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Sep. 30, 2019

New name for MSU sexual assault survivor program

Michigan State University’s Sexual Assault Program has a new name: The Center for Survivors.

The original name “does not accurately describe the scope of our services,” Director Tana Fedewa explained. “We work with survivors of adult sexual assault and adult survivors of child sexual abuse, as well as people who have experienced sexual harassment and sexual exploitation.”

Clients and campus partners have commented about the program’s name and access for those who don’t classify their experience as sexual assault for years, Fedewa said. Reflecting inclusivity was a top priority when a name change was considered.

The program used social media to reach survivors directly through a survey for their opinions and ideas for a new name.

“We want survivors to know that our space is for them,” she said. “We want survivors to find community where they belong and where they are valued.”

The program has provided free, confidential individual and group therapy to student survivors of sexual violence since 1980. It also offers personal, academic, institutional and criminal justice advocacy services to student and nonstudent survivors of sexual assault.

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