Information available for helping students in crisis or victims of sexual assault

The Office of Student Conflict Resolution (OSCR) and Counselling & Disability Services (CDS) are providing information to faculty and staff to help them deal effectively with students in crisis and students who are the victims of sexual assault.

Two folders, Guidelines for Responding to Sexual Assault Disclosure and Identifying and Responding to Students in Crisis, have been distributed to key staff in the Faculties and other frontline student service offices.

Robert Tiffin“The idea of these folders is to have information readily available for anybody who works directly with students,” says Vice-President Students Robert Tiffin (right). “We know that a student may ask any staff or faculty member for help, and when that student is in crisis or has been the victim of a sexual assault, we need to get them quick and accurate information about the service options available. I believe that these folders will help to make that possible.”

Funding for both projects came through the Women’s Campus Safety Grant provided by the Ministry of Training, Colleges & Universities.

The Guidelines for Responding to Sexual Assault Disclosure folder was developed in conjunction with the Sexual Assault Initiatives Committee. The folder is designed to give faculty and staff information that they can use to support students when responding to a sexual assault disclosure. The folders include tips and guidelines for responding sensitively to survivors. It also contains an insert, Sexual Assault Support Resources, designed for survivors, that provides information about organizations on and off campus that can support them in the aftermath of an assault.

The Sexual Assault Initiatives Committee includes representatives from the Centre for Women & Trans People, Security Services, Residence Life, Health Education & Promotion, Sexual Assault Survivors’ Support Line, Centre for Human Rights, OSCR and CDS.

The Sexual Assault Awareness & Resources website has been developed to help bring more awareness to the York community about sexual violence, and the support and resources available to survivors. For more information about these resources or the website, contact OSCR at 416-736-5231.

The second folder, Identifying and Responding to Students in Crisis, was developed in collaboration with the Students at Risk Committee (SARC). The folder clearly and concisely outlines strategies for dealing with students in distress and pinpoints the most appropriate referral for students facing a wide range of crisis situations. Smoothing the path to a timely and effective response to students in need is a priority. Another goal is to reduce confusion surrounding the referral process and minimize harm or disruption to the students themselves, as well as to others within the York community.

SARC forges key linkages with various departments within York University who are mandated to respond to, and support students who are in, crisis. SARC members include representatives from OSCR, Security Services, CDS, Residence Life, Vice-President Students and Student Client Services, as well as other departments when appropriate.

For more information about the crisis folder, contact CDS at 416-736-5297. To learn more about identifying a student in distress and making a successful referral, visit the Personal Counselling Services website.

To learn more about crisis services, visit the Counselling & Disability Services website.

Community members can request additional folders by contacting OSCR at Staff from OSCR and/or CDS are also available to speak to faculty and at staff meetings to review the folders.