Raising awareness about sexual violence is essential, but we can and should do so much more
May is Sexual Violence Awareness month, and it provides the opportunity to not only increase awareness about sexual violence, but also to build and strengthen capacity to end sexual violence on our campuses and broader communities.
The Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office, along with partners like the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region (SASC), have created opportunities this month for all campus community members to work individually and collectively to end sexual violence.
Please share these workshops, events, and resources widely within your networks. There is power in standing with survivors, and in normalizing important conversations about consent, healthy sexual relationships, being an upstander and ally, and supporting survivors in our lives.
Explore Sexual Violence Awareness Month Events and Workshops
Wednesday, May 5, 1-2:30pm: Responding to Disclosures: How to support a friend. Workshop, with scenarios, facilitated by SASC. In this interactive workshop participants will gain knowledge and tools they can use when responding to disclosures from friends and the impacts of trauma, including important info on self-care and boundaries. Learn more and register.
Friday, May 7: #NoOneAsksForIt Campaign. Wear purple in support of survivors of sexual violence. SASC’s awareness-raising campaign is called #NoOneAsksForIt! Use the hashtag and demonstrate collective support for survivors!
Wednesday, May 12: Watch for the release of the first in a term-long Sexy Sexual Health videos series featuring, Samantha Bitty! Campus Wellness, the Sexual Violence Prevention & Response Office, and WUSA are excited to launch this video series, and today we will release the first video in the series: Body Confidence! Body Confidence is a foundational piece of learning about your own sexuality. Follow @uwaterloohrei for the release of Samantha Bitty’s Sexy Sexual Health video or visit Campus Wellness
Tuesday, May 18, 1-2:30pm: Learn about strength and healing through the arts at this panel discussion and free screening of the acclaimed short documentary, Ballet After Dark. Moderator: Dr. Kathy Hogarth; panelists: Dr. Naila Keleta-Mae and Dr. Trish Van Katwyk. Learn more and register.
Tuesday, May 25, 11am-12:30pm: What men can do for bystander intervention. Workshop facilitated by SASC and Male Allies. In this practical workshop, masculine identifying folks will gain knowledge of gender-based violence, privilege, and bystander intervention. Together participants will explore how gender-based violence shows up in their lives, the impact it has, and explore the difference between intention and impact. Learn more and register.
Wednesday, May 26: Watch for the release of the second in a term-long Sexy Sexual Health videos series featuring, Samantha Bitty! Campus Wellness, the Sexual Violence Prevention & Response Office, and WUSA are excited to release the second in this term-long series. Today’s video release is focused on Flirting and Consent. May is Sexual Violence Awareness Month and we live in a culture where consent is not the norm. To change this, one thing you can do is ensure your flirting includes consent, contributing to a #ConsentCulture. Follow @uwaterloohrei for the release of Samantha Bitty’s Sexy Sexual Health video or visit Campus Wellness.
May 26 and 27 (afternoons): What community-based response to online sexual violence can look like. On May 26, the Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres (OCRCC) virtual mini-conference is hosting a panel discussion on what a community-based response to online sexual violence can look like. The discussion will include panelists from Ontario Sexual Assault Centres and other community organizations who work with survivors of online sexual violence. On May 27, the OCRCC will host a webinar on digital safety featuring an expert in the field of online safety.This conference is free and ideal for sexual assault centres, community-based workers, sexual violence and gender-based violence advocates, school-based professionals, sexual violence survivors and allies, youth workers, shelter staff and volunteers. Learn more and register.
Wednesday, May 26, 6-7:30pm: Reclaim Your Voice. Join the Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office and Campus Wellness as they welcome Reclaim Your Voice founder, Jungle Flower, who will share her story of healing from psychological abuse and sexual violence, and how she founded a movement to support others on their healing journey. Learn more and register.
Monday, May 31 and June 3, 11am-12:30pm: Responding to Disclosures of Sexual Violence. Join the Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office for a workshop on Responding to Disclosures of Sexual Violence. In this interactive three-hour workshop held over two days, attendees will develop tools, strategies, and resources to respond effectively to disclosures of sexual violence. Learn more and register.
Tuesday, June 8, 1-2pm: Policy 42 and You. Join the Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office for an information session on Policy 42 and You. In this workshop, you will find out more about the key updates to Policy 42: the Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Policy and Procedures, the process for making a complaint, as well as your roles and responsibilities as a university employee when someone has been impacted by sexual violence. Learn more and register.
Many of these opportunities centre the voices and experiences of survivors and the realty of the ongoing trauma faced by survivors. Please take care of yourself, and only engage in learning opportunities that feel safe for you.