Emma Seavey: DU Sexual Assault Liaison

Since April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, Her Campus sat down and spoke with Emma Seavey, one of the fraternity and sorority life sexual assault representatives on campus, to get some more insight on the meaning of this month and to learn about current resources on DU. 

Name: Emma Seavey

Major: Psychology

Minors: English and Criminology

Year in School: Junior

Position: Fraternity and Sorority Sexual Assault Liaison, Delta Zeta Representative        

                                                               

Being a sexual assault liaison, what does your position entail?

 I meet with other FSL liaison a couple times a quarter, and in those meetings we learn about sexual assault, relationship abuse on campus and how that impacts students. We’re also given support-a survivor training; individuals in and out of our respective organizations can reach out to us, and we’re able to get them to the correct support networks. While I receive trainings, I also give trainings and educate people, such as doing workshops for Delta Zeta.

How long have you been in this position?

This is my second year in the position. Last year was the first year that the program was fully developed, and I am the only sorority member who is in the position for a second term.

Why did you take this rather difficult position on?

I took it on because I wanted to do something impactful. I have had friends who have been assaulted, and I wanted to be able to support them. The statistics are so heartbreaking, hearing victims stories is so heartbreaking, but I’ve always known I am able to process intense and hard things well, and that allows me to do this job…I’m considering it for my career path now.

Tell me more about Sexual Assault Awareness Month and why CAPE is celebrating it?

Sexual Assault Awareness month is a nationally-recognized month, and we do events every year. For instance, during the Clothesline Project, victims hang shirts in the library and they are up all month. Other events teach how to support someone, or if you are a survivor, what outlets you can go through to be supported. There is a self-defense class with campus safety. That for me is very empowering. When victims take self-defense classes, they often feel empowered like reclaiming something that was lost.  Everyone thinks it’s fight or flight, but in [many situations] it’s fight, flight, or freeze. A lot of survivors don’t fight back because they physiologically can’t. There’s also an open yoga class that helps with centering and breathing—it’s about getting into a more centered space. At Denim Day, people wear denim-on-denim to support survivors; that’s a tiny thing anyone can do.

The Health and Counseling Center has a month full of activities lined up. 

What can people do to promote awareness every month of the year?

We always talk about rape culture verses sexual assault. Rape culture, is for example, is if someone says “That text raped me” or “Rip me a new one”. And that idea is expediting that someone can control you through that. Anything that sounds like gender violence targeted speech is dangerous and perpetrates rape culture. We want people to stand up when others say those things. Easier said than done, but it’s something we really try to push.  

Thank you for speaking with us, Emma! 

For more on CAPE's resources, click here.