Tag: Interlake Eastern Region of Manitoba

Sexual Violence Should Not Be a Part of the Post-Secondary Experience

For many, fall means back to school time – school has started again for children and youth and it’s back to campus life and classes whether virtual or in person for post-secondary students. Amongst the task of balancing schoolwork, jobs, and a social life, students are often faced with healing from the traumatic impacts of sexual violence.

Recently thousands of Western University students in Ontario attended a walk out in protest of several recent acts of sexual violence students experienced on and off campus during the university’s orientation week.

Four formal reports of assault that took place during the Universities orientation week have been made with police. We acknowledge that students at Western University are stating that the number of harassments and assaults are far higher than the number of formal reports. It is very common for survivors of sexual violence to chose not to make a formal report with police. Western University has indicated that they will increase their safety protocols including hiring safety ambassadors and implementing in-person training and education for students regarding sexual violence.

Unfortunately, the alarming rates of sexual violence including assault are not unique to Western University. Country wide post-secondary students are at a heightened risk of experiencing sexual violence while on campus especially during the back-to-school season of endless orientation events and parties.

Across Canada post-secondary students face an alarming rate of sexual violence each year. A 2019 Statistics Canada study reported that:

  • A majority of 71% of students at Canadian postsecondary schools witnessed or experienced Sexual violence in a post-secondary setting in 2019.
  • The vast majority of students who experienced violence, also indicated that the perpetrators of the violence were fellow students.
  • Survivors of sexual violence were of diverse genders, backgrounds, ability, and sexual orientation. However, women, 2SLBTQQIA+ students, and students living with a disability were more likely to experience sexual violence in a post-secondary setting.
  • Reports of sexual violence are at their highest during the first month of school.

In 2017, the Sexual Violence Awareness and Prevention Act was enacted in Manitoba. The legislation requires all post-secondary schools in Manitoba to raise awareness and education regarding sexual violence as well as the implementation of policies and procedures to respond to reports of sexual violence. Similar legislation is in place in other provinces and territories across Canada.

Despite this legislation, more needs to be done to change the culture of sexual violence amongst post-secondary institutions across Canada.

Sexual violence does not have to inevitably be a part of the university and college experience. We must change our attitudes and beliefs regarding consent and center our focus on holding those accountable for their actions and supporting survivors.

Seeking Support 

Support is available for those who have experienced sexual violence including support for those who have experienced sexual violence within a post-secondary setting.

Klinic Sexual Assault Crisis Line (24/7) 1-888-292-7565

Survivor’s Hope Crisis Centre – Is a sexual violence resource centre for those of all genders in the Interlake Eastern Region of Manitoba. We provide immediate 24/7 support to survivors through RCMP and Emergency departments and provide ongoing individual counselling and group support.
Phone: 204-753-5353
Website: survivors-hope.ca/

Brandon Women’s Resource Centre – Provides support and resource for women who have been sexually assaulted through the Sexual Assault Advocate Program. This can include accompaniment to police services, accompaniment to medical appointments, assistance with filing police reports, and referrals to Victim’s Compensation.
Telephone: 204-726-8632
Toll-Free: 1-866-255-4432
Website: thewomenscentrebrandon.com

Klinic Sexual Assault Crisis Program – Provides support and advocacy for survivors of all genders at hospital, police and court settings. Individual counselling is available. Located in Winnipeg, MB.
Phone: 204-784-4059
Website: klinic.mb.ca

Ka Ni Kanichihk – Heart Medicine Lodge – Provides culturally-based support and advocacy services for Indigenous women who have experienced sexual assault and sexual violence. Available to all who identify as women and are over the age of 18. Located in Winnipeg.
Phone: 204-953-5820
Website: kanikanichihk.ca/heart-medicine-lodge/

Support at Post-Secondary Institutions 

REES is an online platform for reporting of sexual violence within post-secondary institutions. The following post-secondary universities in Manitoba have partnered with REES to provide survivors the option of anonymously reporting post-secondary related sexual violence to their campus. REES can also connect survivors with information related to local supports and resources.

