Call for Help

Support Groups for Survivors

UHS offers confidential support and processing groups for UW–Madison student survivors of sexual assault, domestic/dating violence, sexual harassment, stalking, and/or childhood sexual abuse. These groups provide an opportunity to connect with other student survivors and give and receive feedback in a supportive environment.

The support group is a safe space. Attendees must be sober from the time they arrive until the time they leave group. Those who are intoxicated or under the influence will be asked to leave.

There is no fee for these groups. Explore our current group offerings.

If you have questions or want to connect to other resources, please email survivorservices@uhs.wisc.edu.

Find 24-hour confidential help from victim advocacy organizations.

UHS offers a 24-hour mental health support line as well as an immediate triage appointment during business hours. Call 608-265-5600.

Spring 2020 Support Groups

Reclaiming Pleasure: Navigating Sex and the Body After Trauma
Check back for updates on time and location.

Reconnecting to your body and sexuality can be an empowering part of recovering from sexual violence. This group provides a space to explore, process, and navigate the effects of sexual trauma on body, sexuality, and sense of self. This group will center pleasure (and the many forms that may take) as an essential and joyful component to reconnecting to your body and sexuality after trauma.

A short screening appointment is required in order to join this group. To schedule a screening appointment email survivorservices@uhs.wisc.edu and indicate your interest in this group. We also honor requests for accommodations.

Dane County Support Groups

Frequently Asked Questions

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How do I join? Do I need to register?

A screening appointment is required in order to join Reclaiming Pleasure: Navigating Sex and the Body After Trauma. This appointment gives you the opportunity to meet the group facilitators, ask any questions you may have, and discuss whether this group is a good fit for you. Please email survivorservices@uhs.wisc.edu to schedule a screening appointment.

If group is canceled, how do I find out?

Student survivors can check this website for group cancellations, but group will generally not be canceled unless the university is closed or the facilitators are ill.

Can I attend if I'm not a UW–Madison student?

No. UHS only offers groups to UW–Madison students. Please see additional information about support groups offered by community agencies.

What is a typical group session like?

Drop-In Empowerment Support Group is a time for UW student survivors to connect with peers and offer feedback and support in a confidential and safe environment. Group members determine the topics that would be most helpful to talk about and group facilitators help foster a space that is open , affirming, and connecting for all members.

If I come, do I have to talk?

No. If you feel more comfortable listening to others and sitting in silence, that is your choice. Some people find it difficult to open up to people they do not know well, and others find it comforting. We respect your decision to participate at your own pace.

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Who leads the group?

Groups are led by UHS Mental Health Providers who specialize in working with individuals who have experienced sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, sexual harassment, stalking and/or childhood sexual abuse. Two staff leaders facilitate conversation, encourage peer-to-peer learning, and encourage self-exploration.

Is what I say confidential?

Yes. Confidentiality is a cornerstone of our services and why we require not only the group leaders but also attendees to uphold the confidentiality of all who participate. Confidential means that—as allowable by law—the information student survivors who are 18 years and older share with us will never be shared to law enforcement, campus authorities, parents, or any other person without the explicit written permission of the student victim/survivor.

I'm not a survivor, can I attend?

No, the group is specifically designed for UW–Madison students who have experienced sexual assault, dating/domestic violence, sexual harassment, stalking, and/or childhood sexual abuse. In order to protect the safety and confidentiality of attendees, we do not allow observers. Reporters, journalism students, people interested in the professional role of victim advocates, and/or people attempting to educate themselves about sexual violence who are there to participate in the empowerment group will be asked to leave. UHS Violence Prevention & Survivor Services also provides training and consultation to the UW–Madison campus.

My campus job requires me to report crime information that I hear or that is told to me. Can I still attend?

Probably. The group is confidential, and there are no exceptions. We require all participants sign and abide by the terms of our participation agreement. If you commit to keep what you learn about other students in group confidential—just like you would expect them to do for you—you are welcome to participate. If you cannot fully protect the confidentiality of group attendees—including name, all details about their victimization experience(s), and anything else they may share—you will not be able to participate. If you received training or were notified that you must report information about these crimes and feel that not reporting would be a violation of your job, you will not be able to participate, but one-on-one victim advocacy services are available to you.

Can I go to the group and use advocacy and/or counseling services through Survivor Services?

Yes. Consult with our staff via email about our services.