Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence Activists

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SARVA is a group of student volunteers committed to ending sexual assault through peer education. We serve the University Community by providing presentations and facilitating discussions around sexual assault and relationship violence.

SARVA History

The Committee Organizing Rape Education (CORE) was created in Fall quarter of 1991 by the ASUW Sexual Assault Committee. This was in response to the release of the staggering national statistic of one in 4 women becoming victims of sexual assault before college graduation. The first CORE meeting took plavcec on January 27th, 1992 with approximately 20 men and women. Throughout the quarter each volunteer recieved 30 hours of training. Topics covered throughout tarining included definitions of rape, myths, statistics, common reactions to rape, handling disclosure, rape culture, the violence continuum, alcohol and rape presentation skills.

In June 2011, the ASUW Board of Directors changed the name of the organization to SARVA in order to be more inclusive to other forms of violence that affect students.


SARVA Director: Lauren Dandridge

SARVA Assistant Director: Avinash Papatla

SARVA Program Coordinator: Orion Donovan-Smith

Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence Awareness Month

Confront the Silence, March Against Sexual Violence

CORE will be hosting an exciting new event this year. The event entitled "Confront the Sielence, March to End Sexual Violence" will be our opening kick off to SARVA month. The event has been created to raise awareness of the issues surrounding Sexual Assault and Relationship violence. Many organizations are partnering with CORE to make this event possible. The Unviersity of Washington Student Government, Greek Life, Residential Life, as well as the Black Student Commission, Women's Action Committee and many others will help to make this event possible. The event will include speakers, music, tabling from various groups on campus and a march throughout the school.

The March will take place on April 8th, from 11:15- 12:15

Clothes Line Project

CORE displays various shirts decorated by University of Washington students with various messages concerning sexual assault and relationship violence. This year each Greek house as well as every floor in resident halls will contribute a decorated shirt. If you are interested in recieving a white shirt to decorate do not hestitate to contact us and one will be provided for free.

The shirts will be displayed from April 20th- April 23rd

Art Display, Hub Art Gallery

CORE will be hosting an exciting new event this year. Various pieces of art work created by University of Washington Students will be displayed for the campus to see. The pieces are not exclusively for those personally affected by these issues. We welcome anyone interested in displaying art that encompasses these issues.

The Art display will take place from April 20th- May 4th

Take Back The Night Rally

This year we are proud to Host the Take Back the Night Rally. We are looking forward to having musical performances, poems, tabling by various support groups, Open mike, and a quiet candle lit march around the campus. This event is open to students as well as the general public.

Take Back the Night Rally will take place in HUB auditorium on April 23rd at 7:00 PM

Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Resources

Acquainance Rape/Date Rape

When many think of 'rape,' they imagine a scenario where an unknown stranger jumps out of the bushes at night, attacking someone who is walking alone. While this happens, the majority of rapes are actually perpetrated by an acquaintance of the victim, In fact, the survivor knows his/her attacker in 85% of rape cases.

While there is no way to absolutely prevent rape from occurring AND if a person is raped, it is NEVER the fault of the survivor, here are some risk reduction strategies: know your sexual limits, be assertive, watch for nonverbal clues, be aware of how much you are drinking, watch your drink, and TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS.

the GBLTQ Community

While issues of sexual assault impact different groups in different ways, the GBLT community is often marginalized in issues of sexual violence because homophobia and heterosexism (use of sexual identity for dominance) are largely unchallenged in society. Rape is a form of oppression, and negative stereotypes contribute to a cycle of sexual violence.

Possible effects of sexual violence on a gay, bisexual, lesbian, or transgendered person include: isolation, being forced to stay closeted, emotional abuse, being viewed as immoral, public taunting, economic abuse, discrimination at work, falsely stereotyped as molesters, ridiculed as not being 'real' men or women, violence, gay bashing, and gay killings.

