Sexual Trauma Treatment Outreach and Prevention (STTOP)
The Sexual Trauma Treatment Outreach and Prevention (STTOP) Team is a multidisciplinary team of CAPS clinicians dedicated to providing confidential care, support, and advocacy to students who have experienced sexual trauma during their academic career. The culture of silence surrounding sexual assault and rape on campus and within our culture as a whole deters reporting, isolates victim-survivors, and undermines the safety and public health of all members of a community. The STTOP Team is committed to providing immediate support to students in need and to promoting awareness and change through active participation in campus outreach and collaboration with community partners. Members of the STTOP team are identified in the CAPS Staff Directory.
CAPS offers confidential and free professional services to undergraduate, graduate and professional students at Penn. If you call CAPS, you will speak with a mental health professional who can discuss options with you including how to contact a member of the STTOP team. You will be asked routine questions; it is your decision what details you feel comfortable disclosing. It is up to you whether you want to name or identify the offender. You do not have to tell your family members, academic program, or law enforcement, and you do not have to file a report with the university in order to receive care.
Penn Violence Prevention
Penn Violence Prevention is a collaborative program which works to engage the Penn community in the prevention of sexual violence, relationship violence, and stalking on campus. For more information about resources on campus, reporting options, or how to support a friend, see the Penn Violence Prevention website.
Contact the STTOP Team
If you think you have been raped, sexually assaulted, stalked or experienced an unsafe or confusing sexual encounter, you can call CAPS at 215-898-7021 Monday, Tuesday, and Friday between 9am and 5pm, Wednesday and Thursday 9am-7pm, and after-hours at the same number. Ask to meet with a member of the STTOP Team. You can also complete an Online Initial Consultation Request. A CAPS Clinician will return your call by the end of that business day.
STTOP Team Programs and FAQ
Support and Empowerment Groups for Sexual Assault Survivors
Information coming, please check back!
Support and Empowerment Group for Women of Color
The Support and Empowerment Group for Survivors of Sexual Assault is open to all self-identified women of color Penn undergraduate and graduate students who have been victims/survivors of sexual assault during their teen/adult years. Meeting weekly for 5 to 6 weeks, the group will aim to offer support, psychoeducation, and collective empowerment. Participants choose weekly topics related to recovery, the reestablishment of safety, healing, and coping. The group seeks to create a space to explore how race, ethnicity, and cultural identity inform connection and education when building support and relationships.
The group is co-facilitated by Soumya Madabhushi, a psychologist at CAPS, and Sanjana Bijlani, a social worker at Penn Women's Center. Please email either one to schedule a brief meeting before the group begins and to discuss any questions you may have.
Support group for Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse
The goal of this group is to create a space for female identified survivors of childhood sexual abuse to receive support, learn about the impact of trauma on their identities and relationships, develop healthy ways of coping, and process their trauma in safety. If you would like more information or would like to schedule an appointment to discuss membership in this group, please click here.
Support and Empowerment Group for Female Survivors of Sexual Assault
The Support and Empowerment Group for Sexual Assault Survivors is open to female Penn undergraduate and graduate students who have been victims of sexual assault during their teen and/or adult years. The groups will commence in the fall semester and run for 7 weeks with an option to continue during spring semester with an added therapeutic component. The group(s) provide support, psychoeducation, and collective empowerment. Weekly topics are chosen by the participants and related to recovery, the reestablishment of safety, healing, coping, and self-care. Several groups will be offered each with specific focus to membership identity. For more information, or to schedule an appointment to discuss membership contact Laura Collins or Brittan Davis.
Frequently Asked Questions
Was what happened to me bad enough to count?
If you experienced an unsafe or confusing sexual encounter or relationship and you are considering reaching out to the STTOP team, we encourage you to do so. You do not need to put a label on your experience to receive help. You are entitled to respect and whatever support you need.
Where can I find information on healthy sexuality?
It can be difficult to find information on healthy sexuality and sex positive behaviors. For more information on healthy sexuality including resources, glossaries, and scenarios for discussion, see the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.
Where can I find other resources on campus?
For more information about resources, please see the Penn Violence Prevention website. Penn has many confidential resources like Special Services, the Women's Center, and Student Health Service. We encourage students to reach out to whichever one they feel most comfortable with.
How can I support my friend?
Supporting a friend who has been assaulted, stalked or abused can be really hard. The role friends play in supporting survivors is essential, and it's different from that of a counselor, lawyer, or doctor. For information about helping a friend, please see the Penn Violence Prevention website.