Support for Survivors

**The Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office (SVPRO) is not a crisis service. If you are in crisis, please connect with one of these services.

You can connect with us if:

  • You've experienced sexual violence (either on or off campus)
  • You're not sure if you've experienced sexual violence
  • You have questions about something that happened to you

When survivors meet with us, we remain survivor-centred meaning we are led by the needs of the person/people that we meet with. We attempt to create a non-judgemental and safe(r) space, whether we are meeting in-person, online or over the phone. Your needs in that space are of utmost importance.

You are in control of the conversation when you meet with us. Here are some of the things we can talk about:

  • You can tell us how you've been impacted by your experience, which can inform what supports and resources could be put in place
  • You can share what happened in as little or as much detail as you wish
  • We can discuss resources, both on- and off-campus, and we can provide referrals to appropriate services
  • We can discuss short term coping strategies
  • We can collaborate with University departments and units to facilitate requests for academic and workplace accommodations, residence adjustments, safety planning, and other identified needs
  • We can review available complaint and reporting options via University policy, the police and/or other institutions with policies in place

Interested in connecting with us? Here's what you need to know:

We're here for all University of Waterloo campus community members. This includes all students, staff and faculty on main campus, the satellite campuses and the Affiliated Colleges. Regardless of where or when the harm occurred, we're here to support you.

We can also provide support to individuals who are not members of the University of Waterloo community but have been impacted by sexual violence occurring on our campuses or at a University of Waterloo sanctioned event.

SVPRO will make meeting with our office as accessible as possible:

  • We can meet in person, on the phone, or via a secure online platform
  • You can always bring a supportive person with you
  • You can share as much or as little as you want with us

Coming to SVPRO does not automatically initiate an investigation, complaint or report; however, if you wish to pursue a formal complaint or make a report, we can support you through the process. 

Confidentiality on Campus

At SVPRO, and across campuses, we can and will keep all information confidential unless any of 4 following limits occur.    

Limits to Confidentiality Apply When:

  1. An individual is at immediate risk of suicide
  2. An identified individual is at immediate risk of harm
  3. Campus safety may be compromised
  4. A child or youth under the age of 16 has experienced or witnessed abuse

If you have any questions about our limits to confidentiality, please consult with us

If you prefer to speak to a confidential support off campus, we encourage you to connect with the Sexual Assault Support Centre (SASC) of Waterloo Region. SASC is available to any University of Waterloo student regardless of their current physical location

FYIS about Confidentiality on Campus

Confidentiality for University of Waterloo Health Care Professionals

Regulated Health Care Professionals (e.g., doctors, nurses, social workers, psychiatrists, etc.) working on campus have Limits to Confidentiality to which they abide as directed by their Regulatory College or body.

If you are a patient or client of a Regulated Health Care Professional on campus - please connect directly with them or their Regulatory College or body, if you have questions about their Limits to Confidentiality

Confidentially for University of Waterloo Campus Police:  

Officers with UW Police Services have Limits to Confidentiality to which they abide as Police Officers. 

UW Police are obligated to inform Waterloo Regional Police of a Disclosure or Report of Sexual Violence that is brought to their attention when:

  • Intimate partner violence is occurring
  • There are public safety concerns, or
  • The matter relates to an ongoing charge or investigation. 

Please connect with UW Police Services or SVPRO if you have questions about disclosing or reporting to UW Police. 

Further information can be found within Policy 42: Prevention of, and Response to, Sexual Violence 

Related University of Waterloo Policies

Policy 42 - Prevention of and Response to Sexual Violence

Policy 42 establishes the University’s commitment to the awareness and prevention of sexual violence, and to a process for addressing complaints of sexual violence committed by students

Sexual Violence Response Protocol and Procedures re: University of Waterloo Policy 42, Prevention of and Response to Sexual Violence

The Sexual Violence Response Protocol and Procedures provides further elaboration about the University’s complaints process when students have committed sexual violence. 

Policy 33 - Ethical Behaviour

Policy 33 outlines the Ethical Behavioural Standards all employees of the University are expected to uphold, as well as how the rights to not experience Discrimination, Harassment or Workplace Harassment are upheld within the University.  Complaints regarding sexual violence committed by employees fall under the purview of Policy 33.