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Sexual Assault Response Team Reminds University Community About Available Resources

Posted Oct. 15, 2012

Program gets new education intervention coordinator

Kent State University's Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) is a comprehensive, collaborative and victim-centered response to sexual assault that includes prevention, education and response/recovery components. The responsibility of the team is to educate the university community about sexual assault, to provide anti-violence programming and support services and to encourage all community members to speak out when witnessing violence

Kent State faculty, staff and students may contact the Sexual Assault Response Team to answer questions, as well as provide information and resources. The team also provides support and community resources to anyone who has been sexually assaulted or is in an abusive relationship.

Jennifer O’Connell, the new SART education intervention coordinator, says she is thrilled about her new position and all the possibilities of increasing awareness and programming around sexual assault, intimate partner violence and stalking.

“I am excited to be working with all offices, departments and groups on campus to educate and train faculty, staff and students about supporting and helping someone who has been assaulted,” O’Connell says. “I am also motivated to assist in creating a campus culture that challenges messages and behaviors that minimize sexual violence and its effect on victims.”

O’Connell says she is looking forward to providing support and resources to victims of sexual violence, so they know that they are not alone during a difficult time. She wants victims to have a place where they are believed and know that there is help and support available to them.

“Kent State is an amazing campus and the support on campus for this position is tremendous,” O’Connell says. “It sends a clear message that Kent State does not tolerate sexual violence and wants to ensure that all students, faculty and staff are safe, healthy and able to pursue their education in an environment free from violence.”

SART members include representatives from the Women’s Center, University Health Services, Public Safety, Residence Services, Psychological Services, Office of Student Conduct, Athletics, the Center for Student Involvement, the Title IX coordinator, Student Ombuds and Townhall II.

Townhall II, the rape crisis center for Portage County, specializes in services assisting victims of sexual assault. It provides advocacy, crisis intervention, counseling, support groups and education for all victims of any violent crime. Townhall II has a 24-hour hotline, 330- 678-HELP, that faculty, staff and students can call. To contact SART, please call 330- 672-8016. The SART website, www.kent.edu/SART, another valuable resource, contains important information about how to support someone who has been a victim, what to do if you have been assaulted, and education about what is sexual assault, intimate partner violence and consent.