Book Cover

Supporting Survivors: Training and Facilitation Guide

Supporting Survivors: Training and Facilitation Guide

Training for Preventing and Responding to Sexual Violence in B.C. Post-Secondary Institutions

Sexual Violence Training Development Team


Victoria, B.C.

Supporting Survivors: Training and Facilitation Guide

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Supporting Survivors: Training and Facilitation Guide by Sexual Violence Training Development Team is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

© 2021 Sexual Violence Training Development Team

Supporting Survivors Training and Facilitator Guide: Preventing and Responding to Sexual Violence in BC Post-Secondary Institutions is an adaptation of Responding to Disclosures of Sexual Assault by AMS Student Society of UBC Vancouver, Sexual Assault Support Centre (AMS SASC). It was shared under a Memorandum of Understanding with BCcampus to be adapted as an open education resource (OER) for the B.C. post-secondary education sector.

This adaptation is © 2021 by the Sexual Violence Training Development Team and is licensed under a CC BY 4.0 License.

The Creative Commons licence permits you to retain, reuse, copy, redistribute, and revise this book—in whole or in part—for free providing the author is attributed as follows:

Supporting Survivors Training and Facilitator Guide: Preventing and Responding to Sexual Violence in BC Post-Secondary Institutions by the Sexual Violence Training Development Team is licensed under a CC BY 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

If you redistribute all or part of this book, it is recommended the following statement be added to the copyright page so readers can access the original book at no cost:

Download for free from the B.C. Open Textbook Collection.

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This resource can be referenced in APA citation style (7th edition), as follows:

Sexual Violence Training Development Team (2021). Supporting survivors: Training and facilitation guide. BCcampus.

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Black and gray stones near sea during daytime by Adam Przeniewski is used under an Unsplash license.

Ebook ISBN: 978-1-77420-108-4

Print ISBN: 978-1-77420-109-1

This resource is a result of the BCcampus Sexual Violence and Misconduct (SVM) Training and Resources Project funded by the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training (AEST).

Accessibility Statement


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The web version of this resource has been designed to meet Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, level AA. In addition, it follows all guidelines in Accessibility Toolkit: Checklist for Accessibility. The development of this toolkit involved working with students with various print disabilities who provided their personal perspectives and helped test the content.

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Supporting Survivors Training and Facilitator Guide: Preventing and Responding to Sexual Violence in B.C. Post-Secondary Institutions was collaboratively created as part of the BCcampus Sexual Violence and Misconduct (SVM) Training and Resources Project. The project was led by BCcampus and a working group of students, staff and faculty from B.C. post-secondary institutions. It was funded by the BC Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training (AEST).

This guide is an adaptation of Responding to Disclosures of Sexual Assault by AMS Student Society of UBC Vancouver, Sexual Assault Support Centre (AMS SASC). It was shared under a Memorandum of Understanding with BCcampus to be adapted as an open education resource (OER) for the B.C. post-secondary education sector.

This adaptation is © 2021 by the Sexual Violence Training Development Team and is licensed under a CC BY 4.0 License, except where otherwise noted.

We would also like to acknowledge the original Responding to Disclosures of Sexual Assault training was a co-creation between the Ending Violence Association of BC (EVA BC) with the University of British Columbia and AMS SASC. The Listen, Believe, Empower framework was initially developed as part of EVA BC’s Sexual Assault Disclosure Response Practice Tips resource series, developed with funding from Women and Gender Equality Canada.

The enhancements made to this resource were informed by the Evaluating Sexualized Violence Training and Resources: A Toolkit for B.C. Post-Secondary Institutions developed by the Sexual Violence Training and Resources working group.



The authors and contributors who worked on this resource are dispersed throughout B.C. and Canada and they wish to acknowledge the following traditional, ancestral and unceded territories where they met online and worked together, including K’ómoks First Nation in Comox Valley, BC; Songhees, Esquimalt and W̱SÁNEĆ territories in Victoria, BC; xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) territories in Vancouver, BC; Syilx Okanagan Territory in Kelowna BC; the Tk’emlúps te Secwepemc Territory in Kamloops, BC; Ktunaxa, Syilx (Okanagan), and Sinixt territories in the West Kootenays, BC; Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples in Toronto, ON. We honour the traditional knowledge and ways of knowing and being of the peoples of these territories. Their knowledge has existed in these spaces since time began.

Supporting Survivors Training and Facilitator Guide: Preventing and Responding to Sexual Violence in B.C. Post-Secondary Institutions was a collaboration between the public post-secondary institutions of British Columbia, BCcampus, and the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training as part of the Sexual Violence and Misconduct (SVM) Training and Resources Project.

We would like to thank the Sexual Violence Training and Resources Working Group for their leadership, dedication, and passion for this project over the past two years.

We would like to thank all the Sexual Violence Training Development Team who worked hard to create content and enhance this training to ensure these resources reflect the core principles in the SVM Evaluation Toolkit.

We would like to thank all the B.C. post-secondary institutions, student associations, and community organizations who shared their training to be evaluated as part of Phase One for this Project. We would also like to thank DKS Consulting for their work on evaluating the SVM training in BC. We would like to thank the Selkirk College Human Services students who provided feedback on a pilot test of this training.

We would like to thank Thompson Rivers University, the University of British Columbia Okanagan, AMS Student Society of UBC Vancouver; Sexual Assault Support Centre, and Simon Fraser University for the sharing of their SVM training resources for this project.



Download the Supporting Survivors: Preventing and Responding to Sexual Violence in B.C. Post-Secondary Institutions Training PowerPoint Slide Deck that accompanies this Facilitator Guide here: Supporting Survivors Slide Deck [PPTX].

This resource was developed as part of a provincial project to develop open access resources to address sexual violence and misconduct at post-secondary institutions.

Supporting Survivors Training and Facilitator Guide: Preventing and Responding to Sexual Violence in B.C. Post-Secondary Institutions is one of four open educational resources now available for the B.C. post-secondary sector. These four components can serve as a foundation for a comprehensive educational strategy to provide students, faculty, and staff with the awareness, knowledge, and skills required to prevent and respond to sexual violence and misconduct and to create healthier and safer campuses for all.

Training Audience Delivery Length Summary
Accountability and Repairing Relationships Individuals who have been informed that they have caused harm in the context of sexual violence One-on-one or small group facilitation Four 60-90 minute sessions (minimum) A series of educational sessions that guides learners through information and reflection activities that help them recognize the harm they have caused, learn how to be accountable, and develop the skills needed to build better relationships and support a safe and healthy campus.
Active Bystander Intervention All faculty, students, and staff Workshop One 90 minute session A workshop that focuses on the knowledge and skills needed to recognize and intervene in an incident of sexual violence. Uses the 4D’s Active Bystander Intervention Model.
Consent and Sexual Violence All faculty, students, and staff Workshop One 90 minute session A workshop that explores different understandings of consent, including the legal definition. Learners have the opportunity to develop skills related to asking for and giving consent in all relationships as well as discuss strategies for creating a “culture of consent” in campus communities.
Supporting Survivors All faculty, students, and staff Workshop One 90 minute session A workshop that helps learners respond supportively and effectively to disclosures of sexual violence. Includes a discussion of available supports and resources, the difference between disclosing and. reporting, and opportunities to practice skills for responding to disclosures. Uses the Listen, Believe, Support model.

Background: The Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy Act

In 2016, the B.C. Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy Act was introduced, requiring all 25 B.C. public post-secondary institutions to develop policies to prevent and respond to sexual violence and misconduct. In 2017–2018, a government outreach campaign identified the need to increase access to quality training resources. While access to training resources is an issue for all institutions, it is a particular challenge for smaller institutions. The need for open access educational resources that could be adapted by individual post-secondary institutions was identified as an important part of increasing knowledge about sexual violence and system-level capacity building (BCcampus, 2019).

In 2019, a cross-sectoral sexual violence and misconduct training and resources working group was established to provide advice and identify priorities for the development of the resources. Over a two year period, the Working Group:

This training is part of a growing collection of open education resources for addressing sexual violence in BC. These resources are intended to be of use for staff, students, and faculty working in a range of contexts, including:

How This Resource Was Developed

The resources for this project were developed, written, and reviewed collaboratively by a development team which included individuals with expertise in a wide range of areas, including sexual violence prevention and response, trauma-informed practice, adult education, equity and inclusion, Indigenous education, and community-based anti-violence programming and service delivery. Members of the Sexual Violence Training and Resources Working Group also reviewed the materials and provided feedback on how to tailor the materials to the post-secondary context.

