If you have experienced any form of sexual violence, know it is not your fault. You are not alone and there are many supports available and people who can help you. Here are some first steps you can take.
If you or someone else is in immediate danger, call campus security at 204-474-9341 and/or call 911.
For immediate 24/7 sexual violence support, call the Klinic Sexual Assault Crisis Line at 1‑888‑292‑7565.
How to get support
Here are some first steps that you can take:
1. Go to a safe place
This could be on or off campus, and can include the office of a trusted university employee or co-worker, a service centre such as the Sexual Violence Resource Centre, Student Counselling Centre or Security Services, your residence or a friend’s residence, a hospital or medical centre, a police station or any other space that makes you feel safe and comfortable.
2. If possible, share with a safe person
Talking to someone who you know cares about you and whom you trust can be very helpful in meeting your needs and feeling a sense of safety and support.
Many faculty and staff members across our campuses are equipped to receive disclosures of sexual violence, including the staff at the Sexual Violence Resource Centre. We encourage you to contact staff at the Sexual Violence Resource Centre, or talk to another UM employee that you feel comfortable with in order to receive support.
3. Receive medical attention
If you have recently experienced sexual violence, it is very important to consider medical attention. Even if you don’t feel physically injured, a health care provider can assist you in addressing many concerns such as: pregnancy and pregnancy prevention, sexually transmitted infection prevention and treatment, internal and external injuries and appropriate referrals.
It’s important to know that certain treatments, such as emergency contraception and certain infection prophylaxis are time limited. The sooner you seek care, the better.
Where to receive medical attention
At the University of Manitoba, we strongly recommend that you access the services of the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Program or Klinic Community Health Centre. These services are comprehensive and specialize in supporting individuals who have experienced sexual assault. This is helpful as medical, legal and counselling information and options can be provided in one place.
- The SANE program is a 24/7 Winnipeg service located at the Health Sciences Centre that provides options and choices about medical care, evidence collection (forensic exam) and/or police reporting. The SANE also assists with connecting an individual to counselling services.
- For individuals who have not yet gone through puberty, SANE services are available up to 72 hours (three days) after an assault that has occurred in Winnipeg
- For individuals ages 17+, SANE services are available up to 240 hrs (10 days) after an assault that has occurred in Winnipeg. After five days, Evidence collection may or may not be possible, depending on the circumstances but individuals can still be seen for medical care up to 10 days after.
- Outside of Winnipeg, evidence collection is available through the RCMP and is possible for up to 120 hrs (five days) after an assault.
KLINIC provides 24/7 immediate crisis intervention with the Sexual Assault Crisis Line (1-888-292-7565). They also provide medical/legal advocacy, counselling and information. No medical or police involvement is necessary.
You can also receive medical care at any health facility that you choose, including University Health Service, a family physician or nurse practitioner, walk in clinic or hospital emergency room.
4. Access supports
There are many different ways you can choose to be supported now and in the future.
Klinic Counselling on Campus – the Sexual Violence Resource Centre (SVRC) has a partnership with Klinic Community Health providing specialized sexual violence counselling on-campus for students, staff, and faculty members. Services are available on both the Fort Garry and Bannatyne Campuses. Contact the SVRC to learn more.
Student Counselling Centre provides both crisis support and trauma counselling to students and is free and confidential. Services are available on both the Fort Garry and Bannatyne Campuses.
Indigenous Student Centre provides support and assistance to students in a manner consistent with the cultures and values of Indigenous Peoples, including personal counselling, Elder care, and connection to ceremony.
Listing of counselling services in Manitoba and Winnipeg, including no fee and low fee.
Klinic Community Health Centre provides a 24/7 sexual assault crisis line as well as short term counselling based on a client-centered approach. The amount of time that has passed since the incident occurred is irrelevant.
Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) — The UM Employee and Family Assistance Program (provided through Shepell FGI) offers a full range of flexible and confidential services and support, including counselling, for employees of the University of Manitoba and their families. 24/7 crisis counselling support is available via 1-800-387-4765.
Hope for Wellness Help Line provides 24/7 counselling and crisis intervention specifically to Indigenous peoples. Telephone counselling is available by request in Cree, Ojibway and Inuktitut.
Ka Ni Kanichihk’s Heart Medicine Lodge provides culturally based support and advocacy services for Indigenous women and Two Spirit folks who have experienced sexual assault or sexual violence.
Rainbow Resource Centre provides free and accessible counselling services including same day/drop in counselling and short-term counselling to the 2SLGBTQIA+ community.