Assiniboine Community College
https://assiniboine.reescampus.ca/en/Faq#WhatIsAnonymousReportLink

Booth University College
https://boothuc.reescampus.ca/en/Faq#WhatIsAnonymousReportLink

Brandon University
https://brandonu.reescampus.ca/en/Faq#WhatIsAnonymousReportLink 
https://www.brandonu.ca/sexualviolence/

Canadian Mennonite University
https://cmu.reescampus.ca/
https://www.cmu.ca/students/studentlife/sexualviolence

Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology
https://mitt.reescampus.ca/en/Faq#WhatIsAnonymousReportLink

Providence University College & Theological Seminary
https://prov.reescampus.ca/en/Faq#WhatIsAnonymousReportLink

Red River College Polytechnic
https://rrc.reescampus.ca/en/Faq#WhatIsAnonymousReportLink
https://rrcsa.ca/contact/

Steinbach Bible College
https://sbcollege.reescampus.ca/en/Faq#WhatIsAnonymousReportLink

The University of Winnipeg
https://uwinnipeg.reescampus.ca/en/Faq#WhatIsAnonymousReportLink
https://www.uwinnipeg.ca/respect/sexual-violence/index.html

The University of Manitoba
https://umanitoba.ca/student-supports/sexual-violence-support-and-education

Université de Saint-Boniface
https://ustboniface.reescampus.ca/fr/Faq#WhatIsAnonymousReportLink

University College of the North
https://ucn.reescampus.ca/en/Faq#WhatIsAnonymousReportLink

What to Expect From Sexual Assault Recovery and Healing Counselling

Orange background with a light green circle in the top right corner. A dark green circle with a smaller purple circle on top of it in the bottom left corner. The bottom right corner has the survivor’s hope crisis centre logo which is a purple iris flower with dark green stacked text to the right that reads Survivor’s Hope Crisis Centre. Text outlined by a dark green box in the centre reads What to expect from Sexual Assault Recovery and Healing (SARAH) Counselling.Written by: LP Penner, SARAH Counsellor

Discomfort

Counselling can be awkward and scary! Meeting someone who is ready to hear a hard part of your story is weird.  We will not push you anywhere you are not ready to go but are ready to hold a safe space or slow things down as you face your own fears, trauma, or whatever. We will work to make the sessions safe enough to touch and eventually hold your story.

Choice

Sexual Assault means choice was taken away (no matter how much someone may feel responsible). This means we will work hard to change that dynamic, even if its just with your counsellor to start.

The first session is meant to introduce ourselves to one another and figure out what fits for you and what doesn’t. The counsellor may not be a fit for you and that is okay! We can work with you to find someone who is a fit.

We will make a plan for your healing and recovery journey together. The counsellor will not prescribe a goal but can use their experience and tools to help you find one(s) that feel right for you.

Empowerment

Power may have been taken away from you, or perhaps you’ve never felt like you had power. In the counselling sessions, you are in charge of you. You are the expert on your own life, how you heal and how you don’t. We will work as a cheerleader/coach as you claim power.

Free Services

We are funded to give free counselling to all people 15 years of age and over who live in the Interlake Eastern Health Authority. If you do not live in the Interlake or Eastern Manitoba we are available to explore resources that may be a fit.

Confidentiality

We work as a team, as such may consult with the other counsellor or our supervisor if we don’t know an answer (we are human after all) or if something you bring up, brings up our own struggles we may discuss our own reactions privately and respectfully. Otherwise, your information is completely confidential. The exceptions being if we are concerned for your or someone else’s safety, this includes high risk suicidality, risk of homicide and/or concern for the welfare of a child. Unless it would increase risk we would discuss options together. Though unlikely, Survivor’s Hope does document sessions and this could be subpoenaed for legal proceedings. Your counsellor would be happy to discuss confidentiality further if any of this feels weird for you.

SARAH Counselling is

Your choice – A little Uncomfortable – Empowering – Free – Confidential

We will use our tools, skills and knowledge to work to create a space with you when you can feel safe to be brave, within that you are the expert on your own needs, story, goals, readiness and what progress looks like.

Self-Care for Everyone

A dark green background. In the center of the image is orange text that reads Self-Care looks Different each day. In the top left corner is a yellow abstract circular shape. On top of the shape is light green squiggly line in the shape of an abstract circle. To the right of the shape overlapping is a collection of purple dots. In the bottom right corner is another yellow abstract circular shape. On top of the shape is a light green squiggly line in the shape of an abstract circle. In the bottom left corner is a light green circle. One top of the circle is the Survivor’s Hope Logo. the logo is a purple line drawing of an iris flower. Dark Green stacked text to the right of the flower reads Survivor's Hope Crisis Centre.Written by Candice Perry

Self – care is for everyone. It is an act of self – compassion. It is a practice that goes beyond bubble baths and pedicures (although those are terrific ways to relax and feel taken care of!) Everyday self – care involves the routines and habits we develop to take care of ourselves holistically.  Taking time to socialize with friends and family, nourishing ourselves as best we can and taking time for movement and rest are all daily practices that support our physical and mental well – being.