Content specific to Indigenous considerations, working with international students, and gender & LGBTQ2SIA+ inclusion was reviewed and/or written by individuals with extensive experience in these areas. However, it is important to remember that these are areas where best practices are rapidly emerging and changing. We highly recommend that this resource be used as an introduction and foundation for addressing these topics in your work. As you adapt this training for your particular context, it is important to continue to build on the expertise and knowledge of students, staff, and faculty with experience in these areas and to develop an approach to training that reflects current issues, needs, language, and perspectives of these diverse groups within your institution and/or community.

How to Use This Resource

This resource includes two components:

  1. Slide deck. This includes slides with key presentation points and facilitator notes. The slides can be adapted to your institution as they include examples of where you can create a territory land acknowledgement specific to your context, update and include statistics, and share information about your institution’s sexual violence and misconduct policy and procedures.
  2. Facilitator Guide. This includes information to prepare facilitators to deliver training on the topic of sexual violence as well as suggestions for adapting, expanding, and modifying the training for different audiences and formats.

This resource is licensed under a Creative Commons license (CC BY 4.0 License) which means that you are free to share (copy, distribute, and transmit) and remix (adapt) this resource providing that you provide attribution to the original content creators. You can provide credit by using the attribution statement below.

Attribution statement

Supporting Survivors Training and Facilitator Guide: Preventing and Responding to Sexual Violence in B.C. Post-Secondary Institutions, Sexual Violence Training Development Team is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Key Principles

In December 2019, a Working Group of experts in the field of sexual violence met to discuss the development of sexual violence training and resources at post-secondary institutions in BC. The group included staff, students and faculty actively involved in sexual violence prevention and response activities at their respective institutions. Following the meeting, the Working Group met through an online community of practice to identify key principles central to development of training on sexual violence. These eight key principles have guided the development of this resource.

  1. Accessibility
  2. Culturally Located
  3. Decolonial Approach
  4. Evidence-Informed
  5. Gender-Inclusive
  6. Intersectionality
  7. Trauma-Informed
  8. Survivor-Centred

A full description of the principles can be found in Evaluating Sexualized Violence Training and Resources: A Toolkit for B.C. Post-Secondary Institutions (SVM Training and Resources Working Group, 2020).

Section 1: Getting Started


Adapting the Training to Your Institution


Link the Training to Your Institution’s Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy

The Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy Act (2016) requires all B.C. public post-secondary institutions to have a sexual violence and misconduct policy. Institutions are required to review their policies at least every three years and to include consultation with students as part of the review.

As you prepare your training materials, you will want to make sure that you have the most up-to-date version of your institution’s policy. Every institution has different definitions of sexual violence and misconduct and you will want to revise the training materials to reflect this and include links to the policy in all resources.

If your institution does not have a plain language summary of the policy, you may want to collaborate with on-campus organizations to develop one. Within a campus community, English literacy levels will vary enormously. As well, an accessible policy helps to support victims and survivors of sexual violence in having control and autonomy over their options related to making a disclosure, making a report, and accessing supports, accommodations, and other resources.

Link the Training to Your Institution’s Procedures and Protocols

As you prepare your training, you may want to learn more about your institution’s protocols and procedures related to sexual violence. These protocols and procedures will describe the roles and responsibilities of various departments, services, staff and faculty following a disclosure of sexual violence. It can be helpful to include some specific information about what happens following a disclosure in your training and/or to be able to respond to questions that learners might have.

You also may be designing and delivering your training for students, staff, faculty, and administrators who may be involved in responding to disclosures. You may want to ask about what kind of training they are interested in, e.g., online or in-person, length, “Level 1” or “Level 2.” You will also want to ensure that your training reaches individuals from different areas of the campus community.

Link the Training to On-Campus and Community Resources and Supports

Collaborating with groups and organizations on your campus and in the community can increase the accessibility and effectiveness of your training. Collaboration can lead to the development of new resources, opportunities for including the latest research and best practices on sexual violence prevention and response, and opportunities for co-hosting training and involving guest speakers (such as community support workers or Elders) and a greater diversity of facilitators. Some of the groups you might consider include:

Building relationships with a variety of student groups can be one of the most important ways of enhancing your training. This can include international students, students with disabilities, LGBTQ2SIA+ students, Indigenous students, graduate students, fraternities and sororities, and students involved in sex work. They will be able to provide perspectives on the issues that are important or relevant to them and provide guidance on issues such as inclusive language, when and where to hold trainings to increase participation, and barriers to accessing supports and services.

You will want to update any existing lists of resources and supports related to sexual violence. It is good practice to include both on-campus and community-based organizations, 24/7 supports as well as supports specific to various communities (e.g., LGBTQ2SIA+ people, multicultural groups). For information about community based anti-violence organizations, VictimLink B.C. (1-800-563-0808) is a good starting place as they will be able to connect you with organizations in your community.

Locating Community-Based Anti-Violence Programs and Services

VictimLink BC (1-800-563-0808) is a toll-free, BC-wide telephone help line, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It provides services in over 130 languages. It can be an important resource to include in learning materials. As well, the service can provide support in identifying programs and services in your community related to preventing and responding to sexual violence. They can help you identify crisis services (available in the evenings and on weekends) and learn about the referral criteria for specific groups and populations. For example, you will want to make sure that resource lists indicate whether a program is trans-inclusive or whether a multicultural program provides services for non-immigrants.

The Ending Violence Association of BC (EVA-BC) website provides information about Community-Based Victim Services, Stopping the Violence Counselling and Stopping the Violence/Multicultural Outreach Programs in BC.

Indigenous Considerations


Developing and delivering training on sexual violence can be an opportunity to build upon existing work at your institution toward Indigenization, decolonization, and reconciliation.

Territory Acknowledgement

Acknowledging the traditional lands of the Indigenous people on which you live, work, and study is an important way to begin an event or meeting and can be included as part of classroom activities and taught to students. Meaningful territory acknowledgements allow you to develop a closer and deeper relationship with not only the land but the traditional stewards and peoples whose territory you reside, work, live, and prosper in.

Acknowledging the territory within the context of sexual violence training will open a person’s perspective to traditional ways of knowing and being, stepping out of an organizational structure and allowing you to delve into the person’s own perceptions, needs and abilities.

When we speak about sexual violence, we cannot do so without highlighting the direct connection to tactics used to colonize and assimilate the Indigenous Peoples of Turtle Island (North America). Sexual violence is intimately intertwined in Indigenous peoples ongoing traumas from colonization; from first contact in North America, to the horrific abuses perpetrated upon children in Residential Schools, the occupation of land and accessing of natural resources without consent, to the forced sterilization of Indigenous women, to the thousands of Indigenous women, girls and Two-Spirit people as victims of sexual or physical violence and death as highlighted by the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Commission of Canada.

Territory acknowledgements are designed as the very first step to reconciliation. What we do with the knowledge of whose traditional lands we are on is the next important step.

Some questions to consider as you acknowledge your territory:

Should your institution have an approved territory acknowledgement please use that to open the session(s); however, we invite you to consider how to make that institution statement more personal and specific to you, in that moment and in the work you are about to delve into with learners.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action explicitly state that each of us as members of Canadian society have a direct responsibility to contribute to reconciliation; how we discuss colonization in relation to sexual violence is a direct response to that responsibility.

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) is an international instrument adopted by the United Nations on September 13, 2007, to enshrine (according to Article 43) the rights that “constitute the minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of the indigenous peoples of the world.” UNDRIP was adopted into the B.C. provincial legislature on November 26, 2019. Centering the history of colonization as a background and framework to sexual violence and misconduct both from a historical as well as current ongoing struggle is in direct response to our legal and moral obligation as members of Canadian society.

Curriculum Development and Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Being

Indigenization is a process of naturalizing and valuing Indigenous knowledge systems (Antoine, et al., 2018; Little Bear, 2009). In the context of post-secondary institutions, this involves bringing Indigenous knowledge and approaches together with Western knowledge systems. This benefits not only Indigenous learners but all students, staff, faculty and campus community members involved or impacted by Indigenization.

As you adapt this training for your particular context, consider how and in what ways you might interweave Indigenous content and approaches. Examples of how you might include an understanding of Indigenous ways of knowing and being:

As you do this work, as an Indigenous or non-Indigenous person, you will want to continue to draw upon and build on existing relationships with Indigenous people, both within and outside of your institution. As a way of continuing to work in intentional and respectful ways, you may want to reflect on questions such as:

Elders and Knowledge Keepers

Elders have always been the foundation for emotional, social, intellectual, physical and spiritual guidance for Indigenous communities. As you find ways to naturalize Indigenous context, perspectives and traditional ways of being into your training, we recommend you consider inviting an Elder or Knowledge Keeper from your local community to support your sessions. One way of doing this is to speak with your Indigenous Student Services Department at your institution and share with them some of the recommendations in this guide and see how they might wish to support this work.

