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Sexual Violence Support

Submitted by gillian.edwards on Wed, 10/12/2016 - 11:04am

Sexual violence is any unwanted sexual attention or act against someone without their freely given consent. Please visit the university's Sexual Violence Support website for full resources and supports available to you. 

I think I have experienced sexual violence.

If you have experienced any form of sexual violence or unwanted sexual attention, there are a number of services and resources available to you. It's your choice to use any, or none, of them.

  • Make sure you're safe. 

    Your priority is to find a place that you feel physically and emotionally safe. 

    If you are in danger and for imminent life-threatening situations, call 9-1-1. For all other situations,  consider calling Campus Security at 403-220-5333 available 24 hours/day, 7 days/week.

    You choose what you do next. You might want to go to a safe place, like the home of a friend, co-worker, parent, or someone else you trust. It can be difficult, but you might want to talk with this person about what has been done to you. 

    Safewalk is available to walk you to your destination on campus 24 hours/day, 7 days/week. To request a Safewalk, call Campus Security at 403-220-5333 or use one of the Help Phones on campus.

  • Seek medical attention. 

    It's important to receive medical care to treat both physical and emotional injury as soon as possible after a sexual assault, even if you do not have obvious or visible injuries. If it's been a while since the assault happened, you can still seek this essential care. 

    On-campus, you can call the SU Wellness Centre (403.210.9355) or drop-in to the Centre during their hours of operation at 370 MacEwan Student Centre.

    The Calgary Sexual Assault Response Team (CSART) offers confidential care for people who have been sexually assaulted or raped in the past 96 hours. If you have been sexually assaulted within the past 96 hours and you are 14 years or older, CSART services can be accessed through the Sheldon M Chumir Urgent Care Centre (1213 4 Street SW).

    If you have been sexually assaulted over 96 hours ago, you can call Health Link at 811 or the Connect Family and Sexual Abuse Network at 403-237-5888 or 1-877-237-5888 toll free in Alberta. These resources will connect you with a local hospital or health care provider for medical attention.

  • Report the incident. 

    Choosing to report is up to you and can be a difficult decision. You can take time to think about it, and if you would like, discuss with someone you trust. If you decide that reporting is best for you, you can report in a number of ways. 

    Contact the police (9-1-1) or the non-emergency line (403-266-1234) at any time. You can also contact Campus Security (403-220-5333) or the Office of Diversity, Equity and Protected Disclosure (403-220-4086) to report an assault or incident. 

    If you are unsure about these processes, or have other questions about what to do next, you can call Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse at their support and information line (403-237-5888) or you can visit their website for a combination of written and video descriptions of the choices available to you. 

  • Find support. 

    Talking about sexual violence is not an easy decision. It can be helpful in your healing process to break the silence to get necessary help in dealing with this traumatic and sometimes confusing experience - it's up to you. 

    The SU Wellness Centre Counselling Service is located in the MacEwan Student Centre, room 370 and can be contacted at 403-210-9355.  The Distress Centre provides a 24-hour crisis line and can be contacted at 403-266-4357.

    Off-campus services like Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse and Connect Family & Sexual Abuse Network can also provide information and support. Both can be reached by phone (403-237-5888). 

I believe someone I know has experienced sexual violence.

Someone has just told you she/he/they have been sexually assaulted. What can you do?

  1. Believe them. Remind them it's not their fault. 
  2. Make sure they're safe. Ask if you can contact Police or Campus Security if there is an imminent safety issue. 
  3. Respect confidentiality. Ensure they understand how and when you will share information they have provided to you.
  4. Ask what support looks like for them. Let go of assumptions. Reporting to the police is not every survivor's version of justice.
  5. Value boundaries. Don't push for additional details. 
  6. Empathize. Understand everyone deals differently with trauma and everyone's healing process is not the same. 

Belief is a powerful tool and is often the first step in the positive healing of a sexual assault survivor. Survivors who get a positive response when they tell someone are more likely to get help and report. 

You also have a number of resources available to you, as you support someone through their healing process, available here

I would like more information about sexual violence prevention

There are a number of resources and organizations that can assist you in learning more about sexual violence prevention and education. 

Please visit the Sexual Violence Support website for current resources available to you. 

Sexual Assault Myths

Rethinking Prevention 

Sexual Assault Myths for Men