What are the benefits of taking time and making the effort for self – care? There is evidence that daily self – care habits can prevent more serious health problems down the road. For example, daily oral care prevents gum disease, which can contribute to tooth loss and potentially impact our cardiovascular health. Nourishing food helps to boost our immune system, so that we can fend off infection more effectively, as well as making us feel more energetic and can be preventative for more serious illness.

Self – care is holistic. The physical habits we practice contribute to our mental health. For example, daily movement during the day can help us sleep at night, which makes us feel sharper and in a better mood the next day. When we feel better emotionally, we might have more energy to practice those physical habits that make us feel better, so it becomes a positive feedback loop.

The isolation of the COVID – 19 pandemic challenged us individually to get creative in meeting our self care needs. We are now challenged to prepare to re – emerge from isolation while adjusting to make the world around us a more understanding and inclusive place where everyone can have their needs met.

Self- care practice is an ever evolving practice and systemic barriers such as poverty and racism, or experience violence and trauma can make it more difficult to practice self – care.  As we re-emerge and re-build, we can practice self – care to keep us energized and grounded and systems can work to transform to break down barriers that impede self care.

Small acts everyday can help to build a self-care practice. Anything like giving yourself permission to rest, to decide to sit out of specific activities that take your energy without rejuvenating you and doing things or spending time with people who give you joy are all part of self – care.  Everyday self-care practice for everyone.

Pronouns Matter

A light green background with a dark orange half circle in the top left corner and half circle in the bottom right corner. A purple line goes through both circles. A header at the top of the image in purple reads Pronouns. Text in dark green below reads they/them, she/they, ze/zir, he/him, he/they, she/her. The Survivor's Hope Crisis Centre logo is in the bottom left. the logo is a purple line drawing of a iris flower. Dark Green stacked text to the right of the flower reads Survivor's Hope Crisis Centre. Pronouns are used in everyday speech and writing to take the place of a person’s name. Once we know someone’s pronouns, it is important that we always use them. When we are meeting people for the first time when must take the time to ensure we know their pronouns so we can show our respect to those in our life.

What are pronouns?

A pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun. In the context of gender, pronouns are used to identify someone’s gender in the third person. Pronouns allow us to interact with one another while expressing ourselves. We may use the same pronouns throughout our life, our pronouns may change throughout our life or they may change throughout the day, day to day, or situation.

Some examples of pronouns include she/her/hers, he/him/his, ze/hir/hirs, they/them/theirs, she/they, him/they. However, there are many, many more pronouns that people may use.

Why do pronouns matter?

Our pronouns directly link to our gender identity and how our gender identity is expressed. When we use pronouns to refer to others, we affirm their gender identity. When we use pronouns to refer to someone that are incorrect it can make that person feel unwelcome, uncomfortable, invisible, and unsafe. Using the wrong pronouns by mistake or on purpose is called misgendering.

So how do I respond when I misgender someone? 

If you are having a conversation with someone and they let you know you are not using their correct pronoun:

  1. Acknowledge
  2. Rephrase
  3. Carry on

Example: My apologies thanks, yes, they like ice cream.  

If you are having a conversation with someone and you realize you are not using their correct pronoun:

  1. Rephrase
  2. Carry on

Ex. He plays guitar in a band, I mean she pays guitar in a band.

Mistake and slip ups happen, there is no need to profusely apologize or draw more attention to the error. Drawn out apologies could make everyone feel awkward.

How do you ask someone their pronouns?

We of course cannot know someone’s pronouns by looking at them or hearing them talk. We need to either ask someone their pronouns and/or listen when someone tells us their pronouns.

Ways to share your pronouns.

  • When you introduce yourself (in person and virtually)
    Hello, my name is Elisabeth, I use ae/aer pronouns.
  • Next to your name in email signatures, online video platforms, social media bios, gaming platforms, business cards, name tags etc.

Why might someone not share their pronouns?

