Sexual and gender based violence

Meet the Team

Meet UCalgary’s sexual and gender-based violence support and response coordinator

The recommended first point of contact at the university for anyone who has been impacted by sexual or gender-based violence is the Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Office.

Learn more about the role of Carla Bertsch, UCalgary’s sexual and gender-based violence co-ordinator - and what accessing support may look and feel like - in this short video.

Carla Bertsch

Meet Carla

Carla Bertsch (she/her) is a queer, Cree and Métis, cisgender woman. She holds bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Justice Studies, as well as a master’s degree in Social Work. She is guided by her social work education as well as 20 years of professional experience working in gender-based violence, education and mental health.  
Carla brings an intersectional, trauma-informed perspective to her role championing the needs of anyone impacted by sexualized violence and works hard and is continually aware of creating a safe space for people of all genders, sexualities and backgrounds. As the Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Support Coordinator at U of C, her office serves as the primary point of contact for all members of the University community who are impacted by sexual violence. She also advocates for those community members by providing independent, impartial and confidential emotional support including effective referrals to resources on and off campus, as well as navigating and negotiating necessary accommodations on behalf of impacted individuals.  
Carla also leads education initiatives and delivers workshops on sexual violence, prevention, consent, gender equity, and gender socialization to inform and empower the campus community. Carla is a strong advocate for all oppressed communities, knowing that our liberation, equity, and just treatment in all aspects of life, is connected.

Katie O’Brien

Meet Katie

Katie O’Brien (they/them) is a registered social worker who is passionate about creating radically inclusive spaces for 2SLGBTQIA+ communities. They are a graduate of Mount Royal University (Dip. Social Work) and the University of Calgary (B.A. in Sociology, minor in Biological Sciences).

Throughout their career so far, Katie has focused on developing and implementing programs using anti-oppressive, feminist, and trauma- and violence-informed care frameworks. Katie’s work as the Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Support Advisor brings together their strong facilitation skills with their experience in providing empathetic, community-centred support for victims/survivors of sexual and gender-based violence.

As a white settler originally from St. John’s, Ktaqmkuk, on the unceded territory of the Beothuk and Mi’kmaq, they strive to bring anti-racism to the forefront of their practice, recognizing the legacy of violence that social work has perpetrated against Indigenous, Black, and racialized peoples since the profession’s inception.