Hi! In the beginning of fall semester, I was hired as the Sexual Assault Advocate and a Staff Therapist at the Wellness Center. I also supervise the students of the Sexual Misconduct Advocacy Resource Team (SMART). So far, my experience at St. Mary’s has been incredible. The students are amazing; I couldn’t ask for more supportive colleagues; and I simply love what I do.
Ten years ago, I attended the University of Delaware where I earned my Bachelor’s in Fine Art with a Minor in Art History. While I was pursuing my Fine Art Major, I discovered the healing power of art-making and decided to go to George Washington University to receive my Master’s in Art Therapy. In December 2015, I graduated with my Master’s.
The services of the on-call sexual assault advocate are to assist students after they have had an unwanted sexual experience. I have been trained to assist students in bringing them to hospital for medical assistance and/or a SAFE (sexual assault forensic evidence) exam, accompanying the student in Title IX meetings, providing assistance with the criminal justice system, offering emotional support, providing information, finding resources, and filling out paperwork.
I also serve as a therapist at the wellness center and provide individual and couples counseling.
My other role is supervising the SMART group. SMART members are students of SMCM who are trained as advocates and provide a confidential 24/7 hotline that offers peer support and resources to students who have been affected by sexual violence. SMART also coordinates various events and outreach programs throughout the academic year that focus on educating the community, supporting survivors, and preventing sexual violence. To speak with a member of SMART, please call 301-904-2015. Please be advised that the SMART hotline is only working during the academic year when the semester is in session. If you are interested in being a SMARTie, interviews will be conducted at the Wellness Center in April.
There will be two events sponsored by SMART this April, which is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. There are also other fun events that are in the works, so keep an eye out in the events calendar!
The first big event will be “Fear 2 Freedom,” which will be held in DPC from 7:00pm-9:00pm on April 6th. Fear 2 Freedom is a non-profit organization whose dedication is to help those affected by sexual assault. We will come together to raise awareness and provide support and care to survivors. Please join us in DPC to help assemble the Fear 2 Freedom after-care kits; they will be stored at St. Mary’s hospital where they will be given to those who have come in after experiencing a sexual assault. In the after-care kits, there are clean clothes, a personalized letter of encouragement, a toothbrush and toothpaste, and other items that might help a survivor on their own journey from fear to freedom. These kits can leave a huge impact in the healing process for those affected by child abuse, domestic violence, sex trafficking, and sexual assault.
The second event will be “Take Back the Night” on April 14th in Daugherty Palmer Commons from 7:00pm-9:30pm. Join us if you are a survivor, if you know someone who is a survivor, or if you support survivors of sexual violence. This is a night dedicated to recognizing and supporting survivors of sexual violence. If you are a survivor of sexual violence and would like to share your story (as much or as little as you’re comfortable sharing, and feel free to be creative), you will have an opportunity during the event. The evening will end with a candlelight vigil, walking in solidarity.
Both of these events are considered “Public Awareness Events” which means that if a student discloses experiences with relationship violence or sexual misconduct, mandatory reporters are not required to report the incident.
If you have any questions regarding advocacy, counseling, locating resources, or about SMART, please contact me, Kelly Muldoon at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some helpful resources can be found on the smartphone app described below:
REACH OUT Smartphone App: SMCM offers an app called “Reach Out – College Edition,” which is a free, convenient, and private smartphone resource guide focused on Title IX and sexual misconduct issues, including campus resources, medical care, reporting options, prevention/education strategies, helpful links, advocacy/support, hotlines, locations, and information to get involved. Download “Reach Out – College Edition,” select St. Mary’s College of Maryland, and you’ll have all of these resources available at your fingertips.