DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Campus and Community > Wellness Wednesday: Let's continue the talk about sexual and relationship violence
By Jess Peterson /
May 5, 2021 /
Posted in: CAMPUS AND COMMUNITY /
(DePaul University/Randall Spriggs)Just before the beginning of Sexual Assault Awareness Month this April, the Office of Health Promotion and Wellness welcomed its new sexual and relationship violence prevention specialist. Sara Heidbreder began in her new role on March 22, just in time to shepherd in a month full of SAAM programs.(Image courtesy of Sara Heidbreder)
Heidbreder comes to DePaul from Apna Ghar, an organization which provides holistic services and conducts advocacy across immigrant communities to end gender-based violence. As an introduction to the community, Heidbreder appeared on Instagram Live in April to answer questions about sexual assault and relationship violence.
During the session, Heidbreder fielded questions about who is most at risk for sexual violence. She noted, in general, people in marginalized communities are more vulnerable.
“Sexual and relationship violence, at its root, is about power and control over a targeted person, group or community," Heidbreder shares. “When a system or structure gives more power to one group, the other groups present in the space lose some power or are granted less power. People in marginalized communities have limited power and significantly less access to resources and safety, which can make them more vulnerable."
Heidbreder shared that although sexual and relationship violence can be experienced by anyone, regardless of racial or gender identity or socio-economic status, her special interest is to support those who may not have easy or any access to resources.
“As a first-generation immigrant, I like to bring my personal experiences to connect with people and work with each survivor with individualized support," she says.
Throughout April, HPW offered many other events and discussion opportunities on sexual assault, gender-based violence and survivor support in April. If you missed the events but want to learn more, visit the HPW blog. More resources and a recording of Instagram Live are posted on HPW's Instagram account, @healthydepaul.
Even though SAAM is over for this year, Heidbreder is excited to continue to provide trainings and workshops around sexual violence, healthy relationships, boundaries and related topics to students, faculty and staff. To request a workshop or explore collaboration opportunities, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.