Our office

The Office for Sexual Violence Response, Support and Education (OSVRSE) provides confidential, non-judgmental and non-directional support to those who have been impacted by sexual or gender-based violence.

Our services

We offer support to all members of the McGill community (students, faculty, and staff) who have been impacted by sexual violence, whether it be sexual harassment or assault, gender-based or intimate partner violence, or cyberviolence on or off campus. Services are provided regardless of gender, sexual orientation, age, citizenship or immigration status, and of when it happened. Our services are free and are available in French and in English.

Support & advocacy

We are here to support you in the way you choose.

We can:

  • Listen to you. We offer crisis intervention and short-term counselling.
  • Help you connect with the community resources that are right for you (including medical, emotional or psychological, legal).
  • Connect you with survivor support activities and groups.
  • Assist with academic or workplace accommodations.

Reporting assistance

If you have been impacted by sexual violence, you have several options. We can help you understand and evaluate those options so that you can choose the option that best meets your needs.

We offer:

  • Information about reporting processes (McGill policies and procedures, security and police services)
  • If you choose to report, we can accompany you through reporting processes (internal and external to McGill)

Awareness & prevention

Our office is committed to working towards the prevention of sexual and gender-based violence and fostering a culture of consent at McGill. Responding to and preventing sexual violence begins with critically exploring gender expectations, harmful social norms, and dynamics of power and privilege.

Our education work includes:

  • #ConsentMcGill campaign
  • Workshops (Becoming an Active Bystander, How to Respond to Disclosures, Alcohol and Consent)
  • Specialised training for all members of the McGill community

Our approach

Our work is informed by a survivor-centred, feminist and intersectional lens. We support survivors through an approach that is compassionate and respectful of their dignity and autonomy. We recognize that sexual violence and its consequences disproportionately affect members of social groups based on intersecting experiences of oppression. Factors such as age, ability, gender, orientation, race, religion, and culture also have an impact on how people experience and heal from sexual violence and their access to services. Individuals of different identities and experiences may require different forms of support and accommodations. We seek to empower individuals impacted by sexual or gender-based violence in making informed decisions based on their identified needs.

  1. Survivor-centred and intersectional

    • Our work is informed by a survivor-centred, feminist and intersectional lens.We recognize that sexual violence and its consequences disproportionately affect members of social groups based on intersecting experiences of oppression. Factors such as age, ability, gender, orientation, race, religion, and culture also have an impact on how people experience and heal from sexual violence and their access to services. Individuals of different identities and experiences may require different forms of support and accommodations.
  2. Non-judgmental and compassionate

    • We support survivors through an approach that is compassionate and respectful of their dignity and autonomy. We seek to empower individuals impacted by sexual or gender-based violence in making informed decisions based on their identified needs. We take a non-judgmental approach to support and will not judge your experience, your reaction, and any other aspect of your healing process.
  3. Non-directional support

    • We believe that you are in charge of your own healing process. The path you choose is your decision. We will listen to you and support you, we will answer your questions, and we will not put any pressure on you. In short, we will give you the tools to evaluate your options but the decisions are entirely up to you. We will support you, regardless of your choices.

Confidentiality

We consider confidentiality to be of the utmost importance. Our interactions and what you tell us will be kept entirely confidential, and you can access support without being required to make a formal report or complaint. With your consent, we will disclose information necessary to coordinate services and/or accommodations with other individuals or offices at McGill.

The limits to confidentiality are as follows:

  • If there is an imminent threat of death or serious physical harm to yourself or another person;
  • If a minor’s security or development is or may be compromised;
  • If a judge subpoenas your records.

If one of these situations occurs, you will be informed and supported at every step.

Please note that the confidentiality offered by different offices or individuals will vary depending on their role and obligations. For example, individuals who hold investigative or disciplinary positions may be required to take action if there is evidence of sexual violence in the public realm, such as videos or pictures on social media, or if measures need to be taken to protect the safety of the McGill community. You have the right to ask about the level of confidentiality you can expect before disclosing any information.

Statistics

We maintain annual statistics on incidents of sexual violence disclosed to the OSVRSE and services offered by our office. The data does not include any identifying information. We do this for the purposes of education and to continually improve the services we offer the McGill community.