The SHARE (Sexual Harm Acute Response & Empowerment) Advocates in BWell Health Promotion are confidential resources at Brown that can provide support to any student from any part of the University (undergraduate, graduate, and medical students). Students who seek our free and legally confidential support are those who have been affected by issues or experiences related to sexual harm, which may have occured at any point in their lives, either while at Brown or before. We use the term sexual harm to encompass all non-consensual behaviors of a sexual nature, or related to sex or gender, that causes a person to feel uncomfortable, frightened, distressed, intimidated or harmed either physically or psychologically. 1 Examples of sexual harm include, but are not limited to:
- sexual assault/abuse
- sexual or gender-based harassment
- domestic/dating violence
- relationship abuse (abuse within any type of relationship, often by exploiting differences in power)
- sexual exploitation
For definitions of these terms, please click here. In the 2015 and 2019 AAU studies, which included Brown University, it was reported that “the number-one reason that victims say they don’t report an incident to any resource or official is because they don’t believe the incident was serious enough to merit further action.” 2 We seek to eliminate this barrier and encourage students to consider seeking support for concerning behaviors regardless of whether the incident meets a legal or procedural definition. BWell SHARE Advocates support students by providing confidential, advocacy-based counseling, which includes a “focus on safety planning and on the empowerment of the participant through reinforcing the participant's autonomy and self-determination.” 3
BWell SHARE Advocates can help with an acute response to harm as well as to support a survivor’s ongoing empowerment. These services are also available for current Brown students who are friends of, or in community with, someone impacted by sexual harm.
An acute response to harm, typically occurs soon after an incident and can support a student around time-sensitive medical decision making (within the first 5 days after an incident), addressing safety needs, accessing medical care, seeking accountability or reporting an incident, and accessing supportive measures, such as emergency housing or academic accommodations.
An empowerment-based response, supports survivors as they reconnect with their sense of power and agency. This can look very different based on the survivor’s unique needs; examples include exploring options and connecting with the help that is right for them, making decisions about reporting, sharing grounding strategies, reviewing aspects of consent, boundaries and communication, identifying ongoing barriers to safety and developing safety checking and planning skills; supporting self-esteem and self-awareness; and implementing skills for self and community care.
Your current SHARE Advocate team includes:
- Alana Sacks, MSW, LICSW, BWell Associate Director for Response Services
- Katie Coble, MSW, LICSW, BWell SHARE Advocate
- Connor Curtis, MSW, LICSW, BWell SHARE Advocate
The BWell Response Services team staffs the 24-hour Sexual Assault Response Line (401-863-6000). The Sexual Assault Response Line connects students with confidential crisis support and information for immediate help accessing resources in response to an incident of sexual violence or interpersonal harm.
BWell SHARE Advocates also hold support groups for student survivors. The current support group information is below. Questions about support groups? Email [email protected].
View the bookmark below for response resources for survivors of sexual violence: