Response to the Daily

CW: abuse, victim shaming, violence

Hello everyone,

In light of the Daily article titled “Don’t play the blame game: Be a survivor”, we felt that it was important for SARVA to take a stand. While we understand the Daily had the intent of empowering folks who have been through abuse, we need to understand as a community the kind of impact articles like these make.

In situations of abuse, power has been taken away from the survivor or victim. Telling that person what word to use does not let them define their own experience, and takes that power away again. People who have experienced or are experiencing abuse, we have the right to define our lives with any word we want. These words can change to describe our ways of healing or not healing, and working with trauma.

In the quote “A victim blames themselves. A victim makes excuses. A victim hides, and a victim lies for their assailant”, the article is policing the behaviors that victims sometimes engage in. Not all victims do these things, and asserting so is stigmatizing to victims. Also, for people who have engaged in these activities, it is often to survive their abuse, and we cannot condemn these coping mechanisms that keep people alive.

SARVA is not in favor of the sentiments of this article, but we also do not support personal attacks on the author. While this article is problematic in several ways, we encourage feelings to be about the article and the content as opposed to the person who wrote it, as we are all in different places of learning. SARVA wishes to continue this learning process is in current conversations with the Daily about this article. As we make progress, we will keep you all informed. In case you have not seen the article, there is a link below with the content warnings listed at the top of this post.

http://dailyuw.com/archive/2014/05/18/opinion/don%E2%80%99t-play-blame-game-be-survivor#.U3pMrNJdXgM

-SARVA

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SARVA 5k Registration

Looking to register for the SARVA 5k? You can register to participate in the race here: http://tinyurl.com/2014sarva5k

Once you’ve registered, be sure to swing by the SARVA office to pick up your free promotional t-shirt! You can view our office hours here: http://hours.asuw.org

If you’re interested in volunteering for the 5k, please fill out this form to let us know your availability: http://tinyurl.com/sarva5kvolunteer

We look forward to seeing you all there!

- Rachel Weisbeck
Program Coordinator

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SARVA Month 2014!

Hey everyone!

We’re so excited to announce the start of SARVA Month 2014!

As you may or may not know, April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. In honor of this, every April SARVA continues the campaign against violence with Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence Activism Month! We have all sorts of awesome events and opportunities to get involved that you should definitely check out! For this year’s SARVA Month, we’re featuring the following events:

  • Asexuality & Consent
  • Sex Worker Q&A
  • Take Back the Night
  • Self Worth Fair
  • Alternatives to Rape Culture
  • Green Dot Bystander Training
  • SARVA 5k Run/Walk

Check out this link for more information and to RSVP to our events on Facebook!

-Rachel Weisbeck
Program Coordinator

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SARVA Spring Workshops

Hello everyone!

We’re excited to announce the second round of workshop applications. If you could not make it in Winter, do not worry as we have Spring applications going out today!

If you are interested in learning more about sexual assault and relationship violence, equip yourself to engage in important conversations and activism in your communities, and hear from professionals in the field, then you should apply!

Workshops will cover topics including consent and sexual assault, anti-oppressive frameworks, alcohol, legal issues, relationship violence, supporting survivors, and community resources.

Make sure to fill our your application  at tinyurl.com/sarvatrainingsp14 by March 14 and email asuwadsa@uw.edu if you have any questions.

Best,

Varsha Govindaraju

Assistant Director

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SARVA Volunteer Application

Hey Dawgs!

The SARVA Volunteer Application for Winter quarter training is open until December 2nd! If you are interested in learning more about sexual assault and relationship violence, equip yourself to engage in important conversations and activism in your communities, and hear from professionals in the field, then you should apply!

Trainings will cover topics including consent and sexual assault, anti-oppressive frameworks, alcohol, legal issues, relationship violence, supporting survivors, and community resources.

Click here for more information and to start the application.

Applications are due by December 2nd, please contact asuwdsa@uw.edu with any questions.

Best,

Katie Peterson
SARVA Director

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Upcoming Events

Hey Dawgs!

We’ve got a lot of things going on this November that we’d like to share with you!

Relationship Skills Classes: We’ll be presenting three classes using the NW Network‘s  excellent curriculum this November! We’ll be working together to develop healthy relationship skills for a wide range of different types of relationship. These classes are open to all students, and students can feel free to attend as many or as few as they like.

These three classes will be held in the HUB Welcome Center room 106 6:30-8pm:
Values and Expectations (November 5)
Boundaries and Accountability (November 12)
Conflict (November 19)

To learn more and register visit tinyurl.com/relationshipskills13
Click here to view Facebook event page

Take Back The Night: Join us for this Fall’s open mic dedicated to creating a safe space where people may share their own stories and feelings about relationship violence and sexual assault. The event will be held at the Ethnic Cultural Theater on November 14 at 7pm.

Click here to view Facebook event page

SARVA Winter Training Application: The app is now open! If you’re interested in learning more about sexual assault and relationship violence, and engaging in opportunities to lead our campus in conversations and activism surrounding these issues, apply today!

You can learn more and apply at tinyurl.com/sarvatrainingapp2013

This is an exciting month for us and we look forward to seeing you soon!

All the best,
Katie Peterson
Director 

 

 

 

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SARVA Winter Training Application Open!

Hey Dawgs!

