Home > Student Services > Sexual Violence Support Centre

This website addresses sexual violence, sexual assault, sexual harassment, gender-based and related forms of violence. The information may be emotionally unsettling. If you would like to speak to someone immediately, support resources are available at Bishops and throughout the Sherbrooke Community. 

We believe you

Bishop’s University is deeply committed to providing a safe learning environment free from sexual and gender-based violence. We use an intersectional feminist, survivor-centered and trauma-informed lens when supporting survivors and educating our community. If you have experienced a sexual assault or other types of sexual or gender-based violence, you are not to blame. Bishop’s has resources that can support you directly or help you get the support you need.

The term survivor is used on our website to describe anyone who has experienced any unwanted act of a sexual nature. We understand that this term may not reflect everyone’s experience and not everyone who has experienced an unwanted act of a sexual nature will identify with this term.


The Sexual Violence Support Centre (SVSC) falls under Student Affairs but serves the Bishop’s community around all issues pertaining to sexual and gender-based violence. Services are offered to students, staff and faculty members. 

The SVSC, through the work of the Sexual Violence Response Advisors (SVRAs), acts as the primary point of contact for members of the University community who have experienced any form of sexual and gender-based violence or need advice on how to address an incident that has been disclosed to them.

The SVRA’s education, support and advocacy work strives to be non-judgmental, intersectional, trans & queer positive, survivor-centered and trauma-informed. The SVRAs offers confidential and non-directional support to those who have been impacted by sexual and gender-based violence, in English or in French.

The SVSC offers support to 2SLGBTQIA+ folks who may experience gender-based violence and can act as their advocate in any process or procedures they may wish to engage in with the university to better their sense of safety, integrate better practices and build awareness.

The SVRAs coordinate all trainings and communication to the community in all matters linked to the Policy for the Prevention of Sexual Violence.

The Centre is located in Memorial house (MOU 049), to the left of the entrance to Mail and Print Services, and has two entrances.

We are here to help you, whether the incident occurred recently or not, and we will honour your individual healing process.

The Sexual Violence Support Centre

Information & Resources from the SVSC

Options on disclosing and formal complaints to the university

What is a disclosure?
A disclosure is when someone shares their experience of sexual or gender-based violence with someone else, either verbally or in writing. A disclosure is often a part of one’s healing journey – which are all unique and valid.

Disclosing directly to the Sexual Violence Support Centre (SVSC)

The Centre, through the work of the Sexual Violence Response Advisors (SVRAs), acts as the primary point of contact for members of the Bishop’s community who have experienced any form of sexual and gender-based violence.

When a survivor/victim discloses to a Sexual Violence Response Advisor (SVRA), they will be listened to and believed. The SVRA will explore their needs and safety, and explore the options that are available to them. Please note the Centre strives to work with survivor-centred and trauma-informed approaches, which means that individual support and actions taken will vary according to the healing journey, needs and situation of each survivor/victim. A disclosure with the Sexual Violence Support Centre shouldn’t discourage or prevent a person from seeking support or assistance outside of the university.

A disclosure:

  • Can result in accommodations immediate measures on campus (e.g. a no-contact order).
  • Can be made regarding events of sexual or gender-based violence experienced outside of the Bishop’s community or by someone who is not linked to university to seek support from one of the SVRAs.
  • Doesn’t automatically initiate a formal complaint process (FCSV). Some survivors/victims do not wish to go through a formal process, and that’s okay.
  • Doesn’t necessarily require a survivor/victim to share extensive details on the acts or identity of the perpetrator.


Disclosure paths that will lead back to the Sexual Violence Support Centre (SVSC)


Online via the REES platform.

REES is an encrypted service that allows members of the Bishop’s community to create a record of an incident at any time of day and choose from multiple options to communicate or not with the Sexual Violence Support Centre.

Please note that REES requires you to create an account with a username and a password, but without any link to an email address. If you forget or loses your account information, REES cannot retrieve it for you.

