Sexual Violence Information and Support
Going to University opens doors to a multitude of new experiences. Many people are away from home for the first time and can find themselves in vulnerable situations that they had neither anticipated nor previously encountered. As a student, you get to meet many different people... but how well do you really know them?
Being familiar with someone may mean that we rely less on our self-protective instincts and depend more on trust. Unfortunately, it is that same trust which makes us vulnerable to date or acquaintance sexual violence.
What is Sexual Violence?
Sexual violence is any unwanted act of a sexual nature, which has been forced upon one person by another. Sexual violence of any kind is a crime, even in marriage or a dating relationship.
Minimize the Risk
The prevention of sexual violence is the responsibility of both men and women. Communication is the key factor in the prevention of most sexual violence. At anytime you have the right to say "no" and be heard.
Set boundaries. Let your date know where you stand in a relationship, sexually. Use verbal communications. Don't expect your partner to be able to read your mind. Express your feelings clearly. At the same time, listen carefully to others and respect their boundaries.
The Victim is not to Blame
If you experience sexually violence, remember that you are not alone and are not to blame. Talk to someone, whether it be a friend, nurse, doctor, family member, sexual violence crises center, counselor or a hospital sexual violence care coordinator. Sexual violence is very difficult to handle alone.
Seek medical attention as soon as possible after the violence. You will want to ensure that you have not received internal injuries or are at risk of an unwanted pregnancy or have contracted a sexual disease, such as VD or AIDS. All of these tests can be conducted at the Sexual Violence Care and Treatment Centre at Guelph General Hospital by medical staff you can trust.
You may wish to have a criminal investigation take place. If so, you must inform the police. The evidence collected at Guelph General will be crucial to the investigation.
Finally, it is important that you seek counseling to help you deal with the emotional impact of the violence. Dealing with sexual violence is difficult enough without dealing with it alone.
If Someone You Know Has Experienced Sexually Violence
Be supportive and listen. Never make judgements or indicate disbelief. Encourage the victim to take some course of action. Appropriate courses of action include:
- Report the crime to the police
- Go to the hospital for medical attention
- Call a crisis hotline
- Tell a close friend
- Tell family members about the incident
- Don't lose track of who is the victim.
- Campus Safety Office
- Emergency - 2000
- Inquiries - 519-840-5000
- Guelph Police Services
- Emergency – 911
- Inquiries – 519-824-1212
- Sexual Violence Centre
- Women in Crisis
- 519-836-5710 (or)
- 1-800-265-7233 – toll free
- Student Counseling Services
- 519-824-4120 X53244
- Student Health Services
- 519-824-4120 X52131