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 any type of sexual violence. We are dedicated to preventing sexual violence by using education and safety measures in our community. We use a feminist, survivor centered and intersectional lens when supporting survivors and educating our community.  

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.

If you have experienced a sexual assault, you are not to blame. The first step is to tell someone and ask for help.  

Bishop’s has resources that can support you directly or help you get the support you need. 

Sexual Violence Support Centre

The Sexual Violence Support Centre is located in the Peer Support Centre, below the Gait, to the left of the entrance to Mail and Print Services. 

The Sexual Violence Support Centre (SVSC) offers confidential, non-judgmental, non-directional support to those who have been impacted by sexual and gender-based violence. 

The SVSC provides support and advocacy, reporting support as well as education and awareness for the community. 

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

Report a Sexual Assault

Online

  • REES (Respect, Educate, Empower Survivors)
    REES allows members of our campus community to Create a Record of the incident and choose from multiple reporting options: Anonymous Report, Connect to My Campus, or Repeat Perpetrator Identification (RPI).

    REES provides information about campus and community-based resources such as sexual assault centres, healthcare, and support services. REES can be accessed online anywhere, anytime. Go to https://reescommunity.com/campus and select Bishop’s University from the drop-down list.

    Through REES you can: 

    • Create a Record
      You can Create a Record without choosing a reporting option. Your Record will be securely stored in REES until you are ready to report.

    • Anonymous Report
      An Anonymous Report allows an individual to share information about an incident of sexual harassment, misconduct or assault without identifying themselves, or identifying the person who has harmed them.

    • Connect to My Campus
      Connect to My Campus allows you to reach out to the Sexual Agression Response Coordinator at Bishop’s to receive support, resources, and information, or discuss the formal complaint process.

    • Repeat Perpetrator Identification (RPI)
      Repeat Perpetrator Identification (RPI) is a feature of REES that helps to identify a person whose behaviour has harmed multiple people. https://www.reescommunity.com/campus/

 

 

On Campus 

  • The Sexual Violence Support Centre
    The Sexual Violence Support Centre is located in the Peer Support Centre, below the Gait, to the left of the entrance to Mail and Print Services.

    The Sexual Violence Support Centre (SVSC) offers confidential, non-judgmental, non-directional support to those who have been impacted by sexual and gender-based violence.

    The SVSC provides support and advocacy, reporting support as well as education and awareness for the community.

    Contact us at SVSC@ubishops.ca
    819-822-9600

  • Sexual Violence Response Advisor
    Sexual Violence Response Advisors are responsible to advocate for and support survivors of sexual violence. They can inform survivors of their options and accompany them through their process.

    Sexual Violence Response Advisor contact information is below.  

 

Off Campus 

  • Service de police de Sherbrooke
    To report a sexual assault directly to the police, contact the police department to file a complaint in the Sherbrooke District. Please note that the Sexual Aggression Response Coordinator, or a member of CALACS (see Support Services Off Campus), can accompany you to the police station.

    Service de Police de Sherbrooke
    819 8215555 

Talk to Someone

On Campus

  • Sexual Aggression Response Coordinator
    Office Hours: Monday to Friday 8:30-12:00 and 13:00-16:00 

    The Sexual Aggression Response Coordinator is a clinically trained social worker, and can receive formal complaints as well as provide confidential advice, education, support and resources to survivors of sexual violence. 

    Dominique Pelletier, MSW
    819-822-9600 ext. 2695
    dominique.pelletier@ubishops.ca
    MOD 15

  • Bishop’s Counselling Office
    Professional Counsellors are available to help students deal with sexual assault trauma. For an appointment, opening hours, or information, please see our Mental Health web pages. 

  • Spiritual Care Services
    Bishop’s University Spiritual Care Services is interfaith and offered to the entire campus community. The Campus Minister provides pastoral services to all members of the campus community and is available to discuss in confidence whatever interests and concerns people may have. For an appointment, opening hours, or information, please see the Spiritual Care website. 

  • Residence Life Coordinators
    Residence Life Coordinators (RLC) are available to help students in any situation. During the school year there is always one RLC on call who can be contacted by security in case of any emergency, office hours are Monday to Friday 9:00 to 5:00.  