Not all institutions will have an Elder-in-Residence but each should have ways for you to contract an Elder or Knowledge Keeper to come in and support your work. Elders and Knowledge Keepers often support the whole post-secondary institution community, not just the Indigenous students. Involving Elders and Knowledge Keepers can help support reconciliation by helping to build respectful, reciprocal relationships that are deep and meaningful.

Whenever you plan to bring in a community member, Elder, or Knowledge Keeper, it is important to plan for the honorarium required to remunerate them for their time and sharing their lifetime of wisdom and traditional teachings. In many communities, it is seen as most respectful to offer payment on par with what you would pay a Ph.D. holder to do a keynote presentation. However, consulting on this with the Indigenous Services staff at your institution on what is a typical amount for this type of event is also a good practice.

International Students


In 2018, there were nearly 500,000 international students in Canada at all levels of study which was an 17% increase from 2017 (Canadian Bureau for International Education, 2018). B.C. hosts the second largest international student population next to Ontario, followed by Quebec.

International students may be at significant increased risk of being targeted for sexual violence and may face unique barriers to reporting and accessing supports (see Section 2: International Students for more information about barriers). According to the B.C. International Student Survey, international students rely primarily on other international students from their home country and from other countries for their primary sources of support, especially for non-academic issues (Adamosky, 2015). Consequently, international students who are survivors of sexual assault will be more likely to disclose the sexual assault and gain support from other the international students. International students who experience or who are impacted by sexual violence are also significantly less likely to seek help from counselling services due to language barriers and cultural differences (Mori, 2000). To make matters more complex, cultural perspectives of violence and rape myths differ from one culture to another (Bonistall Postel, 2017). Thus, international students might have difficulty identifying sexual violence and responding to disclosures of sexual assault. Therefore, it is important for post-secondary institutions to play a role in equipping international students with basic understanding on how to best respond, support, and advocate for their peers in an appropriate and sensitive matter that does not further traumatize the survivor.

Post-secondary institutions should involve international students in the development and implementation of training on sexual violence. They are the experts and can identify the gaps and needs of their peer groups and as individuals. Facilitators can develop the training agenda based on their needs and be prepared with the relevant safety resources that include community organizations and groups, translated materials and supports.  Post-secondary institutions can build partnerships with organizations that are providing support to international students who can share the collateral they have, e.g., safety booklets, infographics and educational materials (see, for example, the International Student Safety Guide developed by MOSAIC).

Section 2: Considerations for Facilitators


Understanding Your Social Location as a Facilitator


The term social location is often used by facilitators working in the anti-violence sector (Baker et al, 2015; Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses, 2018; Simpson, 2009). The concept of social location comes from the field of sociology and describes the groups that people belong to because of their place or position in society. An individual’s social location is defined by a combination of factors such as gender, race, social class, age, ability, religion, sexual orientation, and geographic location. This makes social location unique to each individual – no two individuals will have the exact same social location.

Social location is important because it strongly influences our identity, or our sense of self, and how we see the world. When it comes to the topic of sexual violence, we all have different experiences, values, beliefs, attitudes, strengths, and vulnerabilities. It can be helpful to try to understand your social location in order to be able to facilitate across all these differences. Here are some questions to help with that process:

To facilitate across difference means to be grounded in an awareness of your own social location. As a facilitator, you will want to recognize the diversity of social locations of your audience and to value the knowledge and experience learners bring with them. At a practical level, this understanding can help you raise issues related to sexual violence in a way that will create a safer space for all learners. An awareness of your own social location allows you to engage in conversations about how social location influences experiences of sexual violence and provides a foundation for unpacking assumptions, championing new ideas, and promoting values central to creating safer campuses.

Disclosing Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

Your sexual orientation and gender identity are important points of reflection as a facilitator. If you can and feel safe doing so, disclosing your sexual orientation and gender identity in a way that is thoughtful and respectful may help in creating a safe space for gender and sexual minorities by signalling that you are aware of your social location. Be precise in your language, for example:

“I am a straight, cisgender woman who is neurodivergent and I am aware that the privileges and disadvantages associated with sexual orientation and gender identity mean that I experience the world in a very different way than some of you might.” is preferable to “I’m a woman.”

For examples of precise language relating to sexual orientation and gender identity, please see Section 2: Gender & LGBTQ2SIA+ Inclusive Language.

Individuals with a background in anti-violence work, human service work (i.e., social work, child and youth care), health services (i.e., nursing), or those that have experience and knowledge in issues related to social justice, criminology, and mental health are well suited to facilitating training on sexual violence. If resources are available, you will ideally want to have facilitators from a range of social locations deliver training related to sexual violence prevention and response. Having facilitators of diverse backgrounds is important in creating safe, inclusive, and welcoming learning environments for diverse learners.

For example, when delivering to student groups, a peer-to-peer facilitation model can help to increase credibility of the training as well as have other benefits such as empowerment of facilitators (Hines & Palm Reed, 2015; McMahon et al., 2013; McMahon et al., 2014; Turner & Shepard, 1999). Transgender, non-binary, Two-Spirit and other queer people benefit from learning about sex and sexual violence from facilitators who share their personal lived experiences and have developed an analysis of the negative impacts of systemic queerphobia on LGBTQ2SIA+ people.

With mixed audiences, whenever possible, co-facilitation teams should include people of differing social locations and experiences. For example, a transgender or non-binary facilitator could be paired with a cisgender/heterosexual facilitator. This is beneficial for two reasons: transgender, queer, and non-binary audiences may connect more and feel safer with a facilitator of similar lived experience and the other facilitator can carry the burden of diffusing problematic situations that may arise from (sometimes well-intentioned) queerphobic comments. In short, a pairing of non-queer and queer facilitators may create safe spaces for queer learners and facilitators (Rensburg & Smith, 2020). In general, a diversity of facilitators demonstrates that sexual violence is an issue relevant to people of all genders and social locations (Moynihan et al., 2012; Roy et al., 2013).

Accessibility, Inclusion, and Safety



Accessibility typically refers to all the ways in which the training environment, delivery and participation options, and materials are designed to allow for people from a variety of backgrounds, abilities, and learning preferences to participate fully. Your institution will likely have policies, resources and supports related to accessibility that you can build on as you prepare to deliver training on sexual violence. Below is a list of strategies you may want to consider in order to make your training more accessible and inclusive.


Delivery and participation options


Creative Approaches to Learning

Community-based and campus-based anti-violence programs and initiatives have a long history of developing innovative and creative approaches to support learners of all backgrounds. This resource provides suggestions on how to facilitate activities both in-person and online. It also includes suggestions of additional activities that help to explore and increase understanding of issues related to sexual violence such as power and privilege; the impact of colonialism on sexual violence; and ideas about gender roles and how they influence people’s experiences of dating and relationships. Depending on the learner(s), many of these topics can be abstract and difficult to engage with through discussion-based activities or in a single workshop. We encourage you to make connections, in-person or online, with anti-violence organizations or to consult anti-violence resources and toolkits to develop creative approaches to delivering this training. Below are a few suggestions of creative approaches to education on sexual violence prevention and response.

  1. Digital or Paper Collage. Use images from popular culture, including films, books, TV, and music to explore stereotypes. Ask questions such as: Who are consistently the main characters? Who are the “heroes”? Who has power or who’s life and decisions are considered “important” and “valuable”? Explore ideas about what is considered “normal” and acceptable in our society and how this affects our attitudes and beliefs about issues such as sexual violence and consent and our roles in supporting change.
  2. Group “Sculpture.” Use objects and movement to help learners visualize power dynamics in society. For example, you could ask several learners to use a water bottle and chair to create a group “sculpture” in which one of the objects is seen to be more powerful and then ask the audience to respond and share what they saw.
  3. Guided Imagery. Read a story about the day-to-day experiences of a member of your community and ask learners to visualize themselves as that person. E.g., you could ask a cisgender man to imagine taking the bus to class from the perspective of a cisgender woman.
  4. “I can help create a safer campus” Bingo. Create a bingo game that includes suggestions of actions that individuals can take to support safer campuses. E.g., “I can not laugh at sexist jokes,” “I can give active consent when I want to have sex,” “I can say something when I hear disrespectful language.”
  5. “Take home” Readings and Viewings. Some groups of learners may benefit from having shorter sessions spread out over a period of days or weeks. This can create opportunities for take-home activities such as reading a graphic novel or watching a documentary or analyzing a spoken word video with a reflection component.
  6. Interactive Theatre or Improv. Scenario-based activities are an effective approach to learning skills related to preventing and responding to sexual violence. Interactive theatre and improv approaches can build on discussion-based approaches to scenarios. They can help learners gain experience “rehearsing” real-life situations as well as explore short- and long-term consequences. Techniques such as “hot-seating” can be a way of exploring the motivations behind the actors’ actions and develop empathy and compassion.

