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Once a SAPA, Always a SAPA

When Steve Thompson taught self-defense at CMU decades ago, young women often told him they'd been sexually assaulted but didn't feel comfortable seeking professional support.

"I heard the voices of survivors every day," he says. "It broke my heart."

He also was frustrated and angry at the myths and misinformation.

“You can hear the relief in people’s voices when they know you’re there, not to judge them or criticize, but to support them in any way they need.” — Nicole Buozis

"People would say, 'She shouldn't have gone to the Wayside wearing that,' or 'She was drinking and went home with somebody, so of course that happened,'" Thompson says.

Fed up, he wrote a letter to then-dean of students Bruce Roscoe.

"I said, 'How could we let this happen?'" Thompson recalls. "He said, 'Let's have coffee and talk.'"

The result: Sexual Aggression Peer Advocates (SAPA)

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*Click here to book one of Steve Thompson's No Zebras and More Programs for your college, community or organization


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