  • Create a Record
    You can create a Record without choosing a reporting option. This option can be used to keep information, details on the events and is a safer journaling tool. Your Record will be securely stored in REES until you are ready to share it with the Sexual Violence Support Centre.
  • Anonymous Report (disclosure)
    On the REES platform, an anonymous disclosure is referred to as an Anonymous Report. An Anonymous Report allows an individual to share information about an incident of sexual and gender-based violence without identifying themselves, or identifying the person who has harmed them. Please note that an Anonymous Report on the REES online platform does not include any identifying information about the individuals involved and does not allow for Bishop’s to follow up with you directly. The Sexual Violence Support Centre receives all the Anonymous Reports once a year to maintain anonymity. The data obtained from Anonymous Reports is intended to help measure the incidence and identify patterns of sexual violence on campus, with the goal of improving policy, support or responses to sexual violence on campus.
  • Connect to My Campus
    Connect to My Campus allows you to send a record to the Sexual Violence Support Centre to receive support, resources, and information. When you connect to My Campus, an email will be sent to the Centre and one of the Sexual Violence Response Advisors will reach out to you in the following days.
  • Repeat Perpetrator Identification (RPI)
    Repeat Perpetrator Identification (RPI) is a feature which allows survivors/victims to identify their perpetrator and some pieces of the event(s) that happened to them. This tool offers a way for survivors/victims to break the silence, offer a form of longer-term collective actions to help the community safety by identifying a person whose behavior has harmed them and may have harmed multiple individuals. An RPI must be submitted by the survivor/victim of sexual or gender-based violence and cannot be submitted on behalf of another individual. Only when someone is identified twice or more by the RPI options will the Sexual Violence Support Centre be notified. The Sexual Violence Response Advisors look at the information provided and evaluate the actions required and the safety risks for the community.

In Person with Campus Security
A BUSR is a written account of an incident of sexual or gender-based violence filled with Campus Security. When an incident report involving sexual or gender-based violence is filed with Campus Security, then the survivor/victim is presented with resources on and off campus and the Sexual Violence Support Centre is notified. In the following days, a Sexual Violence Response Advisor will reach out to the survivor/victim to offer support if they want to.

Formal Complaint of Sexual Violence (FCSV)

A formal complaint consists of filling out a complaint form in writing stating a breach of this policy. A formal complaint must be submitted by the survivor/victim of sexual or gender-based violence and cannot be submitted on behalf of another individual. The Sexual Violence Response Advisors may assist a survivor/victim throughout this process. The formal complaint form needs to be submitted to the General Counsel of the university to trigger an assessment by an external assessor. In conformity with Section 7 of the Policy for the Prevention of Sexual Violence. Formal Complaint of Sexual Violence form (PDF).

Please note that a Formal Complaint of Sexual Violence cannot be an anonymous process. The respondent in the complaint will have access to the information on the complaint form (e.g. name of the complainant, the policy it invokes a breach of and the nature of the complaint). When the complaint is determined as receivable under the Policy, an official external investigation will start. The external investigator will provide a detailed report on their findings and recommendations within 90 days after the formal complaint was first received.

In cases where a Formal Complaint is determined to be well founded, sanctions and disciplinary measures, such as suspension or expulsion from the University, could be taken against the respondent.

Nothing in this Policy and a formal complaint process is intended to discourage or prevent a person from seeking assistance or pursuing a complaint with external authorities such as the police, the courts or administrative tribunals. The FCSV process is not one to establish innocence/guilt of a respondent, but if the policy was breached.

Flowchart on disclosing options

Resources & Services Off-Campus

Info-Santé – 811

The services are confidential and available in both English and French, 24/7. Free services for everyone, who want to access health and psychosocial support, for non-urgent issues.

Contact information:
For the support Line, dial 811, option 2 for social services


CALACS – Women’s Center for help with and to fight against sexual assault

Services in English, French, and Spanish for individuals who identify as women. They offer accompaniment for survivors/victims to the hospital, police station or the court house. They offer individual support and group counselling services.

Contact information:
24/7 Crisis and Support Line: 819-563-9999 or toll-free 1-877-563-0793 calacsestrie@videotron.ca


Lennoxville & District Women’s Centre (LDWC)

LDWC is a community organization serving individuals who identify as women throughout the Estrie region. This Centre offers sexual assault support services for women, including confidential counselling in a safe space. The Centre provides support for all forms of sexual violence.

Contact information:


SHASE (Soutien aux hommes agressés sexuellement Estrie)

SHASE is a community organization that offers support to individuals who identify as men who experience, or have experienced sexual assault in childhood, adolescence or adulthood. Website and individual support is available in English & French, group activities are only available in French.

Contact information:
230, rue King Ouest #206, Sherbrooke



Community organization that offers support, services and advocacy work by and for trans, non-binary and questioning people. Most of their services are available in French & English.

Contact information:
Phone or text: 873-989-2949
69, rue Wellington Nord, Sherbooke


Empower Me

Mental health support for students, provided by professionals with various domains of expertise, including psychology, psychotherapy, social work, nutrition, etc., who can respond effectively to diverse needs. You can access services via telephone or videoconference, multilingual services.

Contact information:
1-833-628-5589 (toll-free), available 24/7 from anywhere in Canada or the US.


CAVAC Estrie – Crime Victims Assistance Centre

CAVAC Estrie provides support services to victims and witnesses of crimes, including sexual assault. CAVAC staff members help individuals overcome the physical, psychological and social consequences of victimization, and assist in obtaining compensation for harm.

