This April, we urge you to be aware of the ongoing crisis of campus sexual assault. The experience of sexual harm while in college creates unique struggles and challenges during a critical time in the lives of young students. Greenlight Counseling is here to help.

This issue remains pervasive on college campuses across the US and Chicago is no exception. According to the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), 13% of all students experience rape or sexual assault through physical force, violence, or incapacitation. Among undergraduate female college students, this number increases to 26.4%. It is startling to think that out of a student friend group of four young women, at least one of them is likely to have experienced sexual harm.

In a study of Sexual Victimization and Acedmic Performance Among College Women, student survivors reported lower academic efficacy, higher academic-related stress, less commitment to remaining in school, and less diligence in academic responsibilities than peers. A separate study on Violence Victimization on a College Campus revealed that the college dropout rate for survivors of sexual harm is 34.1%, which is approximately 10% higher than the overall rate. Sexual harm has drastic and damaging effects that, without help, can change a student’s life for the worse.

Greenlight Counseling 

Greenlight Counseling empowers student survivors of sexual harm to find healing and reconnection through 20 free, confidential counseling sessions. Program Coordinator Ashley deRamos-Stark, LSW, works hard to ensure that students across the metro-Chicago area know that Greenlight can help at no cost.

The theme of Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) 2024 is Building Connected Communities. The National Sexual Violence Resource Center shares that to reduce sexual harm, “we must strive to create strong, connected communities that take care of one another.” In the past year, Greenlight Counseling has made strides in connecting with campus communities. 

Three student interns, each from different local campuses, assist Ashley in conducting intentional outreach at over 70 campuses and community groups across Chicago. From building relationships with student leaders to hosting educational events for their peers, these students have spread awareness and strengthened bonds with campus communities. Greenlight appreciates their dedicated efforts and valuable insights. 

In addition to student intern outreach, Ashley frequents campuses herself and raises awareness about our services, promotes mental health, and conducts response and prevention education. She participates in panels, campus fairs, student organization meetings, and coordinated community response teams. Ashley engages with students through meaningful conversation while offering wellness resources and activities. 

This important outreach connects student survivors with Greenlight Counseling’s 20 free sessions of therapy. Students may contact Greenlight to access care by phone, text, email, or a contact form. After a quick, free consultation, student survivors are swiftly paired with a Greenlight counselor. For maximum comfortability, identity preferences and counselor specializations are considered in this matching process.

Greenlight counselors are highly qualified licensed therapists of various professional backgrounds. They specialize in sexual assault counseling and trauma-informed recovery and are available for in-person or virtual counseling. These counselors come from a diverse variety of personal and professional backgrounds and identities to accommodate student preferences for gender, sexuality, race, practice methods, and specializations.

Love + Light: A Benefit to Support Sexual Assault Survivors

Greenlight Counseling creates transformational change in the lives and mental well-being of student survivors across Chicago. If you would like to support the Greenlight Counseling program, consider donating or attending the Love + Light Benefit on April 25, 2024 from 6:00 to 9:00PM.

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