Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence Activists

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SARVA Purpose and Mission Statement

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SARVA is a group of student volunteers committed to ending sexual assault and relationship violence through activism and education. We serve the UW community by providing programs and events that facilitate open discussion surrounding these issues. SARVA is open to all UW students.
SARVA provides outreach and education to the university community through interactive workshops, Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence Activism Month, and other campus events.
For more information please check out the SARVA Website as it is updated:


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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 place on January 27th, 1992 with approximately 20 men and women. Throughout the quarter each volunteer received 30 hours of training. Topics covered throughout training 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 informs that 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.
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.
SARVA recognizes that 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.

Contact Information

SARVA Director: Varsha Govindaraju

Office: HUB 131C

Phone: 206.543.4238


Facebook: ASUW Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence Activists

SARVA Resources/Links and Events

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