Launch of Dear Survivor Program
Student Victim Assistance has launched an initiative to encourage students to practice empathy for those who have been victimized by crime. Dear Survivor, a program conceptualized by a social work graduate student volunteer, allows the Georgia State community to write a note of support and encouragement to students who have been victimized by crime. Student Victim Assistance staff ask students to reflect on what they would say to offer support if a friend disclosed that they had been abused or assaulted. The experience of writing a message has come easy for some students, who immediately begin writing, some more than one message. For others, it requires much thought to come up with the right words to say. Having Student Victim Assistance staff and volunteers present to provide ideas for empathetic words is helpful for some. These varying experiences are reflective of the reality of having someone disclose victimization. It is likely that students will know someone who has experienced victimization and coming up with the right thing to say is difficult.
This program aims to help students think about how to respond empathetically and provides students with resources to give to students in need. Student Victim Assistance staff and volunteers will offer this program during outreach programs regularly throughout the semester. The messages will be displayed in the Student Victim Assistance area, so that students who seek services for victimization will be able to see the outpouring of support from their peers. For more information about this project, please contact us.