Counseling and Psychological Services and the Center for Advocacy, Response and Education has launched a new sexual assault and abuse process group for survivors of color.
Saisha Adhikari, the Association of Students for the University of Nebraska external vice president, has been instrumental in the creation of this process group. There was a lack of resources for survivors of color, Adhikari said.
“This sexual assault and abuse survivors of color process group is a closed, pre-screened group created to help survivors make sense of what happened or has not happened and to give each other the strength to grow and make change,” Adhikari said.
This group is directly aimed at people of color as they are disproportionately targeted by sexual violence, Adhikari said.
But Adhikari said that isn’t the only reason for the creation of this group.
Adhikari said her own experiences with groups haven’t been the most positive, and that was one of the driving forces behind helping launch this group.
It is also important for there to be safe spaces, especially for women of color, on a campus that is predominantly white, according to Adhikari.
This process group is different than a support group in that support groups are an open group and a place to share experiences and talk about different ways of coping, but this process group is a closed group that allows the members to make sense of the experiences they had to endure and build the strength to grow, according to an informational flyer from the group.
The lead therapist for the group is Falesa Ivory-Horton, a therapist with CAPS.
“I hope to create a safe environment where women of color can come together to talk about their unique experiences and be able to help each other to process, find some meaning and begin to live a more fuller life,” Ivory-Horton said.
As this is a closed group, there is a process for students to go through who are looking to join, Ivory-Horton said.
Once a student becomes interested in the group, they can reach out to CAPS or CARE and they will be able to schedule a one-on-one meeting with Ivory-Horton. That meeting is used to find more information about a person's experience in groups, their expectations, their goals and how they get along with people, Ivory-Horoton said.
The main reason for this is to make sure that everyone is in the right environment for themselves so the group can thrive, Ivory-Horton said.
If a person isn’t deemed to be a great fit for the group, there are different resources available to help the person with whatever they are going through, including individual counseling and resources outside of the university, Ivory-Horton said.
While this group is for survivors of color, there are still many resources available for people who aren’t of color.
Ivory-Horton said that these groups are formed after hearing directly from students, and that if students reach out to CAPS and CARE, they are more than happy to put groups together that can fulfill the needs of all students.
The resources provided by CAPS and CARE are available to any student attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Ivory-Horton said that any student on the fence about joining a group like this can call and speak to her, and they can figure what the best thing is for them.
CAPS is available for appointments Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Students who are in a crisis situation after hours can call (402) 472-7450 and follow the prompts provided.