The Betsy’s Friends Peer Education Program is named after Simmons Alumna, Elizabeth ‘Betsy’ McCandless, ’71, who in 1992, lost her life to domestic violence at the hands of her estranged ex-husband. News of her violent death rocked the Simmons community. Betsy’s classmates, along with a number of staff members, came together to create the Betsy McCandless Memorial Fund in her name and launched a number of University-wide initiatives to spread awareness and education around the issues of gender-based violence.
Betsy’s Friends is a peer support group on campus that works with students to promote healthy partnerships by providing 1 to 1 peer support and weekly educational meetings. 1 to 1 peer support is run by peer supporters who are trained undergraduate students that can discuss relationships, being a survivor, how to help a friend, navigating resources on campus, and more. The Betsy’s Friends office also has a free library, free menstrual products, and free safer sex supplies for anyone to pick up! A few examples of meeting topics are how to foster an ideal partnership, how to help a friend, consent, and more.
Follow Betsy’s Friends on Instagram: @simmons_vpeo