Resources for GBLT Survivors of Sexual Assault

Northwest Network (LBTG)


Seattle Counseling Service for Sexual Minorities


ASUW Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, & Transgender Commission


Male Victims

Since 1 in 5 men will experience some form of incest, molestation, or sexual assault by the age of 18, it is important to be aware of issues specific to male victims of sexual violence. Men can be raped by other men or by women. Rapists who rape men are heterosexual in 98% of cases. Both gay and heterosexual men are raped. Men of all parts of society are raped.

Men may experience similar feelings as female sexual assault survivors: feeling guilty, powerless, in denial, in shock, or angry.

However, certain issues may be different for men, including: questioning sexuality or masculinity, whether to report or tell others, and finding resources and support.

'Rape' Drugs

'Rape' drugs are sedating substances and can be any drug that is used to facilitate a sexual assault. A victim of sexual assault can take a sedating substance unknowingly or voluntarily. When a person is under the influence of these substances, their ability to consent to sexual activity may be impaired. Even if a person is under the influence, rape is illegal.

Alcohol, the most commonly used sedating substance, is involved in 75-84% of acquaintance rape cases. Other sedating substances include: GHB (easy lay, liquid ecstasy), Rohypnol (roofies, rope), and Ketamine (vitamin K).

If you or a friend suffer an extreme or unusual reaction to alcohol or fear that you have been given a rape drug, help is available; go to the hospital and ask to be tested.

Relationship Violence

Relationship violence is the use of physical, emotional, verbal, psychological, economic, and/or sexual force by one person in a relationship to control or dominate another. Relationship violence affects people of all socio-economic, racial, religious, ethnic, and age groups. You can make a difference as a friend.

You can say, "You look tired lately, is everything OK at home?" Make sure it is safe to talk in the surroundings.
Listen and believe her/him. Don't blame the victim.
Don't expect change right away.
Offer phone numbers of domestic violence services.
Offer to keep a bag of belongings and important documents at your house.

Resources for Relationship Violence Survivors

New Beginnings, shelter and 24-hour hotline


Domestic Abuse Women's Network (DAWN)


Eastside Domestic Violence Program


Domestic Violence Recorded Information Line


Challenges for Survivors of Sexual Assault

  • Often met with disbelief by friends and family
  • Face accusations of "false reporting"
  • Keeping up with school, work and other life responsibilities
  • PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Depression, Anxiety and Eating Disorders
  • Many barriers for reporting
  • Fear of perpetrator
  • Fear of others not believing you
  • Fear of losing friends and loved ones
  • Having to face talking about/reliving experience
  • Have trouble identifying the experience as Rape

Supporting a Survivor

Since 1 in 4 women and 1 in 5 men will be victims of sexual assault during their lifetime, it is important to be aware of the feelings and needs of survivors of sexual assault and relationship violence.

Some feelings a survivor might experience include: violation, guilt, shame, confusion, helplessness, shock, suspicion, alone, or at fault.

Possible verbal and active responses are: "I believe you," "I'm glad you're alive," "It's not your fault," "I'm sorry it happened," and "You survived, you did the right thing."

Remember to: listen, provide options and choices, be nonjudgmental, give the survivor control, ask only necessary questions, and validate his/her feelings.

Resources At the University of Washington

Committee Organizing Rape Education (CORE)


SARIS (Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence Information Service) (206) 685-HELP

Hall Health Women's Clinic (206) 685-1031

UW Police Department

Sexual Assault Response Commitment
Emergency line 9-911 (from campus phone)
Business line (206) 543-9331

Student Counseling Center (206) 543-1240

Seattle and Community Resources

King County Sexual Assault Resource Center (KCSARC)

24-hour Crisis & Information Line

Harborview Center for Sexual Assault and Traumatic Stress

TDD/TTY 206-521-1808

Domestic Violence Recorded Information Line (206) 205-5555

Domestic Abuse Women's Network (425) 656-7867

New Beginnings (shelter) 24 hour crisis line (206) 522-9472

Advocates for Abused and Battered Lesbians (206) 547-8191

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