Creating Space

For sexual violence training to be successful, learners need to feel comfortable, safe, and respected. As you prepare to facilitate, you will want to consider factors such as when and where to hold the training, key messages on promotional materials, the use of group guidelines, ensuring diverse representation, using icebreakers, whether activities require self-disclosure, and ways of working with co-facilitators or guests. In this section, we discuss several strategies for helping to create a positive learning space.

Opening with intention

Facilitators have an enormous role to play in setting the “tone” for a session. As people enter the space (online or in-person), you can welcome them and help them get oriented. You can let them know if you’ve started or whether you’re waiting for a few more people and share “housekeeping information” such as where the bathrooms are, where they can put their things, or how to use online interactive features. If the training will include interactive or discussion-based activities, you may want to consider using an icebreaker activity to help people get to know each other ahead of time. As you begin your session, you can use opening questions that help create inclusivity such as correct pronouns, check-in questions, or information about accessibility needs and requests.

Community or group guidelines

Community or group guidelines are an activity that brings groups together to decide how they will interact and support each other. This process can take anywhere from a few minutes to 30 minutes. If you are facilitating a short training (e.g., a one-hour lunch time session) or a training in which learners may not be interacting extensively with each other, creating community guidelines may not make sense. Instead, you might ask learners to agree to a list of guidelines or a code of conduct when they register or sign-up for the training. Or, you might share a list of guidelines at the beginning of the training and ask learners if they feel comfortable with them and/or if they have something they would like to add or change.

For longer sessions (e.g., a three-hour workshop) or for training that involves multiple sessions over a period of time, community guidelines can be an important tool for supporting safer discussion about difficult topics. You can remind learners of the guidelines if the discussion is getting difficult or at the beginning of each session. Important group agreements relate to listening to and showing respect for others (e.g., not talking when others are speaking, not making rude comments, or not talking on the phone), confidentiality, and participation.

Examples of Community or Group Guidelines

Community guidelines come in all shapes and sizes. Some groups have a few guidelines while others have many. Often, groups will change or add guidelines as needs and ways of working together evolve. Here are suggestions of possible guidelines.

  • Share the learning, not the names or the stories (confidentiality)
  • Participants have the right to “pass” on activities/questions that feel uncomfortable
  • It is all right to feel uncomfortable or not to know answers to everything
  • Treat others with respect
  • Be mindful of your language; respect everyone’s names and pronouns
  • Remember that survivors of sexual violence may be present
  • Speak for yourself. Use “I statements” to state opinions or feelings
  • Seek to replace judgment with curiosity
  • Take care of yourself
  • Take space, make space (allow everyone a chance to participate)

Content warnings

Content warnings (also called trigger warnings) are a statement made prior to sharing potentially difficult or challenging material. The intent of content warnings is to provide learners with the opportunity to prepare themselves emotionally for engaging with the topic or to make a choice to not participate.

Different departments and institutions will have different approaches to content warnings and this may guide your decision about including content warnings on registration or sign-up forms, in learning materials, and in the learning environment. Below is an example of a content warning:

“We will be discussing topics related to sexual violence in this training. During the training, you can choose not to participate in certain activities or discussion and can leave the room at any time. If you feel upset or overwhelmed, please know that there are resources to support you.”

There are a number of other facilitation strategies you may want to consider in addition to or instead of a content warning:

Gender & LGBTQ2SIA+ Inclusive Language

Inclusive language is important and helps avoid making assumptions about others. As a facilitator, you will want to use language that is inclusive of all people regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, sex assigned at birth, and marital or romantic status.

Because your audience is likely to be diverse, it’s important to be respectful of the many ways they experience gender, attraction, and relationships. Choose examples, scenarios, statistics, and images that are non-gendered or inclusive of LGBTQ2SIA+ people and relationships. Sexual violence is not exclusive; it can happen to and be perpetuated by people of diverse genders, sexes, and attractions.

If you are speaking in general terms, take care to choose terms like “intimate partner or partners” instead of “husband,” “wife,” “boyfriend” or “girlfriend.” If you are referring to a specific person’s intimate partner, use the same language they use. If a person refers to their intimate partner as their “spouse” or “wife,” you should use the word they do instead of referring to their “partner.”

Likewise, addressing learners using inclusive language will ensure a sense of safety for learners. For example, “Good afternoon, everyone,” “Hello, folks,” and “Have a good break, human beings” are inclusive of transgender, non-binary, Two Spirit, and gender diverse people while “Welcome, ladies and gentlemen” is exclusive.  Similarly, avoid everyday gendered language (e.g. man hours, spokesman, and waitress should be replaced with work hours, spokesperson/speaker, and server) or historically oppressive turns of phrases such as “rule of thumb.” Try using language such as “someone of another gender” and “people of all genders” rather than “the opposite sex” or “both genders.”

Be careful to address or refer to people with similar titles in similar ways, regardless of their gender identity. If you refer to a cisgender male professor as “Dr. Last Name,” as a default, refer to all professors as “Dr. Last Name.”

Don’t assume pronouns, sexual orientation (attraction) or gender identity based on someone’s name or appearance. Invite all learners, guests, and co-facilitators to indicate their pronouns and their preferred name on their nametag or in their online display names, if they feel safe doing so. Explain that sharing our pronouns is a way to act in solidarity with some people who are gender diverse, transgender, non-binary, and Two Spirit people, but that, ultimately, it is a way to be inclusive of all people.

Examples of gender inclusive language:

people of all genders experience; hello folks; every group will need to have a spoke person; good morning everyone.

Trauma Awareness

Experiences of trauma and violence are common in our society. Many people participating in sexual violence training will have experiences of past or current trauma and many facilitators will have experiences of trauma themselves. There are a number of strategies you can use to help create a “trauma aware” learning space.

A note on language

People who have experienced trauma may describe themselves as a “victim” or “survivor” or “victim/survivor” of trauma. These words have their own history and meanings. Language is imperfect and constantly evolving and there is no one best or “correct” word. Do your best to use the term that people prefer whether that be “victim” or “survivor” or something else entirely and don’t be afraid to respectfully ask if you are unsure.

Possible Signs of a Trauma Response

The following list may help you in recognizing and responding to ‘in-the-moment’ trauma responses.

  • Sweating
  • Change in breathing (breathing quickly or holding breath)
  • Muscle stiffness, difficulty relaxing
  • Flood of strong emotions (e.g., anger, sadness, etc.)
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Startle response, flinching
  • Shaking
  • Staring into the distance
  • Becoming disconnected from present conversation, losing focus
  • Inability to concentrate or respond to instructions
  • Inability to speak

(BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services, 2013)

International Students

As a facilitator, you will want to ensure that you are knowledgeable and prepared to address the distinct and specific needs of multicultural and diverse communities. International students are one group that you may want to consider. They may be at significant increased risk of being targeted for sexual violence, due to multiple barriers they face including lower levels of English language fluency, a lack of understanding of criminal law in Canada, cultural views of sexual violence, discrimination, racism, a need to adjust to local culture and limited local support systems (Forbes-Mewett and McCulloch, 2016). Furthermore, they may not understand the legal definitions of sexual violence and what consent means, and where to find help.

An infographic describing challenges faced by international students. Image description linked in caption.
“Challenge faced by International students” © The Law Foundation of British Columbia and MOSAIC. (2020). Used with permission.

It is important to highlight that international students are not weak or vulnerable; rather they are quite resilient and determined to thrive and make Canada their home. It takes positive determination to leave the safety of family, financial stability and social network. However, once here, they may face the additional challenges from within their own ethno-specific community while also experiencing homesickness, loneliness and helplessness as part of their acculturation into Canadian society.

As a facilitator, there are a number of strategies you can take to ensure the inclusion and participation of international students:

Sexual Violence: Key Concepts and Facilitation Strategies



Intersectionality is a concept that promotes an understanding of people as shaped by the interactions of different social locations or categories ― for example, race, ethnicity, Indigeneity, gender, class, sexuality, geography, age, ability, migration status, and religion.

In the context of sexual violence, intersectionality can help increase understanding of how certain populations face increased risks of perpetrating sexual violence and others face increased risks of being targeted by sexual violence. It also highlights how different groups of people experience systemic barriers to disclosing and accessing support services. It can also help ensure that responses to sexual violence are attentive to and reflective of the diversity of campus communities.

