Information about SHARPP Services
Crisis is defined as a dramatic emotional or circumstantial upheaval in a person’s life. As you might imagine, this is a common experience for survivors of sexual assault, relationship abuse and stalking. It happens in the moments, hours, and days after abuse occurs, and can happen repeatedly throughout a survivor’s life due to a variety of factors, such as being retriggered.
Advocates from the SHARPP office can help you work through your crisis and regain a sense of equilibrium for that moment. The advocate’s goals in crisis intervention are to assist you in sorting through options, feelings, thoughts, and reactions, strengthening coping responses, regaining control, and renewing previously healthy relationships.
Advocates are trained staff and volunteers of SHARPP who meet with survivors to provide a wide range of services. All advocates are required to undergo a minimum of 30 hours of training on the issues of sexual assault, sexual harassment, relationship abuse and stalking, and the systems that pertain to these issues. Advocates empower survivors by providing information, tools, resources and opportunities. They are trained to work with survivors respectfully, recognizing that systems may be confusing and overwhelming to survivors, and that some may be more vulnerable to certain systems than others.
Sexual violence, relationship abuse and stalking can happen to anyone. These are issues that women, men, non-binary, and people of all identities can be survivors of. It doesn’t matter what a person’s gender, sexual orientation, religion or identity is, ANYONE can be a victim of these crimes and all people deserve help.
We also know that here at UNH, we have communities of students who have a unique set of needs and have dealt with a number of issues that many students have never had to deal with. SHARPP recognizes these differences and is committed to serving all students by providing accessible, free, social justice-informed, and confidential advocacy and direct services to all survivors and their allies. More about who we serve can be found here.
Advocates help identify all the options available and help survivors decide which choices best met their needs in a non-judgmental way, leaving the advocate’s personal opinion out of the equation.
Advocate Mission Statement:
To provide culturally competent intervention services to survivors of past, present or attempted sexual/relationship abuse by creating a supportive environment for survivors and their allies.
Typically an advocate will accompany a person who has experienced a sexual assault to the hospital for medical care after the assault (specifically for a rape kit). This generally happens one of two ways:
- The survivor calls the hotline and decides to go to the hospital, at which point the advocate would meet the client at the hospital or at a determined location.
- A survivor is at the hospital and discloses the abuse. The hospital is mandated to call the local crisis center for services which will prompt an advocate to come to the hospital. The client can then accept or refuse services.
Undergoing a medical examination, especially one as extensive as a rape kit, can be very difficult and possible re-traumatizing. An advocate can be a source of support, as well as a helpful resource for any questions you might have throughout the medical examination. The advocate is there solely for your support and can help you understand the process better and help you navigate what can be a very overwhelming procedure.
An advocate can be made available to assist survivors in navigation of the legal process, whether that is criminal, civil or the University’s conduct system.
An advocate can accompany you in making a police report, as well as offer assistance in determining whether reporting is the right choice for you. The advocate can also be present for any follow up appointments made with law enforcement such as forensic interviews.
An advocate can assist you in filing a restraining or stalking order. The advocate will accompany you to the courthouse, help you work through the paperwork, and provide support and safety planning for the outcome. Additionally the advocate will be able to accompany you to the court hearing.
Many students are unaware and unfamiliar with the University’s conduct system through the Office of Community Standards (OCS). A SHARPP advocate can explain what this process might look like in your specific situation, as well as assist you in beginning the process by filing charges. The advocate will be able to accompany you to any meetings related to the proceedings as well as sit in for support on the hearing date. You can find the more information on the Student's Rights, Rules & Responsibilities here.
Please note, the conduct system is for UNH students only. Both the survivor and perpetrator must be enrolled students at UNH.
Affirmative Action & Equity Office:
Faculty and staff who have been victimized by colleagues can make a report to the Affirmative Action and Equity Office on campus. A SHARPP advocate can assist in this process.
Surviving a traumatic event like sexual or relationship abuse can take a toll on all aspects of our lives.
If you find you are having trouble keeping up with your coursework, studying for tests or completing assignments on time, come talk to a SHARPP advocate. SHARPP can coordinate with the Dean of Students to request an Academic Intervention, through which your professor(s) will be asked to give consideration to you in your coursework. The purpose of the academic intervention is to facilitate recovery of the student survivor with minimal impact on their academic achievement.
We will never disclose what has happened to you. Your professors will receive a letter acknowledging that you are experiencing non-academic extenuating circumstances and open the conversation between you and your professor so that you may work out deadlines, make-up test dates or extra credit possibilities that satisfy both of your needs.
Sharing your healing process with others who are also healing from similar situations can be very therapeutic. Support groups offer a safe space in which survivors can talk about their experiences with other survivors.
SHARPP runs an annual survivor support group and details can be found here. If you would like to find additional support groups in the area, SHARPP can refer you to other crisis centers that may be offering a support group that fits your needs.
Being Fierce and Fabulous Group
Health & Wellness offers the Being Fierce and Fabulous group for female-identifying students at UNH. This group is offered in the fall and spring semesters. The goal of the group is to provide students a safe space to explore who they are in order to live lives that are fulfilling emotionally, socially, physically and spiritually. Learn more about Being Fierce and Fabulous Programming...
Support Groups at UNH Psychological and Counseling Services
The Psychological and Counseling Services offers a variety of support groups each semester. Learn more about their groups...
Support Groups at UNH Health & Wellness
Living Well Services within Health & Wellness offers a variety of educational groups each semester. Learn more about their groups...
Supporting a Friend
Most survivors of sexual and relationship abuse disclose the assault or abuse to at least one other person, usually a friend. You can’t rescue your friend or solve their problems, but there are some ways you can help. Learn more here.
Resources and Referrals
While every survivor’s story is different, there are many resources throughout the UNH and seacoast community that can aid in your healing process.
SHARPP’s focus on the issues of sexual assault, relationship abuse, stalking and sexual harassment provides the community with advocates who are aware of the many resources available to survivors that you may need to utilize. Advocates can help connect you to the resources you need, but may not already be aware of.
Advocates may refer you to other organizations and accompany you to appointments with those organizations.
We can come to your classroom, residence hall, apartment complex, department, Greek house or other facility to provide a debriefing process in a format that allows individuals an opportunity to discuss their feelings and reactions to a traumatic event or difficult situation.
To schedule a debriefing consultation, please contact Amy Culp, SHARPP Director, at (603) 862-3494.