Caryln Sampson from Rebuilding Hope! Sexual Assault Center of Pierce County (SACPC) came to visit my fraternity, Beta Theta Pi, at our chapter meeting today. For those that don’t know, SACPC “offers support toward healing through advocacy and therapy for those affected by sexual assault and abuse” in the Pierce County area. Alongside supporting victims, SACPC also offers intensive trainings to police, medical professionals and other people interested in becoming advocates for victims. SACPC is Beta’s philanthropy and Carlyn is our primary contact with the organization.
Personally, I support SACPC, and sexual assault prevention in general, because I think that sexual assault is totally unacceptable (as any logical person should). Beta choosing SACPC as its philanthropy just aligns with my core values.
Carlyn came to introduce herself to us and lead a discussion on sexual assault and the role that SACPC plays in it. And holy shit it was refreshing.
In my experience, sexual assault prevention trainings and workshops tend to just make me feel terrible. Men are almost always portrayed as the perpetrators and women as victims. There is always this accusatory tone towards the male gender. As a male, this obviously doesn’t make me feel too good. While I am passionate about the topic, the feeling makes me apprehensive to participate in discussions. I’m made to feel that as a male, I have nothing to and should not contribute.
But Carlyn wasn’t like that. Carlyn was incredibly informative, spouting knowledge of every step of the sexual assault reporting process and the different resources that SACPC offers, just to name a few of the topics she discussed. She even mentioned the program she started last year that supported victims of sex trafficking in Pierce County.
Throughout her talk, the tone she took was evenhanded and just generally not accusatory at all. For once, I didn’t feel like a terrible person. Carlyn even mentioned that the idea of men becoming uncontrollable cavemen around women was an archaic and just ridiculous idea. She said that she wanted to help us fight that stigma against males (particularly fraternities) in conversations about sexual assault. All of our members agreed that they thought that the discussion was refreshing and just plain amazing.
Carlyn is expected to visit us again next semester and looking into the possibility of getting us at least part of the same training that SACPC offers to law enforcement and medical professionals and requires of their volunteers and staff.
I can’t wait!