Examples of facilitation strategies related to the concept of intersectionality

  1. As you facilitate discussion, you can highlight key ideas related to sexual violence and intersectionality. For example, you could say:
    • “Violence does not happen in a vacuum and it isn’t merely a result of individual circumstances or bad luck.”
    • “People’s circumstances, such as their income, housing situation, and access to health care, can affect their ability to access resources to heal from their experiences.”
    • “When we take a look at ‘big picture’ issues like discrimination, economic conditions, and social policies, we can better understand why certain individuals might be reluctant to report that they have been assaulted.”
    • “Even though LGBTQ2SIA+ people experience high rates of violence, when compared to the general population, they are often fearful of accessing the justice system due to a history of negative interactions with police and daily experiences of discrimination and harassment.”
    • “Many international students are resilient and determined to thrive and make Canada their home. However, they might face unique barriers when it comes to sexual violence such as language barriers, lack of knowledge about services and supports, or work exploitation.”
  2. In your training, include statistics, images, and other resources that reflect the perspectives, needs, experiences, and interests of diverse groups. For example, images of a mixed race queer couple with a visible disability gives recognition that race, sexual orientation, and ability can be places of diversity within one relationship. Or, include statistics on sexual violence and resilience within queer and polyamorous couples as well as straight, monogamous couples.
  3. If you are using statistics about a particular group of people, use precise language to avoid confusion. For example, “Men are likely to be the perpetrators of sexual violence against women” is less accurate than “Cisgender men are likely to be the perpetrators of sexual violence against all other genders, especially against cisgender women.” Your use of precise language will vary based on the information you will be sharing,
  4. Depending on your audience, you can include a resource or section about intersectionality in your training. This could be a more academic resource such as an interview with legal scholar Kimberlé Crenshaw (while many people have used intersectional perspectives in their work, her use of the term in 1989 has greatly influenced current understandings) or an experiential resource such as an interview or spoken word video by a survivor of sexual violence that highlights multiple social locations.
  5. If you have more time, you can include a reflective activity such as the Power Flower (below).

Activity: Power Flower

The Power Flower is a visual tool that we can use to explore how our multiple identities combine to create the person we are.


  1. Each person fills out their own power flower, identifying different aspects of their own identities in a number of categories. (Colourful markers or paper are always a bonus!). As we all have many identities, you may want to start with:
    • Ethnicity
    • Sex
    • Gender identity
    • Sexual Orientation
    • Class
    • Language
    • Ability
    • Family
    • Education

    Feel free to customize this list to your audience and the focus of your training.

  2. As a group, reflect on the implications of being able to choose certain aspects of your identity and not others and explore why you might think about certain aspects of your identity more than others. How does thinking through these different categories affect your perspective of yourself?
  3. What kind of power do you have? In your own life? As a student, staff or faculty member?
  4. What are your strengths? What are your skills? What kind of knowledge do you hold? What resources and supports are available to you?
  5. How might your power flower shape your experiences, knowledge, beliefs, and values about sexual violence?

This Power Flower activity is adapted from: Arnold, R., Burke, B., James, C., Martin, D., and Thomas, B. (1991). Educating for Change. Toronto: Between the Lines. Available from

This Power Flower activity is adapted from: Arnold, R., Burke, B., James, C., Martin, D., and Thomas, B. (1991). Educating for Change. Toronto: Between the Lines.

Download the Power Flower Activity here: Handout Power Flower Activity [Word file].

Sex, Gender, and Gender Identity

Because of the power inherent in sex and gender dynamics and the role they play in our lives, addressing sex, gender, and gender identity in discussions about sexual violence is essential. Gender can be a complex topic to discuss as there are many elements to consider such as identity, expression, orientation, and sex. Western understandings of sex, gender and gender identity have evolved from a binary view (two options: male and female) to a spectrum which suggests there are multiple sexes (male, female, intersex), many gender identities, and a wide range of gender expressions that may or may not conform to societal expectations. Many cultures have respect and recognition for more than two sexes, genders or gender identities. This is true not only abroad, but among many nations Indigenous to Turtle Island (North America).

Sex: Biological factors used to describe physiological differences such as gene expression, chromosomes, genitals, and hormones.

Gender: The social roles, expectations, and behaviours that are prescribed to us based on our sex assigned at birth. This can be different between cultures and time.

Gender Identity: Our internal understanding of our own gender. It may or may not match what is outwardly apparent to others or what is expected of us by society.

As a facilitator, you will want to be familiar with key terms used to discuss gender. These terms are continuing to evolve and it is important to refer to people using their own terms.

Some examples of language related to gender
Cisgender Refers to someone who identifies with the sex they were assigned at birth. Cis is a Latin prefix which means aligned with.
Transgender Refers to someone whose gender identity differs from their sex assigned at birth. Trans is a Latin prefix which means across, beyond or through. (Note: use transgender and not transgendered as the term transgendered is outdated and seen as derogatory).
Non-binary Refers to someone who identifies as having a gender outside of the male/female binary.
Two-Spirit Refers to a specific identity held by some people Indigenous to Turtle Island (North America). Two-Spirit people may embody diverse sexualities, genders, gender expressions, and gender roles than those prescribed by colonial understandings of sex and gender. They often hold special cultural, spiritual, or ceremonial roles among their people.
Sex assigned at birth Refers to the sex that an infant is assigned when they are born. It is based on the combination of hormones, chromosomes, and internal and external genitalia. The three most common options are female, male, and intersex.
Gender Identity Refers to someone’s personal understanding of their gender. It may or may not align with their body and gender expression.

Regularly Updated Language Resource

Inclusive language is continuing to evolve. Qmunity, BC’s Queer, Trans, and Two-Spirit Resource Centre has a resource called Queer Terminology from A to Q  that is regularly updated.

Examples of facilitation strategies related to the concepts of sex, gender, and gender identity

  1. When talking about diverse experiences of sexual violence, take care to be both inclusive of LGBTQ2SIA+ people while being precise when talking specifically about sexual violence committed by cisgender men against cisgender women.
    Key discussion points can include:
    • The overwhelming majority of acts of sexual violence are committed by cisgender men against cisgender women and girls and people of other genders. Transgender, Two-Spirit, and non-binary people as well as lesbian, gay, and other queer people are disproportionately targeted by perpetrators of sexual violence.
    • It’s important to remember that straight, cisgender men and boys can also be targeted and that people of all genders and sexual orientations may be perpetrators of sexual violence.
    • We need to be mindful of the experiences of all victims of sexual violence while not minimizing the deep-rooted experiences of violence that cisgender women, girls, and gender diverse people are subjected to by cisgender men.
    • Gendered sexual violence exists and thrives in the context of colonialism which privileges straight, white, able-bodied men while unjustly mistreating LGBTQ2SIA+, BIPOC, and disabled people. Because of these intersecting oppressions, people of colour, women, children, and queer people are especially at risk of being targeted by sexual violence.
  2. Help people learn more about gender by including an activity in your training that explores concepts such as gender identity, attraction (sexual orientation), and gender expression (presentation).

    Activity: Gender Unicorn

    The Gender Unicorn is a visual activity by Trans Student Educational Resources that allows learners to map out of their own experiences of sex and gender. It is available in an interactive form, as a colouring book, and in different languages. (It uses a Creative Commons license and can be shared as long as credit is given.)

    The Gender Unicorn activity. Image description linked to in caption.
    The Gender Unicorn” © Trans Student Educational Resources (2015). [Image description]
  3. When facilitating, pay attention to the pronouns that you use as they are an important part of language related to gender. In addition to the binary English terms “she/her/her” and “he/his/him,” some people use gender-neutral pronouns such as “they/them” (in singular form). Use the pronouns that correspond to a person’s gender identity. As it is not possible to assume pronouns based on appearances, it is a good practice to ask for a person’s pronouns. For some people, being referred to intentionally and repeatedly with inappropriate or incorrect pronouns (or being “misgendered”) can be hurtful, offensive, and violent.

Roots of Violence

There are many different theories and perspectives about what the causes of sexual violence in our society are. Discussions about ideas such as social constructions of gender roles, colonialism, enslavement, and patriarchy can help us to explore and understand the root causes of sexual violence and to collectively find answers and solutions.

Linking Sexual Violence and Gender Equity

Sexual violence is linked to gender inequities in society. The lives, bodies, agency, and work of women, girls, transgender people, and other gender diverse people are devalued while those of men are overvalued. Devaluing leads to dehumanizing and objectifying; overvaluing leads to entitlement and the misuse of power. Together this forms an environment where sexual violence perpetrated by men against women and people of diverse genders is normalized. One way to combat the pervasiveness of sexual violence is to ensure the norms, systems, and institutions in our society are equitable for people of all genders.

