Spiders for Spiders, a student movement to help end sexual assault on campus, partnered with Safe Harbor for a two-part training event called Educate & Advocate. The trainings were held on Oct. 28 and Nov. 4 for Richmond students.

Safe Harbor, a local domestic abuse shelter, helps “provide services to anyone who has experienced sexual and domestic violence regardless of race, gender, age, national origin, gender identity or expression, faith, sexual orientation, disability, ethnicity, and geographic location.”

After the It Ends Now meeting hosted by Spiders for Spiders in early September, Safe Harbor, which had a representative present at the meeting, approached a few students with the idea of hosting a workshop at the university.

Elena Brooks-Perkins, outreach and volunteer coordinator at Safe Harbor, said that the program covered topics related to the basics of dating abuse and sexual violence, red flags for unhealthy behaviors, consent, the impact of trauma and the foundation of healthy relationships.

She said that this particular workshop was meant to give students the opportunity to learn about how to advocate for survivors and prevent sexual violence on campus and in our community.

The Educate & Advocate event is the first time Safe Harbor has offered a shorter version of their volunteer training geared specifically to college students.

“Safe Harbor created something special for Richmond given the circumstances this fall,” Brooks-Perkins said. “We felt there was a lot of momentum on campus, and we wanted to offer an extra level of support to the students.”

The Spiders for Spiders trainings cover specific ways to be an active bystander and effectively step in when a situation seems off. Safe Harbor’s training included a broader focus on how to be a positive advocate and supporter of survivors on campus and in the Richmond community.

“We, as a university, have been working with Safe Harbor for a few years now, and this was a great way to help connect them face-to-face with students who are interested in doing their part to help end sexual violence at UR,” Alexandra Abreu, president of Spiders for Spiders, said. 

Contact reporter Jocelyn Grzeszcak at jocelyn.grzeszcak@richmond.edu