Parents and Families

The U-M Sexual Assault Prevention and Awareness Center (SAPAC) celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. Center Director Holly Rider-Milkovich shares thoughts for how parents can contribute to the community-wide work of creating a safe and healthy campus for all students.

How can parents help with sexual violence prevention efforts?

Keep talking with your student about relationships, values, consent, and respect.  These conversations are important, because students still need your guidance and support.

If your student experiences sexual misconduct, listen, offer your care, help connect them to resources, and let your student make the decisions. Parents can use the resources of SAPAC, which is a confidential resource for both students and parents.

As an institution, Student Life and the University of Michigan are committed to transparency about the significant challenges around Ending Sexual Misconduct on Campus. We welcome your questions and dialogue, and you can email me at

What’s happening for Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April?

SAPAC the Diag” on April 1 is when our student peer educators take over the Diag and host activities about promoting healthy sexuality and consent.

The first state-wide student activism conference on April 2 will allow SAPAC student volunteers to share  best practices plus learn from students at other campuses. And it’s exciting for students to connect with others who are really invested in ending sexual assault.

And the “Yes Means Fest” concert in mid-April will promote consent and healthy sexuality in a fun way. Local bands play and students share information between acts to normalize consent as a practice on campus.

What’s next?

We need to continue to develop and expand educational initiatives for all students, beyond their first year, because all students are at risk for experiencing harm. And no other institution has yet developed and implemented these programs on a large scale, so we must build the programs from the ground up.

One of the exciting and challenging parts of being a national leader in sexual violence prevention on college campuses is that we are often innovating new programs and sharing them with other campuses.

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