The Centre for Sexual Violence Response, Support & Education

If you have experienced sexual assault or other forms of sexual violence – it is NOT your fault.

The Centre for Sexual Violence Response, Support & Education (known as the Centre) is here to offer support and resources if you or someone you know has experienced or been impacted by any form of sexual or gender-based violence – regardless of where or when it took place. You are in control of the support you receive, and we are here to help you in whatever path you wish to take for your healing journey. We hope to guide you and keep you informed so you can make the best decision for yourself.

Pride banner

On behalf of the Centre for Sexual Violence Response, Support & Education, we’d like to honour the rich history that is PRIDE and highlight the need for dedicated services and supports to 2SLGBTQIA+ community members as they are disproportionately impacted by Gender-Based Violence. 

Canada’s 2SLGBTQIA+ history is extensive and deserving of more attention, from unjust raids, arrests, and terminations to protests, picnics, and parades. These heinous acts perpetuated violence and have had longstanding effects on community members; these fears still exist today. 

To find out more about Canada’s 2SLGBTQIA+ history click here

We recognize that many institutions lack clear representation of queer relationships and center heteronormative experiences on matters of sexual violence. We are answering the call to de-center heteronormative experiences. 

Heteronormative sexual scripts dominate current media and culture and so they influence what we think about sex (Beres, 2004). Scripts are used to understand all things sex, i.e., what constitutes itself as sex, who initiates it, how to initiate it, how to respond to sex, etc. (Beres, 2004). These scripts are influenced by our environments, culture, past & current sexual experiences, etc.

In 2SLGBTQIA+ relationships scripts are still present and influence how sexual consent is negotiated. However, they may differ from those used in hetero relationships because there is no fixed script. This creates an environment where things cannot be as easily assumed with pre-written scripts and require more communication about wants, needs, and boundaries (Beres, 2004). 

Creating a comfortable space for open communication and continued dialogue can make it more clear to all parties whether consent is given. You can use the time before sex happens to talk about what your needs look like, what it is you like and what boundaries you may have. By paying attention to responses, body language, verbal and non-verbal cues, context, environment and our own power and privilege we can create a better understanding of consent in practice and contribute to a positive consent culture. 

Find more resources on our Resources page.

We serve our community using the H.E.R.E model


H

Help survivors get access to supports needed.


E

Educate the community about sexual violence.


R

Respond with care and compassion.


E

Empower survivors.

Resources

Discover the services and support available to survivors on and off campus.

File a complaint

Explore the steps to take when filing a report and what to consider when you are looking to initiate a complaint. We strongly recommend meeting with a Support & Services Coordinator prior to filing a complaint.

Become an Active Bystander

Learn about what to do if you've witnessed an act of violence, contribute to our community's fight against sexual violence and empower yourself with Active Bystander training.

Learn about upcoming virtual and in-person sessions on the Events & Workshops page.

FAQ

Yes. At the Centre, our goal is to meet you where you are at in your healing journey and support you in making informed decisions that will guide you. There are a variety of support options available to you outside of filing a complaint if you’re not ready or do not wish to.

Communicate with supports such as counselling, academic aid, housing resources and emergency financial assistance (on a case-by-case basis).

Remember, you're not required to file a complaint or disclose details you're uncomfortable with to access support.

We’re here to offer support and guidance, no matter when the experience of sexual violence occurred. Your timeline for seeking help is your choice, and we understand that healing from trauma is a unique and non-linear process.

Whenever you decide to reach out, our services will be available to help you on your journey to healing.

Support is always available to you, whether or not the individual who caused harm is a York community member.

York University's Policy on Sexual Violence applies to individuals within the university community, including students, staff and faculty.

With this in mind, the support can look different on a case by case basis. To understand your next steps, a support and service coordinator can meet with you and give you an in-depth explanation to help you understand, and make a plan that best suits your situation and needs.

Building trust and maintaining confidentiality is a huge factor in creating a safe environment for survivors to share their experiences and seek support. However, there are certain limitations to confidentiality, as outlined in York’s Policy on Sexual Violence: 

  • if an individual is deemed to be in immediate danger of self-harm or harming someone else;
  • if there's reason to believe that the York community or the broader community is at immediate risk of harm;
  • when York is legally obligated to investigate or act, such as incidents involving minors or responsibilities under occupational health and safety or human rights legislation. 

In these specific circumstances, while your confidentiality may be limited, our support and service coordinators will identify these limits before engaging in next steps to ensure you are in control of your narrative. Your well-being and safety will always be our focus throughout this process.