Contact information:
819-820-2822 or 1-866-532-2822


Sherbrooke Police Service (SPS)

You may contact the police directly, to file a complaint against your perpatrator under the criminal Code of Canada or seek other legal procedures. Please note that one of the Sexual Violence Response Advisors, or an employee of CALACS can request the Police to come meet with you at the SVSC or accompany you to the police station directly.

Contact information:
575, rue Maurice-Houle, Sherbooke

Échec au crime – Anonymously reporting to the police to 1-800-711-1800 or at https://echecaucrime.com/en/providing-information-online/



Free legal advice by lawyers for survivors/victims of sexual or domestic violence, Bilingual service English & French.  

Contact information:

Healing & Support of Survivors

Healing journeys are as singular has the individuals that will take part in them. They don’t need to be compared or to follow a linear path.

Please meet yourself and/or others with compassion and respect for the diverse ways that survivors make sense of their needs, experiences, trauma, and choose to move through them.

Supporting survivors of sexual and gender-based violence is everyone’s responsibility and a part of changing the culture. A truly supportive community is one that is trauma-informed and survivor-centered.

This means understanding survivors to be the experts in their lives, and able to choose what is best for them at a particular moment in their life.

Sexual Assault Support and Healing (SASH)

SASH is a support group that is open to all individuals who self-identify as survivors/victims of sexual or gender-based violence. SASH provides participants with a safe(r), inclusive community space to support their healing journey with meaningful discussions and activities on various topics such as well-being, boundaries, relationships and recovery.

The SASH meetings are typically held bi-weekly on Wednesdays from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. during the Fall and Winter semesters. The meetings are held in the Sexual Violence Support Centre and are facilitated by one of the Sexual Violence Response Advisors. SASH is an open group, which means that any survivor/victim can attend at any time in the semester or at any point in their healing journey.

For more information about SASH and meeting dates, please contact the Sexual Violence Support Centre at svsc@ubishops.ca.

Online Resources on Healing

Sanctuary an online healing room

This online space features guided meditations, healing playlists, journaling, and activities for you to explore. You can click on almost every object in the room and you will be transported to an activity, resource, or tool to support you in your healing. You can explore more options for supported healing practices on the Me.Too main website.

Taste of Recovery

An online tool created by a survivor, for survivors of sexual violence & abuse. It provides you with information, tools, and techniques to help you avoid self-blame, feel more in control and create empowering rituals for yourself. It can be useful for partners, parents & friends of survivors too.

Trauma care

Offers a three-phase framework for trauma recovery, mindfulness tools and other healing practices. Resources for partners, parents & friends of survivors too.


Offers resources and tools on multiple topics link to health in a holistic view, trauma, sexual violence and family/community care and support. You can find a 6 simple steps guide for healing and tools on dealing with flashbacks. It also offers many tools that can also be useful for partners, parents & friends of survivors too. Please note that some of the terms or language used on the website feel laden.

Helpful Attitudes and Actions to Support a Survivor

You do not have to be a trained professional to help a survivor and you don’t need to focus on knowing all the answers. Here are guiding principles to help your response, divided in four categories, for when you receive a disclosure or are supporting a survivor.


You may be the first person they speak to about this. Take a deep breath. The person came to you because they feel that they can trust you! It is not easy to know exactly how to respond when someone discloses an experience of sexual or gender-based violence. Focus on their voice and only listen; this is not the time to add your perceptions or beliefs. Try to mirror their language.


Take the time to be explicit with the survivor about the fact that you believe them. Tell them they didn’t do anything wrong or to deserve it. Focus on their narrative. You shouldn’t ask for details or question their actions or the sequence of events; this is not your role and it can be harmful. Remind them that the only person responsible for the acts of violence is the individual-s who chose to cause harm.


Part of changing our culture is about integrating consent practices. It means having and offering choices as well as focusing on supporting decision in everything we do. Regaining a sense of control for survivors is often a central part of their healing process. Thus, making sure that your support to survivors ensures that they are the experts in their lives, and are able to choose what is best for themselves at a particular moment is crucial.

Send the power back at them. Let them lead. Ask them for what they need. You can offer your presence, now and later in time for them to request when they need it. Refer them to professionals and resources.

Safety & Care

This aspect can vary immensely based on your relationship with the person and the context of the disclosure. Receiving a disclosure can be an emotionally and physically demanding experience. Allow yourself to stop and refer someone to the Centre or another professional. It’s a valid support strategy and can be done with great care. It’s a great sign of emotional safety and maturity. You don’t have to be disposed to receive them at all time or of everyone.

Focus on safety and care, for you and the survivor. Lead by example, because you matter in this equation too. You also have your own limits and emotional needs. It is okay to set boundaries respecting them. It’s the only way to ensure your own safety and to remain available to others. Practice self-care and know that it is okay for you to ask for help. Taking care of yourself is essential and it will help you help others. The Centre is here for you: as a partner, friend or parent of a survivor too.