Trans Lifeline is a grassroots peer-support hotline and non-profit organization offering direct emotional and financial support to trans people in crisis; Trans Lifeline is for the trans community, by the trans community.
NorWest Community Health provides counselling, advocacy, and referrals for women who have experienced interpersonal violence through both the Immigrant Women’s Counselling program and A Women’s Place program. Translation services are available.
The Laurel Centre provides individual and group counselling to women who have experienced childhood and / or adolescent sexual abuse.
Safety and support planning
- The Sexual Violence Resource Centre can assist with developing a safety plan for both on and off campus. Staff at the SVRC can also work with you on an individualized support plan to ensure UM community members are able to live, work and learn in a safe environment. They can also provide referrals to other services both on and off campus.
- Security Services at the University of Manitoba provides ongoing safety planning on campus (e.g., SafeWalk) as well as acts as a liaison with both internal and external agencies (e.g., Winnipeg Police Service).
- Victim Services provides victims of reported crime with information about their case at any stage of the investigation and assists with dealing with problems that an individual may encounter as a result of the crime, including emotional support, providing police case information, information about the criminal justice system and referrals.
- Emergency shelters such as Willow Place, Ikwe-Widdjitiwin, or Chez Rachel (L’Entre-temps des Franco-Manitobaines) in Winnipeg offer crisis counselling, emergency accommodation, safety planning, and case management services to women who are exiting situations of gender-based violence. For emergency shelters outside of Winnipeg, visit the Manitoba Association of Women's Shelters website.
Students, Staff, and Faculty who have been impacted by sexual violence are encouraged to contact the Sexual Violence Resource Centre (SVRC) to explore accommodations to their living, learning or work environment.
Accommodations for work or learning environment
The Sexual Violence Resource Centre can support students in creating safety plans, understanding your rights, exploring academic accommodations, and connecting students to Student Accessibility Services or Student Advocacy as appropriate for academic requests such as classroom accommodations, withdrawals, and deferrals.
The SVRC can support Faculty and staff in creating safety plans, understanding your rights, and coordinating possible work accommodations with their department head, dean or supervisor, or the Human Resources Client Services and Employee Wellness office.
Other safe spaces and supports
All the additional supports listed are safe, respectful spaces to disclose experiences of sexual violence and get referral information.
On campus offices
Chaplains’ Association supports the life of the whole university community with a focus on spiritual/religious needs and values. Services include counselling and spiritual care from a faith-based perspective.
Health and Wellness Office provides campus-wide and personal education and information on consent and sexual violence. Free information and consultation related to health, wellness and sexual violence resources (both on and off campus) along with how to access them, are available.
Indigenous Student Centre provides support and assistance in a manner consistent with the culture and values of Indigenous Peoples, including personal counselling.
International Centre provides support for all university students including international students and internationally minded students.
Office of Human Rights and Conflict Management: Any person who believes that any member of the University of Manitoba has been subjected to sexual violence in the course of university-related employment, study, training or activities may discuss their concerns or make a complaint.
Ongomiizwin Education, located at the Bannatyne campus, is a centre for Indigenous students enrolled in a professional health program within the Rady Faculty of Health Sciences that offers culturally relevant supports, resources and programming.
Residence Life Office provides service to all students currently living in residence.
Services for Students at Bannatyne Campus is a one stop shop and centralized source of information about services and programs available to Bannatyne students.
Spiritual Care for Students provides personal counselling at the Fort Garry campus and the Bannatyne campus to current University of Manitoba students.
On campus student groups
The Rainbow Pride Mosaic is an UMSU service group that is a safe space for all LGBTTQ* students and staff at UM.
The Student Accessibility Centre is an UMSU service group that is a safe space for all students who identify as having any accessibility needs.
The University of Manitoba Indigenous Students’ Association (UMISA) is an UMSU service group that is a safe space for all First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students at UM.
The Womyn’s Centre is an UMSU service group that is a safe space for all womyn, gender fluid and gender non-conforming individuals.
5. Practice self-care
Experiences of sexual violence can have an impact on many areas of our lives: emotional health, physical health, social life, work, and studies. There are many feelings that may come up following a traumatic experience like sexual violence: shock, anger, confusion, sadness, fear, and anxiety. Any feeling is valid. There is no right or wrong way to react.
In addition to accessing any of the resources above for support, practicing self-care is an important tool to use during the healing process. Self-care means taking time and space to acknowledge what emotions are coming up for you so that you can understand what you need and support yourself in meeting those needs. When we’ve experienced a traumatic event, any activity that provides comfort and a sense of safety/security is self-care.
