this work. Please like the I Will campaign on Facebook and enjoy its first PSA, which demonstrates the campaign’s cross-campus support. Consider the I Will campaign's question: "What will you do to help end sexual violence?"
- In situations of trauma the neocortex (or"thinking brain") shuts down and problem-solving abilities are harder to access.
- Survivors often blame themselves for not acting or avoiding the situation, when sometimes what is happening in the brain during a traumatic event will not allow them to fight back.
- The functioning of the brain during and after trauma may cause survivors to experience flashbacks unexpectedly.
It’s that time of year again! SAPAC Men’s Activism Program is putting away our shaving materials and "growing out" for consent in our annual event No Shave November for Consent!
The U.S. Department of Education’s Higher Education Center for Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Violence Prevention featured the University of Michigan and SAPAC in its December 2011 Prevention Update publication. This publication mentions several of SAPAC's collaborative efforts, including summer orientation, the Community Matters online tutorial, and Relationship Remix. Refer to the link to view the entire publication.
This November, the Men’s Activism Program got hairy to promote consent!
A proactive bystander is an individual who accepts personal responsibility for a situation and intervenes to ensure the well-being and/or safety of others.
Bystander intervention is necessary to create and promote a safe, respectful and welcoming community.
Steps to Intervention:
1. Notice the event
2. Interpret the event as problematic
3. Assume personal responsibility
4. Take action
SAPAC sent seven SAPAC Volunteers to attend the 2012 National Young Feminist Leadership Conference in Arlington, VA held March 31st- April 2nd 2012.
Five SAPAC attendees put together their thoughts on the SAPAC blog, "The SAPAC Voice." The post is titled, "Thoughts on the National Young Feminist Leadership Conference."
SAPAC held its annual volunteer training program from January 29th – February 10th this year which included a mixture of presentations, dialogues, small-group discussions, and a film viewing. We are excited to welcome 55 new students to our three volunteer programs, which is more than double the number of students who joined last year.
"I work as a Peer Educator facilitating workshops to first year students on relationships, sex and choice as well as sexual assault, intimate partner violence, stalking and harassment."
On November 16th, a special SAPAC benefit performance of "How I Learned to Drive" took place at the Ark .
SAPAC would like to give a special thanks to Kat Walsh, the director of "How I Learned to Drive," and to the Ann Arbor Civic Theater for the dedication and generosity they have shown for SAPAC in organizing and executing this successful event!
It is with support from the community that SAPAC is proud to celebrate 25 years of teaching, leading, and healing!
With a powerful reminder to practice mindfulness and self-care, volunteers came together for an hour in a healing environment of yoga.
SAPAC would like to thank Amy Poopat for her enthusiasm and expertise while providing this yoga class for volunteers on Sunday, February 19th, 2012!
Thanks for the message to always, "know that you are loved."
Our Frat Chat event was a facilitated discussion wherein representatives from various Greek Life organizations met with the Men's Activism program on Tuesday, April 9th over some pop, chicken wings, and a mutual desire to help the campus community.
CAPS has launched a new support group for LGBTQ Queer people of color, this semester. The group, which is free and confidential, meets on Thursdays from 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm at CAPS on floor 3 of the Michigan Union. Participants may explore issues such as:
-Inclusion/ exclusion in the LGBTQQ community
-Navigating multiple identities
-Questioning and Coming Out Issues
-Relationship with Family/ friends
*** Facilitators of this group identify as members of the community.
Women of color face additional barriers based on the intersections of race and gender. Women of color often face “double jeopardy” in terms of racism and sexism that influences one’s access to resources and safety.
We know that a decision that is biased, arbitrary, or capricious will not meet the test of fundamental fairness. We know that procedures and decisions must be reasonable. What is too often left unsaid is that there will be instances in which the admission and consideration of irrelevant evidence, hearsay evidence, illegally obtained evidence, or evidence lacking in credibility will violate fundamental fairness. There are two basic rules of evidence that should be observed in the campus hearing: the rule of relevance and the rule of credibility of witnesses/testimony (Sokolow, 2004).
Fall 2014Over the fall semester, we focused most of our efforts on planning and executing our annual month long No Shave November for Consent campaign.
“I would say the main thing SAPAC has given me is confidence. In SAPAC I am surrounded by intelligent people whose dedication and compassion is inspiring. From other volunteers and professional staff, I feel more confident to stand up for what I believe in.”
It has been an exciting semester for SAPAC’s Peer Led Support Group (PLSG), a confidential, peer-facilitated community that provides a space for student survivors of sexual violence to discuss concerns and practice self-care. PLSG meets twice a week, on Sunday and Wednesday evenings from 7-8:30. At meetings, we begin by encouraging participants to discuss their weekly “highs” and “lows,” what they have done outside of meetings for self care, and any other concerns that they are interested in bringing to the group.