News

U of T’s Consent and Sexual Violence Support

Photo Credit: Priscilla Du Preez

A recap on where to find resources on and off campus 

Brennah Doyle, Associate News Editor

In lieu of this Issue’s focus on the #MeToo movement, The Mike saw it fit to present a recap of the sexual violence and harassment support resources that are available for students at the University of Toronto (U of T).  

It is important to know what consent is in order to have a safe space on campus. U of T’s Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment Policy defines consent as “the voluntary agreement of an individual to engage in a sexual act. Consent is positive, active, and ongoing, and can be revoked at any time.” For additional information about consent, watch the “Tea Consent” video, which you can find at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGoWLWS4-kU.  

The video mentioned makes the learning process simple by considering the circumstances in which you would give someone a cup of tea in the place of initiating sex. This creates simple and easy terms to fully understand what consent is. It is necessary for members of U of T to fully comprehend what consent is in order to ensure safety across campus. U of T’s Sexual Violence Prevention website states that “understanding consent is an important step in creating a culture of consent on campus and in society.”  

U of T has a tri-campus support centre for sexual violence. The University of Toronto St. George campus (UTSG) support centre can be found at the Gerstein Library, Suite B139. This, as well as the offices available at the Mississauga (Davis Building, room 3094G) and Scarborough (Environmental Science & Chemistry Building, EV141) campuses provide support for students who have experienced sexual violence or harassment.  All appointments are confidential and members of  U of T have the option to have their appointments over the phone or in person. 

For those on residence, the University of Toronto Scarbourgh campus (UTSC) sexual violence response page says that “the residence staff (Residence Advisors and Residence Life staff, or Dean) are also available” if you need to talk to someone about sexual violence or harassment. The Sexual Violence Prevention Centre at U of T provides counselling, resources for medical treatment, and academic accommodations for those who have experienced sexual violence or harassment. 

There are also many additional off-campus resources available. The Schlifer Clinic is one particular resource available for women. The clinic can help with legal services as well as counselling which is available with their free interpreter services. These services are available in order to help people whose first language is not English. Additionally, the Schlifer clinic provides sign language interpretation. These services are available 24/7 and can be used in many different situations such as counselling, in domestic violence courts, doctor’s appointments, and so on. Visit https://schliferclinic.com/ for more information.  

The 519 is a resource for members of the LGBTQ+ community who are searching for help with cases of sexual violence or harassment. The 519 also provides counselling in addition to workshops used to educate attendees on a handful of topics concerning sex in the LGBTQ+ community.  

Family Service of Toronto provides counselling and educational workshops including programs made specifically to help men who have endured sexual assault, harassment, and violence. 

For more resources you can find a complete list at U of T’s Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment website: http://safety.utoronto.ca/sexual-violence-sexual-harassment/.

Non-Urgent Resources: 

Call the Sexual Violence Prevention & Support Centre: 416-978-2266 

Locations:

UTSG: Gerstein Science Information Centre (Gerstein Library), Suite B139 

UTM: RM 3094G, Davis Building 

UTSC: RM 141, Environmental Science & Chemistry Building 

Resources available 24/7 

Near UTSG:Women’s College Hospital Acute Ambulatory Care Unit Room 1256. Phone: 416-323-6040 

Near UTM: Trillium Health Centre — Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Services. Phone: 905-848-7493 

Near UTSC:  Scarborough Hospital — Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Care Centre. Phone: 416-495-2555