Gender and Sexual Violence FAQs

COVID- 19 SPECIFIC INFORMATION

Covid-19 has led to increased social isolation, which can be dangerous for those that live with an abuser. If you are in immediate danger or fear for your safety, please call 911. 

Our services are still open during isolation. You can make a disclosure online following the video above or by emailing SVSEC@brocku.ca.

 

Here are some online resources to check out:

  • Luke’s Place has posted useful tips for people isolated with a domestic partner, such as  
    • Carry your cell phone with you at all times, but keep it tucked away.
    • Know where every exit in your home is. 
    • Develop a code word with trusted friend, family member or child to use when you need them to dial 911 for help. 
  • Steps to Justice Ontario has compiled a list of tips and resource lists for people that are isolated with an abuser. This includes legal services, hotlines, shelters, and helplines in Ontario. If necessary, please use the HIDE SITE button, located at the top of the page. 
  •  In response to this alarming increase, the Canadian Women’s Foundation (CWF) has launched the Signal for Help initiative – a one-handed sign anyone can use over video to indicate they require assistance. The signal is the symbolic entrapment of the thumb in the palm. While some people are able to connect with others outside their home via text, email or video chat, those with abusive partners are often being monitored on their devices, making a vocal statement or text for help more dangerous than a silent signal.  

Because most of our interactions must be online rights now, please make sure to follow these next steps to take care of yourself while socially isolated. For more resources check out our self-care webpage here! 

  • Minimize watching, reading or listening to news about COVID-19 that causes you to feel anxious or distressed; seek information only from trusted sources and mainly so that you can take practical steps to prepare your plans and protect yourself and loved ones. Seek information updates at specific times during the day, once or twice. The sudden and near-constant stream of news reports about an outbreak can cause anyone to feel worried. Examples may include COVID-19-related news, comment sections of online posts/articles, and online spaces where other users are unknown to you. 
  • Reducing internet time. Please consider taking regular breaks and setting up a routine/schedule, prioritizing assignments, identifying goals, and checking in with yourself regularly. For more information, please consider reading this article from CTV News.

We must acknowledge that during times of social isolation, people may turn to various forms of cybersex (video chats, chatrooms, sexting, etc.) to feel connected to others.  

Check out our online discuss about online safety and online sexual safety here. 

Here are some tips: 

  • Trust the person you are communicating with to ensure they are who they say they are to avoid catfishing. 
  • Ensure your videocalls, message applications, etc. are secure and protected if you want to maintain privacy. 
  • Know that cybersex is never 100% secure, the person/people on the other side could be recording you without your knowledge.  
  • The same rules that apply to consensual sex in-person also apply to consensual cybersex: Freely Given, Reversible, Informed, Enthusiastic, Specific.  For more information about consent, please check out this resource from Planned Parenthood.
  • Check what your comfort zone levels are before engaging.

During these unprecedented times, it may be challenging to stay social.

Here are some tips to help: 

  • Netflix party is a fun way of being connected to friends and family through Netflix while isolated. Please check out https://www.netflixparty.com/ for more information on how to install Netflix Party. 
  • Keep a routine and make plans with friends and family to get social. This can include setting up regularly scheduled video or phone calls. For more tips, please check out this article from Wired.
  • YouTube tutorials are a great way to learn something new and join online communities. Examples include exercise, yoga, crafts, cooking and baking. Consider watching an information video about any skill or area of interest that intrigues you! 

Yes, our office is still open! We have now changed into an online only system. To get support please visit here or email us at SVSEC@brocku.ca.

GENDER AND SEXUAL VIOLENCE GENERAL INFORMATION

Our main office is located in Mackenzie Chown Block E room 215 (MC E 215) 

 

We handle all gender and sexual violence matters for Students, Staff and Faculty. Providing you are connected to the Brock University community we would be happy to assist. Remember our services are not limited to on – campus incidents 

Our services included but not limited to:  

  • Disclosure/Reporting of sexual violence
    • Anonymous Disclosure
    • Third Party Disclosure
    • Informal Disclosure
    • Formal Report 
  • Counselling supports 
  • Arranging accommodations for survivors of sexual violence 
  • Support Groups- survivor group
  • Peer to Peer Supports 
  • Gender and sexual violence education 
  • Enacting the Brock Sexual Assault and Harassment Policy 

 

You are welcome to visit our offices, email us at SVSEC@brocku.ca or call us at 905-688-5550 ext6174. Alternatively, you can complete our online disclosure form here.  

During this period of COVID-19 isolation however, email and phone calls are our main methods of contact.  

Due to closures from Covid-19, Larisa Fry, our Sexual Violence Support and Education Advisor, is available via: email at svsec@brocku.ca or phone: 905-688-5550 ext.6174. 

Please note that during this time of Covid –19 restrictions, all appointments are being held online through voice or video conferencing. 

You can also check out our website for further resources. 

If you’re unsure, feel free to contact Larisa via email svsec@brocku.ca or phone 905-688-5550 ext. 6174.  We are happy to discuss the issue with you to see where we can help. If we cannot help you directly, we have a range of resources and connections to ensure you get to the best help suited to your situation.  

No, there are a variety of options available to help you address instances of gender and sexual violence. We use a trauma and violence informed approach which prioritize the wants and needs of sexual violence survivors, allowing them to determine how to proceed with their case.  

  • The only time we share your information is if you ask us to share your information with a support service (police, counsellor, family, etc.), or if we feel there is an imminent danger to yourself or others. Either way this would be an open conversation that starts with you.  

 

No, Gender and Sexual Violence Support and Education handles incidents involving anyone in the Brock University community. Including but not limited to professors, teaching assistants, administration assistants, campus security, on campus workers of any kind, contract workers, graduate students, undergraduate students, international students and visitors. 

No, you can choose whichever disclosure or reporting option best suits you. The process is driven by the outcome you desire. You can also withdraw from the various reporting processes at any time. To talk this out, or ask questions on this process we encourage you to connect with our sexual violence advisor Larisa via email (svsec@brocku.ca), phone (905 688 5550 ext. 6174) or in person visits (MC E 215).

For details, please visit our Gender and Sexual Violence Disclosing and Reporting Options Page for more information.

Any form of non-consensual sexual contact and behaviour which is includes but is not limited to sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, sexual exploitation, indecent exposure, and voyeurism. 

Our peer to peer team is a group of highly trained student sexual violence education and prevention workers, who are available to provide support to any member in the Brock University community.

They can provide supports including:  

  • Connecting individuals with sexual violence supports and resources 
  • Providing informal and formal opportunities to report or talk about sexual violence  
  • Leading educational workshops on sexual violence  
  • Facilitating sexual violence training  

To find out more about P2P click here.

The sexual violence unit is always looking for eager volunteers, in order to work with us, please visit our volunteer webpage! 

The Sexual Violence Support Certification is available for those who complete at least five of the seven Sexual Violence Education Workshops during a single academic year. It serves to identify the certificate holder as someone with foundational knowledge about sexual violence and a desire to combat sexual violence

To learn more about the certificate check out our Events and Actions page!