The term “rape culture” was first coined in the 1970s in the United States by second-wave feminists and the concept is often used in sexual violence prevention training in post-secondary institutions. Rape culture describes how sexual violence is common in our society and how it is normalized, condoned, excused, or encouraged. Examples of rape culture include the public tolerance of sexual harassment, the prevalence of sexual violence in media, the socialization of boys that promotes masculine identities based on notions of power and control, persistent discrimination against women and other equity-seeking communities, and the scrutiny given to the sexual histories of victims of sexual violence (Baker, 2014; EVA-BC, 2016).

Many aspects of rape culture are often conceptualized as a continuum or pyramid or can be connected to other forms of violence in society.

An anti-violence continuum/pyramid. Image description linked in image caption.
Image adapted from Simon Fraser University Sexual Violence Support and Prevention Office (SFU SVSPO, 2020). [Image description]

Examples of facilitation strategies related to the concept of roots of violence

  1. Ask learners about their perceptions of campus safety: Do they feel safe all the time? Some of the time? What affects their sense of safety? What kind of role do we as campus community members have in preventing sexual violence and/or helping to promote norms of respect, safety, equity, and helping others? (As safety can be a deeply personal subject, you may want to facilitate this discussion in a structured way such as using specific examples or asking questions that require limited self-disclosure).
  2. You can connect your training to current events and media coverage, e.g., a news story about a high-profile sexual assault case that is in court, the latest opinions about the activities of a famous or infamous celebrity. To what extent are individuals held responsible for their actions and to what extent is society?
  3. You can include a section in your training on critical media analysis, e.g., reviewing advertisements and exploring what messages they communicate about dating, relationships, and sex. Do these advertisements reflect or challenge current attitudes and stereotypes about sexual violence?

Colonial Violence

Colonialism occurs when a group of people take control of other lands, regions, or territories outside of their own by turning those other lands, regions, or territories into a colony.

Colonialism remains embedded in the legal, political and economic context of Canada today.

Sexual violence and colonialism are interconnected through concepts such as self-determination, autonomy and consent. As well, many social norms in Canada are founded on colonial beliefs which are rooted in white patriarchal supremacy and which have created systems that support individuals, predominantly white men, to positions of power. These norms provide an illusion that people are entitled to what others have, including lands, cultures, and people’s bodies and that force is an acceptable way to claim these things, regardless of the harm to others (National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, 2019; Turpel-Lafond, 2020; Women’s Earth Alliance and Native Youth Sexual Health Network, 2016). An understanding of past and ongoing colonial violence can help provide context to issues such as why many Indigenous people and communities experience high rates of sexual violence today and the potential systemic or historical barriers to Indigenous People reporting sexual violence when it occurs.

Examples of facilitation strategies related to the concept of colonial violence

  1. During your training, you can discuss how your institution and/or campus unit/department is demonstrating accountability to Indigenous communities and peoples whose land you are on. It is especially important to highlight that reconciliation is a journey and not a destination. This helps to be able to speak frankly about the limitations or meaningfulness of specific initiatives and policies at your institution and to respectfully acknowledge the difficulty in repairing hundreds of years of harm.
  2. During discussions, you can make connections between colonization (non-consensual theft of land and violence/devaluing of Indigenous People, women, Two-Spirited people and members of the LGBTQ2SIA+ community) and sexual violence (non-consensual sexual touch and/or behavior, devaluing of people’s autonomy). In particular, you can make a connection between land and consent – Canada as a nation is built upon a fundamental lack of consent of Indigenous peoples
  3. Many people from diverse parts of the world have their own experiences of colonial violence and oppression. It can be helpful to acknowledge this as it helps people to build connections between their own experiences and those of Indigenous People. You will also want to keep in mind that individuals from these groups may be reminded of their own experiences when hearing about the injustices faced by Indigenous People and may benefit from learning about additional resources and supports.
  4. When discussing the impact of sexual violence as a tool of colonization and genocide against Indigenous communities, you can also highlight the resiliency and capacity of Indigenous peoples and communities to resist and overcome violence.

Activity: Colonial Violence Wheel

This Colonial Violence Wheel is a visual tool that can be used to help further discussion on the connections between colonial violence and sexual violence. Each section of the wheel provides examples of strategies, policies, and laws that have been enacted by the Canadian government to colonize and assimilate Indigenous people. Discussion questions can include:

  1. What do you already know about colonialism in Canada? What aspects of these strategies, policies and laws do you see in your life?
  2. How do the strategies, policies, and laws described in the Wheel connect to sexism, racism, and other forms of discrimination?
  3. How does colonial violence connect to sexual violence? For example, what is the connection between self-determination at an individual level (control of one’s own body) and at a community level (First Nations self-governance)?
A wheel describing colonial violence. Image description linked in caption.
“Colonial Violence Wheel” © Jewell Gillies (2021), Musgamgw Dzawada’enux. Used with permission under CC BY 4.0 License. [Image description]

Download the Colonial Violence Wheel Activity here: Handout Colonial Violence Wheel Activity [Word file].

Healthy and Toxic Masculinity

“Healthy masculinity” and “toxic masculinity” are popular terms often used to explore beliefs, values, and stereotypes related to male identity and masculine norms in society. Masculine identity and norms are strongly linked with violence, with men and boys disproportionately likely both to perpetrate violent crimes and to die by homicide and suicide (Heilman and Barker, 2018).

Training on sexual violence on campuses will often explore ideas related to masculinity as a way of helping to shifting societal ideas about masculinity and to centre new values related to inclusivity and diversity. These conversations can help highlight how sexual violence harms people of all genders, including boys, men, and masculine people. It also can be an entry point for cisgender men to take a role in addressing sexual violence in their community.

Examples of facilitation strategies related to healthy and toxic masculinity

  1. When discussing toxic masculinity is important to be clear that this term does not mean that men are bad or evil. It does not mean that men are naturally violent or that only men are violent.
  2. The topic of healthy and toxic masculinity can often fit well in discussions of why sexual violence happens in society. Questions to explore can include:
    1. What ideas do we as a society have about what it means to “be a man”?
    2. Who or what defines masculinity in our society?
    3. How does this affect boys, men, and masculine people?
    4. How might these ideas be related to sexual violence against all genders in our society?
    5. Can you be masculine without being aggressive or violent?
    6. How might the experience of masculinity differ for a non-binary person, a trans-masculine person or a masculine woman versus a man who was assigned male at birth?
  3. Support boys, men, and masculine people in re-defining what healthy masculinity looks like for them. Suggest that there is more than one way to be a man (or any other gender identity). Connect healthy masculinity to topics such as asking consent, respecting boundaries, and being accountable.

Image descriptions

Gender Unicorn image description.

A purple cartoon unicorn stands beside different ways to describe gender, sex, and attraction. They are as follows:

[Return to place in the text]

Anti-Violence Continuum/Pyramid image description.

A pyramid representing different aspects of rape culture. As you go to higher levels of the pyramid, the degree of discrimination increases. These are the levels of the pyramid from low to high:

[Return to place in the text]

Colonial Violence Wheel image description.

A wheel with the words “colonial violence” in the centre. Within each spoke of the wheel are examples of colonial violence. Surrounding the outer edge of the wheel are the words, “resilience,” “resistance,” and “self-determination.” Here are the examples of colonial violence:

[Return to place in text]

Facilitating Discussion


Asking Questions to Promote Critical Thinking

Using questions is a simple way to deepen discussion and to promote critical thinking. We all make assumptions in order to arrive at opinions of how things are, what is important, and how things “should be.” Drawing out learner’s thoughts through the use of critical questions can help you to understand how to connect key concepts to learners’ personal experiences.

Key questions to encourage critical thinking could include:

You also can ask questions to help reframe an issue. For example:

Responding to Common Myths about Sexual Violence

There are many stereotypes, myths, and beliefs about sexual violence that do not reflect what research evidence tells us about sexual violence. There are many different approaches to responding to common myths during a discussion, including sharing statistics or research, asking a reflective question, clarifying definitions and concepts, or sharing an anecdote or experiential perspective. Below are some suggestions on how to respond to common myths about sexual violence (Sexual Violence and Prevention Response Office, 2020).

Common Myths Possible Responses
False reports

“People are lying or exaggerating when they talk about experiencing sexual violence.”

“What are some reasons why people wouldn’t disclose? How are people usually treated when they say something? Do we really think people would lie knowing these barriers and potential responses?”

“The number of false reports for sexual assault is very low, consistent with the number of false reports for other crimes in Canada.”

Clothing what a victim was wearing or doing

“If they’re dressing “that” way then they’re kind of asking for it.”

“Why did she go there [party, hotel, nightclub]?

“Nobody asks to be assaulted.”

“Research has shown that outfits aren’t associated with assaults – there’s no kind of outfit that makes violence less likely.”