Sometimes self-care simply means covering the basics: have something to eat, drink some water, take a nap, have a shower, brush your teeth, fit in a little bit of movement, get outside. These activities can go a long way. You can also explore some of the self-care resources below.
Daily practices and activities
HabitBull — A free app that helps you track habits, routines and to-dos. This can help you to not only stay organized, but improve positive habits and decrease negative ones.
Self Checkout — A free app that helps you monitor day-to-day emotions and practice regular self-care. Includes mood and trigger trackers, detailed history and selfcare check lists and reminders.
Self-Care Activities — Walkalong.ca has compiled a great list of daily activities and small steps that can help you get through the day and find enjoyment.
Self-Care Starter Kit — Developed by the University at Buffalo School of Social Work, this starter kit is full of tips and resources for self-care strategies, specifically geared toward students and professionals.
Me Too: A Toolkit for Survivors During COVID-19 — tips and practices to help articulate some things you might be feeling, ground you, and give you the tools to help take care of yourself while you navigate the effects of this pandemic.
My Coping Plan — A free app that helps you create a customized coping plan for stressful times. This app allows you to add in activities for self-care and coping, contacts you can talk to and spend time with and other reminders.
Toronto Metropolitan University Colouring Book (PDF) is an online and downloadable colouring book for survivors and supporters. The University of Manitoba Students’ Union (UMSU) also offers a colouring book/resource guide “Your Voice Matters.” Free copies are available in their office (101 UMSU University Centre).
Happy Color — A free app with unique and fun designs to colour on your tablet or smartphone.
You are Made of Medicine — a mental health peer support manual by and for LGBTQ+, two-spirit, Indigiqueer and gender non-conforming Indigenous youth. Inside, you’ll find strategies and tips for supporting your own mental wellness, and supporting your community.
You Feel Like Shit — An interactive self-care guide
Mindfulness and stress reduction
Breathr — A free app that teaches fun and easy ways to practice mindfulness. Includes breathing exercises, guided meditations and customizable practices.
Calm in the Storm — A free app for coping with the stresses of life. Helps users to reduce, manage and learn about their stressors.
HealthyMinds — A free app designed for students to help you deal with emotions, cope with stressors, and keep your mind healthy. Includes a mood tracker, journaling, personal problem solving, and stress buster strategies.
MindShift — A free apps for teens and young adults with tools to help manage stress, various types of anxiety and sleep.
Trauma Recovery — A free online resource developed by the Manitoba Trauma Information and Education Centre to help people understand, cope with and manage trauma.
Respecting autonomy and confidentiality
Confidentiality is very important when deciding to come forward and disclose an incident of sexual violence to someone. At the University of Manitoba, we understand that keeping information confidential can be a large factor in whether or not a person chooses to disclose, and we respect community member’s experiences and desire for autonomy.
Everyone should expect to be treated with respect and understanding when making a disclosure at the University of Manitoba. Supports and resources are available regardless of whether or not someone chooses to formally report an incident of sexual violence.
There is no obligation to formally report an experience in order to receive support.
Limits to confidentiality
We will make every effort to respect confidentiality and ask for consent before acting on information that is provided to us. However, there are times when complete confidentiality cannot be assured. These may include:
- When we believe that a person is a danger to themselves or to others;
- When a person involved is a minor (under 18 years old) or is a vulnerable person; and
- When there is reason to believe that the safety of the university community is at risk.
If one of these situations occurs, the University of Manitoba must alert the appropriate authorities. This may include disclosing information to facilitate an investigation, offering coordinated support, ensuring safety planning or taking corrective action.
University Instituted Investigations
The University of Manitoba can initiate an investigation (called a University Instituted Investigation, or UII) and/or report the incident of sexual violence to local police services, even without the consent of the survivor, if it believes that the safety of the university community is at risk or if reporting is required by law.
In this case, reasonable efforts will be made to preserve the anonymity of the person who disclosed. If the university decides to take any action, they will notify the person who disclosed and work with them to take any additional safety precautions that may be necessary.
Confidentiality when receiving a disclosure
Community members who receive a disclosure of sexual violence may also be confused about what information they must share and with whom. Community members are encouraged to consult with the Office of Human Rights and Conflict Management. There is no need to reveal identifying information in order to consult.
A person who discloses their experience to anyone at the University of Manitoba can expect to be treated with respect at all times. Services and supports are always available.
UM students, staff and community members who are seeking information on sexual violence, or who are seeking support regarding an experience of sexual violence are encouraged to contact SVRC staff.
Sexual Violence Resource Centre
537 UMSU University Centre (Fort Garry campus)
Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.