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Sexual Assault Response Team introduced on campus

The Sexual Assault Response Team, or SART, is a new organization at APSU educating students on sexual assault and resources needed to get help in an emergency. APSU is one of the first universities to form a team of this nature.

The members of SART are aiming to be an educational force to help inform students about proper bystander intervention methods and ways to prevent sexual assault.

“One of the biggest goals the SART has is to educate people on resources for if they do get sexually assaulted or raped, or experience domestic violence or dating violence,” said SART member Autumn Tucker. “There are resources at [APSU] for that. There are resources off campus, too.”

The SART will throw its first event, The “F” Word, on Monday, Sept. 14 at 6 p.m. in room 305 of the MUC. The F stands for Feminism, and the event will center around local feminism and its effect on the community despite the stigma associated with the word.

“A lot of people don’t view [feminism] very favorably, so it’s like the new dirty ‘F Word.’…[At the event they will] talk about what feminists on campus and in the community are doing to help the campus and the community, stuff to help domestic violence survivors, stuff to help rape and sexual assault, voting, medical and helping connect people to resources,” Tucker said.

Though APSU is one of the first to build an organization like the SART, reports of sexual assault are rising all over the U.S.

According to rainn.org, 44 percent of sexual assault victims are under the age of 18, and 80 percent are under the age of 30. One out of every six American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape, as have 1 out of every 33 men.

Victims of sexual assault are three times more likely to suffer from depression and six times more likely to suffer from PTSD. Every 107 seconds another American is sexually assaulted. The SART was created to help students be more aware of dangers like these and give them the ability to protect themselves and others.

Since the SART at APSU is a new organization, student participation in the team’s events is essential to its success.

“We want to really stay on top of it, make sure we get a lot of student participation and turnout,” Tucker said. “We know it will be helpful and effective, and we’re continually evaluating to make sure it will be helpful and effective.”

To learn more about what they can do to prevent sexual assault on themselves and others, APSU faculty can attend Katie Koestner’s training sessions covering the “Best Practices for Prevention of Sexual Misconduct” Tuesday, Sept. 15 in MUC 303. Two sessions will be held over the same material, one from 2 to 3 p.m. and one from 3 to 4 p.m. that afternoon.

Those who wish to participate must register at apsu.edu/human-resources/katie-koestner-best-practices-sexual-misconduct-prevention-and-response to participate in a session.

About Courtney Gaither

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