A new extra-curricular program at Brock is aiming to raise awareness about sexual violence supports.
Organized by the Human Rights and Equity Office, the Sexual Violence Support Certificate program will educate members of the Brock community on a variety of topics relating to sexual violence, such as trauma and self-care, restorative justice, consent and disclosure, and LGBTQ+ and Indigenous perspectives.
One-in-three women and one-in-six men will experience some form of sexual violence at some point in their lifetime. Larisa Fry, Brock’s Sexual Violence Support and Education Co-ordinator, says having access and knowledge to a wide range of available resources can help participants begin a conversation and become more informed while also being a supporter and ally.
“This is an important opportunity to learn new language, gain new tools and inform oneself of new concepts,” says Fry. “We know sexual violence is predominant among vulnerable populations. Each of these workshops have been designed with a decolonizing intersectional lens in the hope that we can bring forward voices people would not normally hear.”
She says that her goal is for participants to have a better understanding of the impacts of sexual violence and how to be part of changing the conversation.
Each of the seven available sessions will be offered at least twice for students, with different times booked to accommodate varying class schedules. Sessions will also be offered to faculty, staff and other members of the Brock community, with details to be posted on Sharepoint in the near future.
The hour-long sessions will be led by members of the University’s Peer 2 Peer (P2P) support team, a new group of students with diverse backgrounds who deliver sexual violence workshops, events and training programs for the Human Rights and Equity Office.
Participants who complete five of the workshops over the course of the year will receive a Basic Sexual Violence Survivor Support Certificate, while those who complete all seven workshops will receive an Advanced Sexual Violence Survivor Support Certificate.
Fry says attending the events are relevant to all members of the Brock community, even if the subject matter can seem intimidating.
“It’s about trying to break down barriers,” she said. “Sometimes people are scared to talk to us because of what we talk about, but we can’t change a problem if we aren’t talking about it.”