“Consider if this response was applied to other crimes. For example, if your car was broken into and the police officers began questioning you about why you chose to park in a “bad” part of town. Does this sound fair?”

Ulterior motives

“Survivors are only looking for attention/status/money, or are acting out of regret.”

“What kind of attention do survivors who come forward (especially publicly) typically get? Are they famous now?”

“Do we really think people would rather face negative social responses than manage their own regret if that’s what happened?”

“How might people’s desire to see the world as a good/safe place influence whether they believe survivors?”

Caution has gone too far

“People nowadays are too sensitive/overly politically correct/ anything can be construed as sexual violence.”

“Who tends to be the person who is behaving ‘overly sensitive’? Who tends to be the other party?”

“If you knew that something deeply hurt someone, why would you choose to continue anyways? What do you lose by ‘not doing the thing that causes harm’?”

Drinking alcohol or using other substances

“So, basically, you’re saying anyone who’s had sex while they were drunk has actually raped someone.”

“The law says that in some situations a person may be affected by alcohol or drugs so much that they can’t give legal consent. When a person can’t give legal consent, any sexual activity with them is sexual assault. If you want to do something sexual with someone who’s been drinking alcohol or using drugs, you must be very careful that their thinking is clear. They must be able to decide freely if they want to be sexual with you and be able to communicate their consent clearly.”

“If a person is unconscious or incapable of consenting due to the use of alcohol or drugs, he/she/they cannot legally give consent. Without consent, it is sexual assault.”

“Alcohol is the number one drug used in drug-facilitated sexual assault.”

“Some people who have been sexually assaulted blame themselves because they were drinking and might not describe what happened to them as sexual assault. If they didn’t consent, it is considered sexual assault.”

Assumptions about perpetrators

“But they’re such a nice person! I’ve never been uncomfortable around them.”

“Different countries have different understanding so they just do it more.”

“Most sexual assault is committed by strangers….usually outside in dark, dangerous places.”

“About 80% of the time, the survivor knows the perpetrator. They can include dating partners, acquaintances, and common-law or married partners.”

“Just because you have never experienced something with a person doesn’t mean others haven’t.”

“We need to be careful with really broad generalizations about specific cultures. Perpetrators come from many different cultures and backgrounds. People from the same culture may hold very different values.”

“The majority of sexual assaults happen in private spaces like a residence or private home.”

Adapted from: Sexual Violence and Prevention Response Office. (2020). Bystander Intervention (Facilitation notes). Thompson River University. Used with permission.

Transitions and Difficult Conversations

While facilitating, you are likely to encounter challenging moments when you might not be sure how to respond, when you strongly disagree with the perspective of the learner, or when the conversation has shifted in a direction that makes you concerned for the comfort and safety of other learners.

Below are some potential responses for handling difficult moments (Sexual Violence and Prevention Response Office, 2020):


Self-Care and Community Care


Self-care and community care are about looking after yourself and those around you. Facilitating learning about sexual violence can range from satisfying and rewarding to challenging and overwhelming. It is important to make sure that you are able to take the time to take care of yourself and that you are willing to reach out to co-workers, friends and family, or professional supports, if needed.

Ideally, you will be in a situation where you are delivering training with a co-facilitator. Not only is this helpful if a learner needs support during a session, it also helps to have someone with whom to share the joys and challenges of facilitation. After a session, plan for time afterwards to check in with each other about your experiences and any successes or challenges in facilitating. This allows for time to reflect on issues related to participation, inclusion, and safety; to consider any feedback that you received from learners; and, to discuss any facilitation successes and challenges. If you are facilitating alone, you might use the time after a session to reflect or use a journal to make notes as a way of processing the experience.

Check-in/Reflection Questions

Taking time after a session to “debrief” can be a helpful way to care for yourself. Here are some sample debriefing questions.

  • What was a positive moment or success in this session?
  • How did the learners engage with the different activities? Is there something I want to facilitate or do differently next time?
  • Did I or a learner seem to have a response to the material, a shared story or another learner that was challenging? If so, how was it responded to or resolved?
  • Is there something I want to do differently next time? Is there something that would be helpful for me to learn about or check with a co-worker about?

Section 3: Supporting Survivors Training Guide




Because any member of a campus community may be the recipient of a disclosure, all campus community members should be trained to appropriately respond to a disclosure of sexual violence. This training is especially important for community members who are likely to receive a disclosure, such as resident advisors (Orchowski & Gidycz, 2015).

Educational workshops for training individuals to respond to disclosures of sexual violence can contain a breadth of information such as: a definition of sexual violence and the prevalence of sexual violence on campuses; the impacts of sexual violence, including how trauma affects survivor responses; how to appropriately respond (listen, believe, support); on- and off- campus sexual violence resources; and the importance of self-care for responders (EVA-BC, 2016b).

Foremost, this training aims to provide learners with practical skills and knowledge in order to increase their confidence in responding to a disclosure of sexual violence in a way that supports and does not further harm the survivor. This training also provides an opportunity to explore and understand some of the contextual factors and root causes that support sexual violence in society, including how rape culture creates barriers to disclosing and reporting acts of sexual violence.

This training is grounded in a trauma-informed approach which acknowledges the individualized effects of sexual violence on survivors and others, empowering survivors with choice and control in disclosing, reporting, accessing support at their own pace, and respecting the survivors’ right to privacy and need for safety (Elliot, Bjelajac, Fallot, Markoff, & Reed, 2005). By outlining that the effects of sexual violence are significant and long lasting, not only for survivors but also for their family and friends, education and prevention programs further solidify their importance while simultaneously generating empathy for survivors.

Key Terms

The following terms are used throughout this training.

  • Sexual Violence: An umbrella term for a wide range of acts of violence that are sexual in nature.
  • Disclosure: The act of discussing an experience of sexual violence with someone.
  • Reporting: The act of discussing sexual violence with the police or college officials.


Training Overview


Learning Outcomes At the end of this workshop, learners will be able to:
  • List programs, resources, and other supports for survivors, both on- and off-campus
  • Discuss the impacts of trauma, including how it affects a survivor’s decision to disclose
  • Use responding-to-disclosure skills: Listen, Believe, Support
  • Identify barriers to disclosure for survivors
Audience This training is suitable and recommended for all members of the campus community: students, faculty, administrators and staff. The suggested minimum number of learners is 6 and the suggested maximum is 40.
Duration Approximately 90 minutes.
Knowledge and Skills Learners receive information on a variety of topics including: consent, sexual violence terminology, root causes of sexual violence, impacts and reactions of sexual violence-based trauma, and how to respond to disclosures. Learners have the opportunity to practice a variety of interpersonal skills including active listening, validating, and self-care.



This training can be delivered in both in-person and remote (online) formats. Changes required to deliver this workshop remotely, through a video conference platform such as Zoom, are minimal and are primarily within the activities sections and involve placing learners in breakout rooms to practice skills and discuss content. The details of adjustments for remote delivery can be found within the facilitator notes for the activities.

In most instances, delivering this training in person is preferable. In-person delivery usually provides a greater opportunity for connection and relationship building between facilitator and learners, greater engagement between all learners, and more opportunities for facilitators to check for comprehension. Advantages for remote delivery include convenience, ability to reach students off-campus or prior to arriving on campus and the ability to record trainings.

An ideal institutional practice would see all students, faculty, administration (including leadership) and staff complete this workshop early in the school year, perhaps within a suite of trainings (i.e., other training on preventing and responding to sexual violence). Regular updates of sexual violence trainings (e.g., yearly) is also a “wise practice.”

There are multiple opportunities to connect content found in this workshop to other training on sexual violence. For example, conversations about rape culture and myths about sexual violence in training on responding to disclosures can be linked to bystander intervention skills and how learners would respond to these situations. This training can also be included as part of the curriculum for various programs, a professional development opportunity for faculty and staff, or an extra-curricular credit offering.

Timing for 90 minute session
  • Territory acknowledgement
  • Welcome and Introduction
  • Group agreement
5 minutes
Part 1
  • Learning Objectives
  • Definitions: consent and sexual violence
  • Consent Tea video
  • Building tools discussion
  • Listen, Believe, Support
15 minutes
Part 2
  • Impacts of Trauma
  • Barriers to Disclosure
  • Rape Culture
  • Sexual Violence statistics
  • Responsibility
20 minutes
BREAK 5 minutes
Part 3
  • Goals of Responding
  • Empathy video
  • Active Listening
  • Believe
  • Disclosure and Reporting
  • Support
  • Support services brainstorm
  • Resources
  • Long-term support
  • Self-care
  • Practice activity
  • What can I do?
  • Scenarios activity
40 minutes
Closing: Questions, Takeaways and Further reading 5 minutes

Facilitation Considerations


Before facilitating this training, you will want to ensure that you are well-informed about campus and community support services including which staff members at your institution are designated to receive sexual violence reports. Make sure you are aware of reporting options, including their processes: no report, report to institution/college, report to police, third party report to police, medical assistance, forensic medical exam, civil claim as well as any union requirements to report sexual violence.

