SART Peers remind students that change can be made when it comes to standing up against sexual violence

Maddie Zeller, Staff Writer

This week, the SART Peers gave presentations in health classes, giving students information on sexual violence awareness and prevention. A group of students have taken the time over the course of this school year to train themselves on the subject, as well as convey these messages to the student body at Greeley West. 

The presentations include a comprehensive understanding of the statistics, demographics, and prevention steps involved with sexual violence. What makes this program so beneficial to students is the work that is involved in order to clear up common misconceptions made by students. Sophomore Jenny Nuñez said, “I joined the SART Peers program because it is so important to get involved. This is an issue that has impacted so many and if I can be a voice for just one person, that is worth it. It is also really refreshing to be able to hear this information from other students in an interactive way, rather than just hearing a dated lecture”.

The SART Peer program is run by local sexual violence prevention and resource center, SAVA. The staff at SAVA lead young minds to standing up and educating their peers about this matter. Speaking out against sexual violence is something that is difficult for many to do, but the SART Peers support group aims to be trustworthy advocates for the West community. 

What sets this advocacy group apart from others is the fact that it is made of only students – no adults are involved in the presentation and advocacy process.  The goal of both the SART Peers and mentors is to encourage students to feel safe and comfortable talking about and speaking against sexual violence both within their own communities and the society around them. “I think that students deserve an education that gives them a wide range of perspectives on this issue, seeing that it is a matter that can have a variety of impact. Understanding that these situations are not just one sided is important in learning to advocate for yourself and others,” said Nuñez.

Student advocacy and support is a big component to building a sense of community. Creating welcoming environments aids in the encouragement of these brave acts. Through continual training, mentorship and leadership, the SART Peer support program continues to create a safe and welcoming environment, aiding in the education of students.