Helping Students with the Sexual Trauma Empowerment Program


Sexual trauma leaves individuals feeling powerless and out of control.

STEP, which stands for the Sexual Trauma Empowerment Program, is a program offered by the Counseling Center that specifically addresses the needs of sexual trauma victims and survivors.

"STEP encompasses a variety of services allowing survivors to engage in those that meet their needs, and as with all counseling at the Counseling Center, these services are confidential," said Dr. Patricia Crocker, coordinator of STEP.

Students can receive individual counseling or group counseling. Since the Counseling Center is exempt from Title IX, all information given in counseling sessions is confidential and will not be reported against a student's wishes.

STEP can also help students with medical, judicial and legal referrals.

Consultation services are available as well. This includes providing students an understanding of the services available to them on the JMU campus and in Harrisonburg, and friends and family of survivors can learn how to support a survivor.

Students can set up an appointment by calling 540-568-6552 or by visiting the Counseling Center on the third floor of the Student Success Center

Some more information about STEP:

  • Formal sexual trauma programming for students was introduced in 2010 under Sexual Assault Response Services
  • Sexual Assault Response Services was renamed STEP in 2013


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Published Sept. 16, 2014

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Published: Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Last Updated: Thursday, October 20, 2016

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