SART aiding the transition from victim to survivor
Alex Palmieri – News Writer
The Sexual Assault Resource Team at Southern provides a collaborative victim-centered team response to sexual assault. On the Southern website, it says SART’s task is to provide services that ensure a transition from victim to survivor for every individual whose life is impacted by sexual violence.
If there are any concerns or questions regarding sexual harassment, they are asked to contact SART for guidance. These concerns can range from sexual harassment, sexual assault, intimate partner violence, stalking, sexual exploitation and consent.
Catherine A. Christy, SART coordinator, said being the coordinator is her passion. She gets to meet all kinds of students about any problems that students are encountering. Christy said there is a lot more interaction that goes into student engagement than just sexual harassment.
“We try to make it engaging for students to fit in and learn,” said Christy.
SART began in 2006 and Christy said there are two parts of the team. One part is it houses a crisis response team. If a student reports any incident, the team, including Christy, is contacted. The other part is the resource team. There are 25 members within this team. They are trained to provide survivors with tremendous amounts of support. Christy said it is located on all different areas on the Southern campus.
“We try to get students to get comforted with all of our team members,” said Christy. “That’s the job of our team.”
Christy said stats show incidents on college campuses are high. But, the reporting stats were low in the past. Christy said students can be hesitant to contact the SART team at times. But she added the more students that report, the more she, along with her team, can help.
“More students are reaching out and reporting,” said Christy. “It’s good because we are here to help them.”
Christy said her and SART are at Southern to help assist anyone who is scared, or having problems with any sort of sexual assault. Christy can direct students with these sorts of problems and talk about it, or send them to the appropriate counseling.
“This is my passion,” said Christy. “I get to meet all kinds of students. The work is not always crisis or intervention. Sometimes, it’s just for support.”
There is a lot more that goes into SART then just helping students. Christy said she loves the interaction with all students that she encounters. Christy lives for doing her job and does not see an end in sight any time soon.
“I don’t think like that,” said Christy. “Violence prevention is who I am; I’m in love with my job; I feed into all of my students.”
As long as students continue to keep Christy driven, she said she will enjoy her position for years to come.
“If I see the students interested,” said Christy, “then it keeps me motivated. It keeps me happy doing all of the work I do every day.”
Photo Credit: Alex Palmieri – News Writer