Wednesday, April 2, 2014

UAA student returns to her village to teach about domestic violence and sexual assault prevention

From Sarah's Facebook post.
Sarah Anderson, a Native Aleut and UAA student, is making a visit to her home village of Port Heiden to talk to the youth in the village about domestic violence and sexual assault prevention.  Sarah is a survivor of sexual assault and was motivated to share her story by "so many supportive people, including those incredible girls [Justice majors Simona Gerdts and Kristen Speyerer] from UAA Justice Center and"  In response to her request for assistance with this effort, the Native Council of Port Heiden awarded her a grant.

Shoes donated by the UAA
NO MORE team.
While at Port Heiden, Sarah is also coordinating a "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes" event and is taking 10 pairs of donated high heels for participants to wear.  "Walk a Mile in Her Shoes" is an international men's march to "stop rape, sexual assault, and gender violence."  Men are invited to don high heels and walk one mile.

You can read all of Sarah's post on the UAA Says No More Facebook page.  She writes, " I encourage every person who has suffered from sexual abuse to reach out & tell your story... Take your voice back."

Sarah has been studying journalism at UAA, and will be applying for the paramedic program at UA Mat-Su College. The "two incredible girls" she refers to are Simona Gerdts and Kristen Speyerer who coordinated the March 19 "NO MORE Silence in the Dark" panel discussion at UAA on domestic violence and sexual assault. The event is part of their Justice degree capstone project with the UAA Center for Community Engagement and Learning (CCEL). Simona and Kristen, Justice majors/Legal Studies minors, will be graduating in May 2014.