Peer to Peer Support 

  • BUnited Peer Support
    The BUnited Peer Support Centre is an on-campus community space for students to gather both virtually and in person to support one another in a safe, and confidential environment. BUnited is located in the Student Union Building or can be reached at BUnitedPSC@ubishops.ca.

  • Sexual Assault Support & Healing (S.A.S.H)
    The Sexual Assault Support & Healing (S.A.S.H) is a support group offering an inclusive community space for individuals to engage in meaningful discussions and activities. Meetings are open to individuals who identify as survivors. Check out the S.A.S.H Facebook page for more information. 

 

Off Campus

  • Info-Santé – 811 
    Info-Santé is a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week service that provides access to health and psychosocial support. The services are completely confidential and available in both English and French. 

    811 is for non-urgent health issues.

    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  

    • Accompaniments: for survivors, to hospital, police service, etc.  
    • Counselling: Individual counselling available to women 12 years of age and older.  
    • Support groups: offers women the opportunity to feel less alone as they work on their healing.
    • Emotional care and support. 

      24 hours a day Crisis and Support Line: 819-563-9999 or toll-free 1-877-563-0793

      calacsestrie@videotron.ca
      www.calacsestrie.com

  • Lennoxville & District Women’s Centre
    The Lennoxville & District Women’s Centre (LDWC) is a community organization serving 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 assault.

    819-564-6626
    info@ldwc.ca
    Facebook page

  • 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. 

    819-820-2822 or 1-866-532-2822
    info@cavacestrie.com
    https://cavac.qc.ca/

  • Quebec Coalition of Sexual Assault Centers (RQCALACS)
    1-888-933-9007
    www.rqcalacs.qc.ca

  • Urgence-Détresse
    819-780-2222 (ask the operator for Urgence-Détresse)
    www.csss-iugs.ca/urgence-detresse-en

  • Empower Me
    Empower Me has a number of professionals with various domains of expertise, including psychology, psychotherapy, social work, nutrition, etc., to support you and respond effectively to diverse needs. You can access services via telephone, videoconference, or in person (when permitted in accordance with public health guidelines and COVID-19 advisories).

    Call 1-833-628-5589 (toll-free), available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from anywhere in Canada or the US.  

For Men

  • MomentHom – (Centre d’entraide pour hommes de l’Estrie) 
    This organization works with men seeking assistance for a variety of issues, including family problems, relationship troubles, abuse, sexual assault, job loss, bereavement, and financial difficulties. Men counsellors are available in person for ongoing psychological and social support, and are also available by phone from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. seven days a week. 

    412 Des Fusiliers, Sherbrooke
    819-563-0303
    info@momenthom.com
    https://momenthom.com/ 

Support a survivor

Supporting survivors of sexual violence is everyone’s responsibility and a part of changing the culture on campus. 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 time.  Respect for the diverse ways that survivors make sense of their experiences and choose to move forward is essential. 

What can you do?
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 violence.  You may be the first person they speak to about this.  

You do not have to be a trained professional to help a survivor. You don’t need to have all the answers. You also have your own limits. It is okay to set boundaries. Responding to a disclosure can be an emotionally and physically demanding experience. It can have an impact on your well-being and your sense of safety. Taking care of yourself is essential and it will help you help others. Practice self-care and know that it is okay for you to ask for help. We are here for you. 

Here are some guidelines to help you respond: 

  • Listen to and believe survivors when they disclose to you. 
  • Remind a survivor that it was not their fault; the only person responsible for sexual violence is the person (or people) who chose to cause harm. 
  • Consider privacy and confidentiality. 
  • Ensure safety. Ask if they are in immediate danger or need medical attention. 

People respond to trauma in different ways. The person may cry, scream, laugh or express feelings of shame and anger. It is ok! 

Get Involved
Other ways to support survivors and changing sexual violence culture on campus are: 

  • Learn more about sexual violence and consent. 
  • Understand the major misconceptions about sexual violence. 
  • Inform yourself on trauma and possible reactions. 
  • Brush up on active listening skills. 
  • Familiarize yourself with on and off campus resources by visiting our website for more information. 
  • Become an active bystander! Email SVSC@ubishops.ca to sign up! 
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. 

