Sexual violence support workshops: join the conversation

Photo Credit: Michelle Ding on Unsplash

Photo Credit: Michelle Ding on Unsplash

As part of their Sexual Violence Support Certificate Program, the Sexual Violence Support and Education office at Brock University is holding a series of workshops aimed at addressing sexual violence and its impact on community members at Brock.

The workshops are an opportunity for people to get introductory level information about the effects of sexual violence on vulnerable communities and to recognize the part they may play in assisting survivors.

Each of the workshops will be taking an intersectional approach by highlighting the perspectives of sexual violence in different communities. In particular, the workshops will be addressing the LGBTQ+, Anti-Ableist and the Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) perspectives. This approach gives individuals who attend a more detailed and community specific understanding of the realities of sexual violence and to better understand why specific populations are so vastly impacted by sexual violence.

In September 2020, new workshops will be added to the program in order to bring even more perspectives to light. This ensures that individuals are better equipped to be active bystanders and help survivors move forward.

The hope is that everyone within the community, whether or not they have been personally impacted by sexual violence, will be able to take something away from these workshops. There are workshops for those have been personally affected by sexual violence, however, the intended purpose of this program is to educate the community on the spectrum of sexual violence.

“The idea of giving an entry level conversation for people is not something that we are seeing being done in very many places. In fact, the whole program has been recognized by several other universities as a very unique program in our approach,” said Larisa Fry, the sexual violence support and education coordinator. “Our idea is to get this to be a conversation that we can have and make sure that people have a common understanding.”

These workshops are offered to anyone at Brock or in the community. Additionally, there is also an opportunity to be awarded a Sexual Violence Support Certificate, by completing five workshops, or an Advanced Sexual Violence Support Certificate by completing seven workshops. For Brock students who want their Campus-Wide Co-Curriculum (CWC) record, or community engagement tracked, workshop attendance also adds to students’ CWC certificate.

For any sexual violence survivors looking for support, there are survivor groups run by the department such as their ‘Finding Calm After the Storm’ group that starts mid-January, which is currently accepting members. There is also Peer to Peer drop in for individuals on campus that are struggling and looking for general information on sexual violence and understanding where to get help and what options are open to them.

In an effort to make sure that there is something that appeals to everyone, there is a variety of work and outreach being done by the HRE department. There was an “Art Speaks” exhibit displayed downtown on the week of November 11 and those pieces are now on display in the hallways at Brock. The ‘HRE Film Series’ is also currently going on. These events and programs share the goal of the sexual violence support workshops — bringing as many people to the discussion as possible.

The dates and titles of each workshop for the rest of this term can be found on the Human Rights and Equity (HRE) website. The schedule for the winter semester will be published by the beginning of December and posted on ExperienceBU as well, where anyone who wishes to attend the workshops can sign up.

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