New Support Group For Survivors of Sexual Assualt

Sexual assault is an issue that touches all of our lives; whether we have experienced it personally or have a friend who has been sexually assaulted.

WHAT IS SEXUAL ASSAULT?

Any sexual act that occurs without choice and consent that may include sexual touching, rape and sexual exploitation.

FACTS ABOUT SEXUAL ASSAULT:

* Physical force and injuries do not need to be present for it to “count” as a sexual assault. In most cases, physical violence is not used, instead the survivor is threatened or pressured into doing something he or she doesn’t want to do.
* It is considered sexual assault if the survivor is unable to give consent because s/he is incapacitated due to drugs or alcohol. If a person is intoxicated, they cannot give consent.
* Most survivors know the person who assaulted them.
* Healing is possible.

Dealing with the aftermath of a sexual assault is hard to do alone. The Sexual Assault Survivors’ Support Group (SASS) is a place where sexual assault survivors can regain their power through connection with other survivors. If you have been sexually assaulted, either as an adult or as a child, and would like to connect and heal with the support of other survivors, please contact Counseling and Psychological Services and schedule an intake appointment with Alysha B. Warren at 860.285.2910. The sexual assault does not have to have occurred on Wesleyan’s campus. If you have experienced a sexual assault, we invite you to begin your healing process in the company of other survivors. The group will be held on Wednesdays beginning October 19th from 6:30-7:45p.m. (location to be announced).

The group will be facilitated by Alysha B. Warren, LPC, Therapist/Sexual Violence Resource Coordinator, and Maggie Cohen ’12, Sexual Assault Resource Team (SART) Intern. Their role in the group is minimal as group topics are dictated by members and their unique experiences.

Are you ready to begin your healing journey? For more information, contact Alysha at 860.685.2910 or email awarren@wesleyan.edu (include “SASS Group” in the subject line).

When: Wednesdays, beginning October 19th
Time: 6:30-7:45 p.m.
Where: TBD

SEXUAL ASSAULT SURVIVORS SUPPORT GROUP FAQ

What is the sexual assault survivors’ support group (SASS)?
The SASS group is a support group for survivors of sexual assault. The group meets weekly on Wednesdays from 6:30-7:45pm beginning October 19th. The group is facilitated by Alysha Warren, LPC, Therapist/Sexual Violence Resource Coordinator, and Maggie Cohen, SART Intern. Their role in the group is minimal as discussion topics are dictated by members and their unique experiences.

Who can join the group?
The group is open to students who identify as female who have experienced sexual assault. Men are also survivors of sexual assault and a male survivors’ support group is being developed. If you are interested in the male survivors’ support group, contact Alysha, 860.685.2910 or awarren@wesleyan.edu.

How can I participate?
To join the group, schedule an intake appointment with Alysha in Counseling and Psychological Services (860.685.2910). The purpose of the intake appointment is to learn more about you, your experiences and your interest in the group.

What happens the first night of the group?
Joining a new group can be both exciting and anxiety provoking. On the first night, the group facilitators and members introduce themselves, their goals and hopes for participation in the group and establish guidelines. Topics of discussion are determined by group members.

Is information shared in the group confidential?
In order to foster a safe environment, the facilitators request that information that is shared within the group environment is not shared with people outside of the group. The group will ultimately determine the bounds of confidentiality.

How safe is it for me to participate in the group?
The group location will only be publicized to members of the group. The facilitators work to create an inclusive, safe environment with the assistance of group members. Group members will determine consequences, if any, for violations of group confidentiality.

Who are the facilitators?
Alysha B. Warren joined the Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) staff in September 2011. She provides counseling and advocacy services to students who have been affected by sexual violence as well as conducts outreach related to education and prevention. Prior to joining the CAPS staff, she developed a grant-funded Campus Against Violence (CAV) program, which included prevention, education and counseling services for students related to sexual assault, relationship violence and stalking at Salisbury University. She has also worked as a therapist at the DC Rape Crisis Center where she provided individual, group and couples counseling to survivors of sexual violence and managed the field placement program. She is inspired by the resiliency of the clients with whom she works and is honored to be a witness to their healing process. In her work with clients, she is empowerment and client-focused and integrates a variety of approaches. When Alysha is not working to eradicate sexual violence, she can be found creating playlists, eating pizza and perfecting her yoga poses.

Maggie Cohen is a senior (at Wesleyan University) and the Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) Intern for 2011-2012. In this position, she supports students affected by sexual violence, and offers them the resources and options available on and off campus. Additionally, she acts as the liaison among student groups working on sexual violence prevention/response and sexual health, helping to foster collaboration among diverse perspectives. Maggie also blogs for The Line Campaign, which works to empower youth to end sexual violence and to actively promote enthusiastic consent. She believes in the importance of healing and self-care, which she finds through yoga, friendships and yummy tea.

I have experienced sexual assault, but I do not want to attend a group. Are there other options available?
Individual counseling is available for students. Seeking counseling can help you sort out your feelings about the event(s), assist you in making decisions about what you would like to do next and help you begin the healing process. Contact Alysha in CAPS to schedule an appointment, 860.685.2910.