Excerpts from an email sent by the DSA (Department of Student Affairs) entitled “SAPAC update 2004,” that was sent out to many in the U-M community just a few hours ago.
Dear U-M Community Members:
I am writing to let you know about an important decision regarding the SAPAC crisis line, which provides an around-the-clock resource for survivors of sexual violence who need immediate assistance and support.
As you know, we have been in discussions with Safe House, a community organization that offers a similar crisis line, to plan for Safe House to handle crisis calls from the U-M student community. However, we heard from many in our community that despite some specific advantages offered by coordinating with Safe House, the SAPAC crisis line should remain student-centered and should continue to be administered as a University resource. We have listened carefully to these concerns, and we have considered the circumstances faced by Safe House as well as other potential models for operating the crisis line. After much thought and discussion, we have made the decision to continue to run the crisis line out of SAPAC. Safe House has been a very gracious partner and we will continue to foster a coordinated and supportive relationship with their community crisis line and related services.
The SAPAC crisis line phone number will continue to be (734) 936-3333. We believe it is important for the crisis line to be staffed by full-time professionals with specialized training and experience. The current crisis line, which relies on student volunteers and a pager-and-callback system, will continue through June 30. Beginning July 1, we plan to staff the crisis line with full-time, dedicated staff members who will be directly available to all U-M callers whon need immediate crisis intervention and support related to sexual violence. We are working to add TTY services for the hearing impaired, as well as Language Line translation services in the near future.
Our crisis line volunteers are a tremendously dedicated group of students… We thank them for their unselfish service, and we will encourage our crisis line volunteers to stay involved in SAPAC and to get engaged in our other volunteer efforts.
Our planning for other changes related to SAPACs services, including the expansion of education and advocacy activities and the coordination of counseling through Counseling and Psychological Services, continues as we participate in an ongoing dialogue with members of our community.
Your feedback is essential if we are to ensure that our services will meet the needs of our students. To facilitate this process, Vice President Royster Harper has decided to engage an outside expert who can provide consultation as we implement and evaluate the changes we are making. This consultant also will be a resource to community members for sharing input, thoughts, and questions.
Please let me know if you have immediate questions about the crisis line or any related changes underway at SAPAC.
Kelly Cichy, PhD
Director, Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center