Privacy and confidentiality are always a priority, but may vary in some situation to ensure safety. If you witness harm or the disclosure that you received is of a recent event, you can ask if they are in immediate danger or in need of medical attention. Refer and seek appropriate support to ensure immediate safety and ongoing care.

Trainings and Education

We believe that training is a primary tool in preventing sexual violence. Our prevention paradigm involves three direct training programs:   

  • “Can I Kiss You?” (Consent, bystander intervention and how to properly support survivors)  
  • Active Bystander Intervention Training  
  • Online mandatory training program with several modules.  

All students must take the first two training programs during Orientation Week and complete one annual online training module. Staff and faculty must similarly complete one online module per year. 

If you would like to request a workshop or training for your department, team, club, class, etc., please contact us and we will gladly accommodate. 

We work closely with the student lead Sexual Culture Committee (SCC) in adapting our educational programs to respond to student needs. 


What is consent?

Without consent, any sexual act can be considered sexual violence. Sexual violence is term used to describe a wide range of unwanted direct or indirect acts, comments, behaviors committed through sexual practices or by targeting one’s sexuality or gender identity and/or expression.

Consent is free and ongoing. It is given with a clear “yes”, affirmative words, and “maybes” or any unclear communication should be treated like a “no”. People can change their minds and withdraw consent at any time. It is important for partners to communicate and pay attention to each other’s body language.

Based on the Canadian legal definition, consent cannot be given in a situation that involves an abuse of trust, power, or authority. Anyone who is unconscious cannot legally give consent (Department of Justice, 2021). Anyone who is, 17 years or younger, under the age of consent cannot give consent (Department of Justice, 2017). No one can claim ignorance nor their own intoxication to justify their acts and not respect someone consent.


What does gender-based violence mean?

Gender-based violence is a form of sexual violence.

Gender-based violence (GBV) is an umbrella term that refers to any unwanted actual, attempted, or threatened act of violence perpetrated against someone based on their gender expression, gender identity or perceived gender. GBV disproportionately impacts people that identify as women, 2SLGBTQQIA+ (two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual) and gender-nonconforming people.


Do people lie about being sexually assaulted?

People very rarely make false reports about sexual assault, also not all acts of sexual violence are disclosed/reported.


Is there a difference between sexual assault and rape?

Survivors/victims can use the words that may feel the most appropriate to their experience.

Historically these words are linked to legal definitions, hence rape refers to unwanted sexual intercourse. Under the law, sexual assault is any unwanted act of a sexual nature, including rape and any other unwanted fondling or touching.


Should I report to the University or to the Police?

Both options are available to you.

If you wish to proceed with a police investigation which may lead to criminal charges you would need to make a report to the police. Bishop’s can guide and accompany you to the police station if you wish.

If you wish to initiate a formal report to Bishop’s, we will proceed with an external investigation which may lead sanctions of the perpetrator. A survivor/victim may also disclose to a Sexual Violence Response Advisor and receive emotional support and accommodations without engaging in a formal process.


Can I make an anonymous report?

Yes, you can make an anonymous report through REES Bishop’s partner to provide online reporting for sexual violence on campus.

Please note that anonymous report will not trigger immediate measures from the university, since the Sexual Violence Support Centre is notified of them only twice a year to maintain anonymity.


Does the University look for repeat offenders?

Yes. Through REES we have a Repeat Perpetrator Identification (RPI) program. Only when the name of a perpetrator is flagged twice will the Sexual Violence Support Centre be notified.


Does the University suspend/expel those accused of sexual assault?

The University must proceed with an external investigation before acting against an identified perpetrator. While the investigation is ongoing, we can make accommodations for the survivor/victim. At the conclusion of the investigation, appropriate actions will be taken depending on the findings.


What can I do if acts of sexual violence happen online?

You can get support from the University, since our policy covers online acts of sexual violence.

You can contact the police directly, or if sexual images of you are online without your consent these three resources that can help a survivor/victim act:

Policy & Other Important Documents

Policy for the Prevention of Sexual Violence

Bishop’s University Independent Review 2022 (PDF)

Community Report of Incidences and Prevention Measures 2018-2022 (PDF)

Flowchart on disclosing options (English PDF) / Diagramme sur les options de dévoilement (French PDF)

Contact Us

Sexual Violence Support Centre
MOU 049
Next to Mail and Print Services
819-822-9600 ext. 2911

Sexual Violence Response Advisors:
Dominique Pelletier
Gabrielle Joncas-Brunet

Supervisor: Vice-Principal Student Affairs, Dr. Stine Linden-Andersen