The Brock Student Sexual Violence Support Centre (A Safer Brock), is a student-driven non-profit organization providing support to those affected by sexual violence.
The centre was founded in 2011 to provide support to survivors of sexual violence, as well as their family and friends, and to help educate people in an attempt to prevent violence. In 2013, A Safer Brock secured funding which enabled it to expand its services and provide effective support for Brock students.
2011 saw yet another surge of outcries against sexual violence on campus which boosted the efforts to establish a violence support centre. A Safer Brock website states that, “The establishment of this centre should have happened decades ago in the early years of Brock University.”
Currently, the support services include a 24-hour texting support line, advocacy and accompaniments, and peer support. A 24/7 drop-in centre is located at 31 Ontario Street in downtown St. Catharines. All support services are completely confidential and can be entirely anonymous. These services are all available year-round, and at any time of day.
The campaign also educates against sexual violence through a variety of public education programs. They train students on the importance of consent and healthy relationships as well as safe drinking. For student staff and Brock faculty members, they offer training on how to be effective supporters to survivors of sexual violence.
“I am passionate about working to end sexual violence – it affects everyone. I am so proud to be a part of the work that we do,” said Jami Coughler, A Safer Brock Program Coordinator.
“Sexual violence is a devastating issue on all campuses, which is why it’s crucial to have an independent sexual assault support centre right here on campus supporting students. As an independent organization from the university, we have the autonomy to always put our service-users and students first,” Coughler stated.
A Safer Brock was founded by students with experience in sexual assault support centres. Currently, it is run by full-time professional and student staff members. Many volunteers also work at the Support Centre to help provide a variety of services.
Although an independent organization, A Safer Brock partners with Brock University or the Brock University Students’ Union (BUSU) on many initiatives.
“We receive incredible support from many people and departments around Brock, from staff at BUSU, to the wonderful folks at Printing Services, and to all the professors who invite us into their classrooms. The ways we support survivors of sexual violence is quite different from Brock departments, but we are all committed to creating a campus free of violence,” said Coughler.
If you or someone you know needs support dealing with sexual violence, text The Brock Student Sexual Violence Support Centre’s 24-hour support line at 289-990-7233. For more information about their services, visit ASaferBrock.org
Internal News Editor