The Power of a Survivor-Centered Process

One brave student survivor, Brie Sivy, first brought Start by Believing to the campus of Ohio University. Since 2018, Brie has been publicly speaking and sharing her story alongside Detective Mathew Austin of the Ohio University Police Department and Kim Castor of the Survivor Advocacy Program. Their presentations highlight how the often-traumatizing experience of working with the criminal justice system can, in fact, be empowering for survivors if a survivor-focused approach and interdisciplinary team-model are used.

The Ohio University Police Department (OUPD) and Survivor Advocacy Program partnered with the University’s Communication and Marketing team to reach a wider audience. This gripping 30-minute documentary shows Brie’s journey from victim to survivor, to aspiring social worker. It powerfully illustrates the effects of trauma on memory, and shows the positive impact when police and advocacy work together with a common goal. A Discussion Guide is also available for audiences viewing the video.

(Content Warning: This video discusses an incident of sexual violence told from the perspective of the survivor.)

Brianna Sivy, Student, Survivor Advocacy Program at Ohio University, Columbus, OH

Mathew Austin, Detective, Ohio University Police Department, Athens, OH

Kimberly Castor, LISW-S, Director, Ohio University Survivor Advocacy Program, Athens, OH

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