Response to survivors of sexual violence

Response to survivors of sexual violence

Dear members of the Bishop’s Community,

I am writing to address recent public statements from sexual violence survivors among our community. No survivor should feel helpless in the fight against sexual violence!

Since taking on the role of Dean of Students, I have been committed to fight sexual violence in our community. Our guiding principle is that we will always support and accompany survivors of sexual violence as they seek justice.

The Bishop’s University Sexual Culture Committee has organized a silent vigil tonight starting at 7 PM at the signs on the bridge. BUnited our Peer Support Centre will be open from 4 Pm to 8 PM and can be a safe space for any students in need. I encourage you to participate in this important event tonight. I would encourage Professors to plan for some students missing their evening class to participate in the vigil.

We strongly urge all survivors of sexual violence to seek the help of our Sexual Aggression Response Coordinator (SARC), Ms. Dominique Pelletier, who is a clinically-trained social worker. She is available to accompany and support survivors throughout all stages of the disclosure and reporting of sexual aggression.

In addition to the on-campus SARC, survivors can also choose to approach other resources to report sexual aggression such as the Centre d’aide et de lutte contre les agressions à caractère sexuel (CALACS Estrie), the Lennoxville Women’s Centre, MomentHom – Centre d’entraide pour hommes de l’Estrie, and the Sherbrooke Police.

Our support services for survivors of sexual violence are confidential, and we respect the preference of the survivor throughout every step of the process, including instituting the required accommodations.

There remains a lot to be done to eliminate sexual violence in our society and at Bishop’s University. We have instituted mandatory consent training as part of Orientation week to inform our community that we do not tolerate sexual violence. We also offer bystander training to empower all members of our community to act to prevent acts of sexual violence they may witness. Together with the Sexual Culture Committee, We have more initiatives on the way, such as a review of the University Sexual Violence Policy, and additional measures to make bystander and sexual consent training mandatory for all.

I would welcome every idea for change from those who want to help us improve on this crucial aspect of campus life and next week’s town hall (Tuesday at 3 PM in McGreer 100) will be a welcome occasion to hear the community. If you do not feel comfortable participating in person, there will be an online link made available before the Town Hall. You can also always come to me or to the Sexual Culture Committee with ideas for change.

We are here for any survivor who wants to disclose or report acts of sexual violence, you can disclose to Residence Advisors, the Chaplain, Student Services, the BUnited peer support group, the student Sexual Culture Committee, the Sexual Assault Student Help (SASH) group. My expectation is that every survivors’ disclosure always be met with compassion and empathy, and that we will accompany survivors as far along the path they choose to travel.

We will always make the security of students on our campus and beyond our top priority, and it will take all of us to combat sexual violence.


Stine Linden-Andersen, Ph.D.
Chair of Bishop’s University COVID-19 Task Force
Dean of Student Affairs
Associate Professor of Psychology
Clinical Psychologist
819-822-9600 x 2256