Empowerment and Healing

CARE recognizes that healing from sexual and relationship violence isn't limited to one modality or program.

Healing from sexual & relationship violence can be a unique and empowering experience that can happen through different ways. The Empowerment & Healing Series at the UC Riverside CARE Office strives to create spaces where survivors who have experienced trauma can find support, connection, and community. After experiencing sexual & relationship violence many people may feel depressed, angry, be anxious all the time, scared, they may experience self-blame and guilt, feelings of not being able to trust people and may experience flashbacks and nightmares among other social, physical, emotional and spiritual impacts. Some survivors may experience feelings of being alone, isolated, have difficulty concentrating or focusing in class/work and may not be able to sleep.

CARE helps develop, co-sponsor and/or promote campus programs that can provides survivors opportunities to explore ways of healing, safety and support. These programs may provide a space to process, learn coping skills, and connect survivors to a community across campus. Programs are confidential and open to survivors of all genders.


Contact us for information regarding these programs at or call 951.827.2783

  • Healing Through Our Senses

    “Healing Through Our Senses” is a trauma-informed series developed to build sensory-based skills to aid in a person’s healing journey. Sensory integration experiences in trauma healing methods can be a helpful addition to traditional therapies. The “Healing Through Our Senses” program will work to serve the UCR community by providing alternative healing methods related to the senses. By providing spaces where individuals can safely engage their senses, survivors can explore personal strategies to reduce negative symptoms like PTSD, stress, anxiety, and depression. 


    Hofmann, & Gómez, A. F. (n.d.). Mindfulness-Based Interventions for Anxiety and Depression. Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 40(4), 739–749.

    Masuo, Y., Satou, T., Takemoto, H., & Koike, K. (2021). Smell and Stress Response in the Brain: Review of the Connection between Chemistry and Neuropharmacology. Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 26(9), 2571.

    Van der Kolk, B. A. (2015). The body keeps the score: brain, mind, and body in the healing of trauma. New York, New York, Penguin Books.

  • Healing Through R'Garden

    These programs explore healing through horticulture and gardening—the practice of planting, cultivating and growing plant systems through community. Involvement with nature, whether experienced in the “wilderness” or a nearby community garden, can reduce stress, anxiety and increase an overall sense of well-being. Partnering with UCR’s R’ Garden, survivors will be able to connect with one another, plant seeds, harvest free fresh food and vegetables in our garden and be guided through relaxation and meditation exercises while discussing community healing practices in our very own community garden.

    "I had a wonderful time. It did help a lot to see the many plants and to smell them, even taste the cherry tomatoes. It helped take my mind off things, listening to the birds and the feeling the peacefulness of being surrounded by nature." --UCR Student Participant 

  • Healing Through Art

    These programs explore healing through the power of art activism and personal artistic expression. If you don't have the need to talk about what's happening, art can be helpful in processing emotions, thoughts and feelings.

    Art Canvas: Connect with what you are feeling, use a canvas and paint brush as you are guided through this modality of healing.

    Soul Collage: Join Student Affairs Case Managers as they guide participants through an interactive art exercise designed to empower and address your "soul" needs. Whether it's coping with stress or anxiety, or wanting to do a bit of "soul searching," Soul Collage is a program for you.

  • Trauma-Informed Yoga

    This four-week yoga series for survivors of sexual trauma explores reconnection to the mind and body. This program provides survivors of sexual violence a means to connect to their bodies and allows them to explore the benefits of mindfulness, guided practice and meditation. Students must submit an application to participate in the yoga series.

    For more information about the program, or to apply, please contact a CARE advocate, at (951) 827-5669 or

    “I’ve gained strength in myself and strength to accept that what happened to me happened, but it didn’t or doesn’t define me.” --UCR Student Participant
     “I gained the ability to get back into touch with myself. I learned I have my needs and that I deserve to voice them. I deserve to feel safe, to be happy and to have my voice heard.” --UCR Student Participant 

  • Counseling and Group Therapy

    For those seeking individual or group support, these sessions will provide tools for how to express and process difficult emotions and develop self-compassion and self-care strategies. Sessions are free and confidential, facilitated by Counseling and Psychology Services (CAPS).

    CARE and CAPS are working together to create group therapy specific to survivors of sexual violence and relationship violence. We will be sure to share more details when the program is up and running!

  • Healing Through Mindful Self-Care

    Mindful Mondays

    Start your week centered and grounded place by taking a moment for yourself.  Come to the HUB on Mondays from 9-12, listen to the music and try the Mindfulness exercises displayed on posters throughout the HUB as a brief self check-in. In collaboration with The Well.

    Guided Meditations

    • UCR CAPS offers relaxation exercises.
    • UCLA hosts a great website with free guided meditation exercises.
    • Access guided muscle relaxation and guided imagery from our partners at Dartmouth University.
    • You can enjoy the deep relaxation, stress relief and benefits of meditation now with the Take a Break app (available for iOS and Android). Featuring two popular meditations from the Meditation Oasis podcast, the app gives you the option to listen with or without music or nature sounds. You can also listen to the relaxing music and nature sounds without the meditations

    Breathing Exercises

    • Anxiety Canada offers this guide to calm breathing (sometimes called “diaphragmatic breathing"), a technique that helps you slow down your breathing when you’re feeling stressed or anxious.
    • The 3 Minute Mindfulness (available for iOS) app offers free breathing exercises to reduce stress, anxiety and depression.

    Wellness Wednesdays

    Boost your social, physical and mental health with free, fun workshops every week. During each Wednesday of the quarter, The WELL and its campus partners lead a wellness activity in HUB 269 at 4pm. Free refreshments are always provided and the topic changes weekly, so come to any or all sessions. Past programs have included Native American beading, Movies for Mental Health, self-care yoga, speed-friending and midterms massage. These events are open to all UCR students. Check for this quarter's schedule.

    PB&J (Peanut Butter & Jogging)

    PB&J is a fun way to work some activity, socializing, stress-relief and nutrition into your day. Meet at The WELL (HUB 269), walk or run with people of all fitness levels on a route that changes daily, then enjoy snacks after your morning workout. Grab your food and go, or stay and socialize. All are welcome! PB&J hours change quarterly, so check for the current schedule.

  • Empowerment-Based Personal Safety

    Self-Defense Workshops: An inclusive, empowerment-based quarterly program facilitated by Get Safe that focuses on self-defense strategies and discussions on practicing assertion skills, safety awareness, and empowerment. 

    Safety Strategies: Find out more information on protective and risk-reduction strategies when on and off campus with our Education resources.