LANSING – Sexual Aggression Peer Advocates (SAPA) recently addressed lawmakers about sexual assault, relaying the figures about assaults on campuses and outlining educational programs designed to help prevent sexual assaults.
SAPA’s “No Zebras. No Excuses.” program was highlighted. The program, which seeks to combat the bystander mentality, is a required part of Central Michigan University’s freshmen orientation and will be taken by SAPA across the country this summer for the U.S. Navy.
“CMU and its students are lucky to have a pioneering group like SAPA. They are saving lives every day,” said Sen. Judy Emmons, chair of the Senate Families, Seniors and Human Services Committee. “One of every four women will be victimized by sexual assault. SAPA is stepping forward against assault by providing valuable education, preventative and support services. By doing so, they are helping stop sexual assaults from happening and – equally importantly – helping survivors heal emotionally and physically.”
The SAPA members told the panel that the group helped more than 300 survivors last year, and even though assaults are drastically underreported, an average of 3 assaults occur per day on a college campus the size of CMU. The presentation also addressed misconceptions about sexual assault, commons tactics of perpetrators and steps to take to help a survivor.
Editor’s Note: A print-quality photograph of Emmons welcoming the SAPA members is available by visiting the senator’s photowire at: www.misenategop.com/senators/photowire.asp?District=33.