It’s that time of year again, the SARVA Winter Training Application is now OPEN! If you are interested in learning more about sexual assault and relationship violence, equip yourself to engage in important conversations and activism in your communities, and hear from professionals in the field, then you should apply!

Trainings will cover topics including consent and sexual assault, anti-oppressive frameworks, alcohol, legal issues, relationship violence, supporting survivors, and community resources.

Click here for more information and to start the application.

Applications are due by December 2nd, please contact asuwdsa@uw.edu with any questions.

Best,

Katie Peterson
SARVA Director

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DAWG Daze Consent Fair

Hey Huskies! Let’s talk about consent!

Fall quarter is almost here and it’s that time of year for DAWG Daze! This year SARVA will be hosting a Consent Fair to officially kick-off this Fall’s Consent Campaign!

Interested in discussing consent in both sexual situations and our everyday lives? Want to help make the UW a place that promotes and respects consent?

Come to the Consent Fair during DAWG Daze!
September 24th
The HUB, room 337
1:00-2:00pm

  • Add your thoughts and signatures to our Consent Campaign materials
  • Pose for our Consent photo booth
  • Learn about amazing campus resources and organizations, including SARIS (Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence Information Service), Health & Wellness, Green Dot and CCSL (Campus Coalition for Sexual Literacy)

For any questions, email Katie at asuwdsa@uw.edu

See you soon!

Katie Peterson
Director

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Consent and “Blurred Lines”

Huskies,

Recently Robin Thicke and his song, “Blurred Lines” have come up against a lot of popularity, as well as a lot of criticism. For our purposes, we’ll focus on what his song says, or more accurately, doesn’t say about consent. Click here for the lyrics, and here for the clean video.

Thicke refers to hating those “blurred lines” as they represent the difficulty in ‘reading’ another person and what they want. This view of gaining consent not in concrete terms, but through suggestion and assumptions, is a dangerous game that can lead to sexual assault. Consent can only be given in explicit terms, anything less does not equal consent.

Here’s a short catalog of the “signs” that the girls in the video are giving that are supposedly signifying consent:

  • “making eyes”
  • dancing
  • walking back and forth
  • licking their teeth/lips in a “seductive” way

None of which actually communicate any real message, let alone give Thicke a reason to say “I know you want it” eighteen times in four minutes.

[the kind of reasoning used in this song is also a pillar of victim blaming, where people analyze the actions of the victim to decide whether it was their fault. Often saying something along the lines of "her skirt was too short, she obviously wanted it." WRONG. NO ONE "WANTS" TO BE RAPED.]

So let’s get this straight. Maybe someone is “making eyes” or maybe they’re just zoning off in your direction. Maybe they’re trying to seduce you with their amazing dance skills, or maybe they just love to dance. Maybe they’re walking back and forth in front of you because they think you’re cute and want to get your attention, or maybe you’re just on the way to the restroom. Maybe they’re doing something with their tongue in a sexually suggestive manner, or maybe their friend just told them they have broccoli stuck in their teeth.

Consent is never an assumption or a hint,  it is never anything other than an explicit “yes I want to ____” or “no I do not want to ____” and usually a combination of the two “ no I do not want to ____but yes I want to ____.” This is true whether your fill in the blank is “go get coffee”, “be hugged” or “have sex.”

The only way to get rid of those blurred lines, is to stop trying to figure out what someone wants on your own, and instead just ask them. Always remember that any sexual activity lacking consent is sexual assault.

Katie Peterson
Director

Be sure to join us at the Consent Fair during DAWG Daze! September 24th from 1-2pm in the HUB room 337!

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Upcoming Changes for SARVA

The beginning of the new school year is coming around the corner and it’s time to share all of the changes that will be happening for SARVA!
The following important changes will be implemented in the upcoming year:
 
We are really exited about beginning an intern program to SARVA! We are looking at 5-6 interns to be decided annually who will focus on social media, event planning, community connections and campus communications. Volunteers who decide not to be interns will be involved in monthly meetings, and have the option of joining teams lead by interns focusing on specific projects and ongoing work.
 
SARVA will no longer be providing presentations for the Greek Community in the Fall. Health and Wellness recently picked up Hall Health’s Peer Education Program and they will be increasing the range of topics that they will be presenting, which will include sexual assault. We are happy to have the opportunity to explore other avenues while knowing that a trusted program will be continuing sexual assault education on campus. For more information, visit depts.washington.edu/livewell/peer-health-education-phe or email uhelp@u.washington.edu.
 

For the first time we’re going to have the time and space to provide programming in the Fall! So far on the agenda we have a DAWG Daze Consent Workshop, passive programming (Silent Witness, Clothesline Project and poster campaign) and Take Back The Night (Yay for making this a twice yearly event!) for Domestic Violence Awareness Month in October, as well as a Relationship Skills four week series in November.

We will now offer two separate trainings a year, one in Winter quarter and one in Spring quarter. This will help in solving the problem of attendance drop off between quarters, and will allow us to be more accessible to the university community by increasing the number of students we can train as well as making the time commitment more manageable.

Our overall goals for these changes are to spread out responsibility, provide more leadership opportunities for both interns and volunteers, and increase the outreach and effectiveness of SARVA.

All the best,
Katie Peterson
Director
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