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Sexual Assault Peer Advisors (SAPAs)

SAPA is a peer advising group sponsored by Health Promotion & Wellness. The Assistant Dean & Advisor for Sexuality, Women, and Gender serves as the advisor. A SAPA is a Sexual Assault Peer Advisor—a student who has undergone a 32 hour training course and has learned the fundamentals to serve as a resource for students who have been confronted with issues of sexual assault and/or intimate partner violence. These students work with victim/survivors, secondary survivors (e.g., UGAs, friends, family, or partners) and help to educate the Dartmouth community about sexual assault and intimate partner violence. A SAPA provides support, information, and referrals.

If you or your friends have been affected by sexual assault or intimate partner violence, the SAPAs are a trained peer resource available to help you. Email SAPA for more information. 


The philosophy of the SAPA program is based upon the following shared beliefs and aalues:

  1. The victim is never at fault for any assault or violence that they may encounter.
  2. Healthy sexual relationships are consensual and never coercive or exploitative.
  3. Sexual assault or intimate partner violence can happen to anyone; and sexual or intimate partner violence can be committed by anyone.
  4. Every victim is the expert in their own healing process.
  5. Sexual violence is a community issue.


Each SAPA has completed 32 hours of training, typically broken down into two-hour sessions throughout the term. SAPA training is offered during Winter and Spring terms. The training provides SAPAs with the knowledge and skills to be an informed resource to survivors of sexual assault an/or intimate partner violence. SAPAs learn about the types of sexual and intimate partner violence; skills to be a compassionate responder; crisis intervention methods; medical and mental health concerns and resources; judicial and legal services and procedures; personal safety planning; and additional relevant content to inform survivors of their options. Email SAPA to find out about the next training.


SAPAs take an active role in campus and community programs to raise awareness about sexual violence and intimate partner violence. By participating in small- and large-scale programs across campus, SAPAs provide visible support to students affected by sexual violence and intimate partner violence; support fellow peer advisors who are also raising awareness; and lastly, continue their own education about sexual violence and other related issues. A few examples of programs that SAPAs contribute to are: Domestic Violence Awareness Month, V-Week & Speak Out, and Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM).

Last Updated: 9/20/16