California State University, Stanislaus did not wait until the last minute to hire its first confidential sexual assault victim advocate.
Rather, by understanding the critical need to for CSU Stanislaus to maintain its campus as one that is both safe and conducive to learning, the University jumped the CSU system’s deadline by nearly six months to hire confidential sexual assault victim advocate Sarah Beal.
“Through my experience working with diverse people and situations, I feel confident to provide support to survivors on campus,” said Beal. “I also have my Associate of Arts degree in film production, which will be a great tool for prevention, education, and awareness work on campus around these issues.”
Prior to her position as CSU Stanislaus’ first confidential sexual assault victim advocate, Beal staffed the crisis hotline and shelter at Haven Women’s Center, an organization which allowed her to support survivors of domestic and sexual violence.
“I worked as an on-call advocate and would meet survivors at the hospital immediately after a domestic violence related injury or sexual assault to provide emotional support, advocacy, and referrals,” said Beal.
Beal heard about the University’s need for a confidential sexual victim advocate and applied through the Haven Women’s Center, as she was already representing the agency on campus.
“I was very excited about the opportunity to be an on-campus resource for college students and to be part of the movement to see an end to sexual and intimate partner violence,” said Beal.
In her new position, Beal will uphold a full-time presence at CSU Stanislaus and help students distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable dating behavior. She will also be available to provide support through confidential counseling, advocacy, and resource referral.
“I think that is very important that students have on-campus (confidential) support when dealing with the trauma of sexual or domestic violence,” said Beal. “It is vital a survivor receives support that is empowering and client-centered by someone who understands the depths of these types of problems and experiences.”
Beal will also work with students and staff to help with prevention education, awareness and outreach events, and social media campaigns. Through efforts to educate the campus community, Beal hopes to see a reduction of violence and assaults.
“I hope to provide a safe environment for survivors along with helping them in their healing process,” said Beal. “I hope that students would have a great understanding about the severity of these issues—that they’d be equipped knowing what warning signs are and what a healthy relationship looks like.”
Students who require assistance can take advantage of walk-in appointments or schedule an appointment by calling 667-3993 or emailing email@example.com.
“I hope to help bring healing to those affected by violence,” said Beal, “and I hope to shed light on these issues by bringing about education. I hope that through awareness and education that these issues will begin to decrease.”