Types of disclosures

How and where you report a sexual assault is your decision.    

You can make an anonymous report, disclosure or formal complaint if you have been assaulted on Bishop’s campus, or during a sanctioned off-campus University event.  

You can file a report to the police which will initiate a criminal investigation regardless of where the assault took place.  

If you file a report with the police, we encourage you to also advise the Sexual Aggression Response Coordinator at Bishop’s so that we may support you and take appropriate measures to ensure your safety and well-being while on campus. 

Disclosure Types  

  • Anonymous
    An Anonymous Report allows an individual to share information about an incident of sexual harassment, misconduct or assault without identifying themselves, or identifying the person who has harmed them. Anonymous Report data will be used to measure the incidence and identify patterns of sexual violence on campus, with the goal of improving policy, supports or responses to sexual violence on campus. Because an Anonymous Report does not include any identifying information about the persons involved, it cannot initiate an investigation, and Bishop’s does not have the ability to follow up with you directly. 

  • Disclosure
    A disclosure is sharing information about sexual violence you have experienced. A disclosure is often a part of a healing journey but does not automatically trigger a formal process. Some survivors do not wish to go through a formal process, and we will support their choice. A disclosure does not necessarily contain details like place of aggression or identity of aggressor. A disclosure to our Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Services may result in accommodations for the survivor and other immediate measures on campus such as no-contact orders.
     
  • Report
    A report is a written account of an incident of sexual violence. It can be an email to the Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Services, or it can be an incident report filed with Campus Security. When Security or the SAEC receive a report, we will contact the survivor to offer support.  

  • Complaint
    A formal complaint is a notice that a survivor wishes to pursue a formal process. A simple form is submitted to The Office of the Secretary General who will then contact the survivor for more details. The Secretary General’s Office will evaluate the complaint and start an investigation if the complaint falls within our Policy for the Prevention of Sexual Violence. A formal report, which will be completed and provided no later than 90 days after the complaint was first received, may result in formal discipline against the perpetrator including expulsion from the University. 
FAQ’s

What is consent? 
Without consent for sexual activity, any sexual contact is sexual assault. Consent is enthusiastic and ongoing. It is given with a clear “yes”, affirmative words, and positive body language. 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 under the age of consent cannot give consent (Department of Justice, 2017).  

Do people lie about being sexually assaulted?
People rarely make false reports about sexual assault.  

Is there a difference between sexual assault and rape?
Rape is 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?
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 disclose to Bishop’s, we will proceed with an investigation which may lead to accommodations for the survivor and/or expulsion of the accused.   

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.  

Does the University look for repeat offenders?
Yes. Through REES we have a Repeat Perpetrator Identification program.    

Does the University suspend/expel those accused of sexual assault?
The University must proceed with an investigation before acting against an accused. While the investigation is ongoing, we can make accommodations for the victim. At the conclusion of the investigation, appropriate action will be taken depending on the verdict.   

Can people with disabilities be sexually assaulted?
People with disabilities can be sexually assaulted and are assaulted at a higher rate than many other communities.

About Sexual Violence

Approximately 4.7 million women, 30% of all women 15 years of age and older, report that they have experienced sexual assault at least once since the age of 15. This is compared to 8% men (Statistics Canada, 2019). That rate is greatly increased among younger women, Indigenous women, people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, trans people and women with disabilities.  

If you have experienced a sexual assault, you are not to blame. The first step is to tell someone and ask for help.  

Bishop’s has resources that can support you directly or help you get the support you need.  

Policy

To be updated in October 2022. 

Policy for the Prevention of Sexual Violence 
Bishop’s University Independent Review 2022 

Contact Us

Sexual Violence Support Centre 
MOU 049 
Below the Gait to the left of Mail and Print Services 
SVSC@ubishops.ca 
819-822-9600 ext. 2911

Sexual Violence Response Advisors 
Dominique Pelletier 
Gabrielle Joncas-Brunet 

Director of Student Services and Student Life  
Theresa Gagnon  
Ext. 2615 
tgagnon@ubishops.ca