Sexual Abuse Peer Advisors (SAPA)

SAPA is a peer advising group sponsored by Dartmouth College's Health Promotion Department (in Dick's House). The Sexual Abuse Awareness Program Coordinator serves as the advisor. A SAPA is a Sexual Abuse 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 abuse and/or intimate partner violence. These students work with survivors of abuse (either recently or in the past), or secondary survivors (UGAs, friends, family, or partners). A SAPA provides support, information, and referrals. If you or your friends have been affected by sexual assault, the SAPAs are a trained confidential peer resource available to help you!  


The philosophy of the SAPA program is based upon the following Shared Beliefs and Values:
  1. The victim is never at fault for any sexual abuse that he/she may encounter.
  2. Healthy sexual relationships are consensual and never coercive or exploitative.
  3. Sexual abuse can happen to anyone; Sexual abuse can be committed by anyone.
  4. Every victim is the expert in his/her own healing process.
  5. Sexual abuse is a community issue.


Each SAPA has completed 32 hours of training, typically broken down into two-hour sessions. SAPA training is offered during Winter and Spring terms. This training is designed to give SAPAs the knowledge and ability to learn the primary information necessary to be a good resource to survivors of sexual abuse. The content of the training includes basic knowledge of relationship and sexual violence, first responder skills, crisis intervention, medical and mental health concerns and services, judicial and legal services and procedures, personal safety planning, and additional relevant content.


Part of the role as a resource to students here at Dartmouth, a SAPA will also participate in a variety of programming, both large and small scale. Through participation at different programs, SAPAs will provide support to students that have been affected by sexual violence, support fellow peer advisors who are also raising awareness, and lastly, to continue their own education around sexual abuse and other related issues.A few examples of programs that SAPAs are involved with are:Consent Day, Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Sex Signals, Sex Festival, V-Week & Speak Out, and Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Last updated on Apr 15 by Alexandria M. Leach