We must recognize that sometimes people might choose not to share their pronouns. Or the pronouns they ask people to use might change depending on the situation. Someone might not feel comfortable sharing their pronouns in a particular space or they might feel unsafe because of transphobia and other acts of discrimination. They might not share their pronouns when introducing themselves or they might share pronouns that do not represent them but are used to protect one’s safety.

The most important lesson to remember is to use the pronouns any individual asks you to use.

Jokes about Sexual Violence Cannot be Tolerated in Online Spaces and Everyday Life

The way we communicate with our friends and family, coworkers and the rest of the world has drastically changed. We often rely on online spaces including apps, social media, email, and video chat services to connect. These spaces bring great benefits, but they also can provide space for hate, harassment, and abuse.

Recent social media posts have made light of sexual violence and subsequent claimed to have been jokes. Sexual assault is a traumatic and severe emotional and physical violation and jokes of rape, sexual assault or other forms of sexual violence cannot be tolerated whether online, in the workplace or in everyday life. Jokes about sexual violence reinforces and normalizes sexual violence and further perpetrates gender-based inequalities. Jokes about sexual violence can also further traumatize and trigger survivors of violence.

We all have a role to play in creating a safe online world. Leaders of online spaces including dating apps and social media platforms must take steps to ensure that they have effective policies and moderators in place to ensure harassment and abuse are not tolerated, and that perpetrators are held accountable, and their abusive content is removed from their platform. Individuals can become active bystanders and call out harassment and abuse. Individuals can report inappropriate content on the social media platform it appears on. We can also reach out to those that have been a target of online harassment and abuse to let them know we are available to chat, provide support or help them seek resources to support them.

How to report harassment and abuse on social media platforms

Guides are available for information on privacy settings and reporting tools on the following platforms Tiktok, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, Reddit, and Youtube. (click on the platform to open the guide).

How to report Non-Consensual Distribution of an Intimate Image

In Canada it is illegal for a person to distribute an intimate image of another person without that person’s consent.

Cybertip.ca receives and addresses reports of non-consensual distribution of intimate images of individuals under 18 years of age. To report child sexual abuse content including the sharing of images or video without consent see: cybertip.ca/app/en/report.

For more support for teens see: needhelpnow.ca/app/en/

For information regarding the non-consensual distribution of an intimate images of folks over 18 years of age see: cybertip.ca/pdfs/Ctip_SharingSexualPictures_en.pdf

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month

Left half of the image is a light green background. Right half of the image is a dark green background with teal lines going across it vertically. The centre of the image has a dark orange square with white text inside that reads “April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month”. There is a teal ribbon on the left top corner of the orange square. Survivor’s Hope logo is in the left bottom corner. The logo is a purple line drawn iris flower with the text “Survivor’s Hope Crisis Centre” written in dark green to the right of the flower.April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month – a time to raise awareness about the prevalence of sexual assault in our community.

Sexual assault is one form of sexual violence. Sexual violence occurs when one or more person forces or manipulates someone else into any unwanted act of sexual nature either physical or non-physical without their consent. It can happen to anyone of any age or gender and happens in all communities. Sexual violence includes but is not limited to sexual assault, sexual harassment, and sexual exploitation.

Survivor’s Hope is acknowledging Sexual Assault Awareness Month through several activities throughout the month including:

  • Day of Action – Tuesday, April 6, 2021 – Wear teal to show your support for survivors of sexual violence.
  • Denim Day – Wednesday, April 28, 2021 – Wear denim to take a stand against victim-blaming.
  • I’m Here for Your Cards – We created a series of cards that loved one’s can give (either in person or virtually) to survivors of sexual violence to let them know that a loved one is available to provide support.
  • Shifting from Stigma to Support: An Introduction to Trauma and Substance Use – Online Seminar – Manitoba Harm Reduction and Survivor’s Hope Crisis Centre are providing an online seminar exploring the connections between trauma including sexual assault trauma and substance use through a harm reduction lens.

For more information regarding SAAM and the activities we have planned check out our SAAM page.

As always, Survivor’s Hope Crisis Centre is here to offer hope and healing through support and education for individuals who lives have been impact by sexual violence in the Interlake Eastern Region of Manitoba. Through our SARAH program

  • 24/7 support is available for those who have just experienced sexual violence through local hospitals and RCMP detachments.
  • Free individual counselling is also available for those 16 years and older who has experience sexual violence.

For more information regarding our SARAH program check out our SARAH page.