You will also want to create or update a resource that provides a comprehensive list of on-campus and community-based services, including police-based and community-based victim services workers, counsellors, and the 24-hour emergency crisis line phone number. See Section 1: Getting Started for a list of what to include and download an example of a “Supporting Survivors” resource list below.

Supporting Survivors: A Resource Handout for the Selkirk College Community [PDF] is an example of a two-page handout which lists resources for supporting survivors as well as provides suggestions for members of the campus community on how to respond to disclosures. Developed by Selkirk College (2016). Used with permission.

Different campus community groups may have different responses to sexual violence training. For example, younger students, female students, those who have experienced sexual assault and those involved in extra-curricular activities are more likely to endorse and believe sexual violence prevention education programs are useful for themselves and the post-secondary institution as a whole (Jozkowski, Henry, & Sturm, 2015). Students whose studies include related fields (e.g., social work, mental health, etc.), are likely to have a positive response to the training, while other students, staff and community groups may have mixed appreciation for the relevance of sexual violence training. Unfortunately, sub-groups of students that are generally considered at higher risk of committing sexual violence —men and individuals on either intramural sports teams or university athletic sports teams—are more likely to believe that sexual violence education is not important for them personally or for the student body as a whole (Jozkowski, et. al, 2015).

In general, the primary outcome for this training is to increase the confidence and skills of learners to safely and effectively respond to disclosures of sexual violence. Careful consideration for the audience demographics and making necessary adjustments to the training, choice of facilitators and delivery style, can increase the engagement of learners and the overall efficacy of this training.

In addition to matching the facilitators with the learner groups, an important adjustment is to apply practice scenarios and conversation topics that are most relevant to the learner group. This training provides several diverse scenarios, and you should use scenarios that the learners are most likely to encounter. You can also create additional practice scenarios and conversation topics based on your knowledge of the learners you will be working with.

Below are some considerations for specific groups of learners.

Male-Dominant Groups

As mentioned, male-dominant learner groups (e.g., trades programs, male sports teams) may display resistance to sexual violence training (e.g., they may be supportive of rape myths). In such instances, male facilitators can play an important role by utilizing their position and privilege to centre the conversation on sexual violence as primarily a men’s issue (see, for example, Jackson Katz’s substantive work in this area). Regardless of the identity of the survivor, perpetrators of sexual violence are primarily men.

When learners express being supportive of rape myths, a powerful example can be to compare the lack of response to sexual violence with the response to other crimes. In other words, what would it look like if authorities responded to other crimes in the way they respond to sexual violence? “Imagine your car is broken into and the police respond by questioning and blaming you for the ‘bad area of town’ you decided to leave your car in.”

Statistics (i.e., high rates of sexual violence, at-risk groups, etc.) can also be helpful when you encounter resistance. Relevant statistics can be found throughout this training, in both the slides and facilitation notes. However, it is important that you make explicit that groups are targeted for violence as a result of systemic discrimination within institutions and communities, not through actions of their own.

Faculty and Staff Groups

To ensure that all members of the campus community, including faculty and staff, take seriously issues related to sexual violence and their responsibilities in prevention and response, “[p]ost-secondary institutions are encouraged to develop comprehensive responses to sexual violence that are led by senior administration at the college/university” (EVA-BC, 2016a, p. 16). Presidents, vice-presidents, and deans have an important role in ensuring that all mid-level administrators, faculty and staff are involved with sexual violence training and are aware of the institution’s sexual violence and misconduct policies. In addition to role-modeling the importance of training on sexual violence prevention and response through their own participation, top-level administrators can strongly encourage participation and training for all staff, faculty and students.

Certain learner groups may be more likely to be directly involved in receiving disclosures and assisting in reporting as part of their role in the post-secondary institution (i.e., staff and faculty groups). For these groups, additional information about the various disclosure and reporting options available may be helpful (see table below). Facilitators should also be aware of any processes that are in place though either institution or union policies. Consider creating a flow-chart illustrating the possible sequential order of steps in a disclosure or reporting process. For more information see EVA-BC’s Practice Tips for Universities and Colleges (2016).

There are many options for survivors in disclosing and reporting experiences of sexual violence. A survivor may choose any of the following options or a combination of them.

No Police Report Survivor discloses (i.e., tells someone) but does not make a report.
Report to Police A report to police is best made with support from a community-based victim services worker.
Report to Campus Security A formal or informal report made to campus security.
Third Party Report to Police via Community Victim Service Agency Survivors can make an anonymous report to police through a third-party, community-based victim services agency. This can help police identify perpetrators in order to protect others from sexual violence.

Adapted from: Ending Violence Association of BC. (2016). Responding to a Sexual Assault Disclosure: Practice Tips for Universities and Colleges.

Facilitators should also be aware of the academic and non-academic accommodations available to survivors of sexual violence. There may be accommodations available for employees also.

Non-Academic Accommodations may relate to housing, employment or other forms of financial aid. For example, students may request a change of residence and employees may request a change of department or faculty.

Academic Accommodations may include permission to miss classes, extensions on assignments, course withdrawal without penalty  and other accommodations to support survivors’ academic success.

International Students

In communities where sex is considered to be a taboo topic, it may be difficult for learners who are international students to engage in certain discussions. Discomfort discussing sex may also become a barrier for obtaining consent and disclosing sexual violence. It can be best to acknowledge the discomfort and not assume that everyone has the same level of sex education. Some cultures are not as likely to engage in direct eye contact or focused body language. Language can also be a barrier for students and careful consideration should be given to avoiding jargon and slang as well as checking for comprehension and the cultural context of certain topics. In some cultures, “no” may not be verbalized and is presented instead through body language or silence. Alternatively, other phrases may be used to convey a “no”, such as “not right now” or “I’m not comfortable.” Referring to Canadian legislation related to sexual violence, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and your institution’s sexual violence and misconduct policy can be helpful to explain.

It will be important to be clear on the many definitions presented throughout the training and specifically what is meant by a “disclosure” and “report.” Learners will process the information better knowing that there are options and that they can make their own decisions. Information about free services and supports which include police and third party reporting, access to medical options and community resources increase safety and empower international students to make informed decisions which are right for them.

During your sessions, help learners of other backgrounds to understand that there are many reasons why an international student may not be willing to report sexual violence. They may have specific needs and challenges in accessing help. Language barriers, fear of deportation, fear of the perpetrator and fear of isolation from their peer group for disclosing, cultural stigma and often not understanding the legalities around sexual violence and consent are all factors. Being knowledgeable about resources, supports, and immigration regulations will help to support the disclosure. Like all survivors, it is important to believe international students when they disclose and to validate their feelings: international students may blame themselves based on their cultural expectations and stigma associated with sex and sexual violence. See MOSAICBC for more information on challenges specific to international students.

People who are LGBTQ2ISA+

People in the LGBTQ2SIA+ community are disproportionately targeted by perpetrators of sexual violence. Because of the lasting societal prevalence of homophobia, transphobia and queerphobia, they may be isolated from supportive networks of families and friends. Experiences with medical professionals and the criminal justice system may not offer culturally competent support or a sense of safety for queer victims of sexual violence. Likewise, victims of queer sexual violence may be reluctant to seek support or report the harm done to them (e.g., a straight, cisgender man may feel shame about being victimized by another man and choose not to seek support). The LGBTQ2SIA+ community is often seen as a safe haven from those who may violently target queer and transgender people, so victims and survivors of sexual violence may be reluctant to disclose that they have been harmed by sexual violence from those within their community. Care must be taken to understand and acknowledge the intersecting oppressions faced by LGBTQ2SIA+ people of colour and those who are disabled and Indigenous. If at all possible, offer community and campus resources for queer victims of sexual violence that are culturally relevant (i.e., resources for Two Spirit people, queers of colour, disabled queers, religious queers, etc.).

Slide Deck Outline


This section complements the facilitator notes included in the slide deck. It provides suggestions on how to “go deeper” into topics depending on time available, audience interest, and goals for the training.

There are several sections in the slide deck where the information provided can and should be specific to the institution delivering the training. Sections where institution specific information should be inserted include: land acknowledgement, on-campus support services and community-based victim services, and the institution’s sexual violence and misconduct policy.


Section 1: What is Sexual Violence and What Can It Look Like?

Section 2: Impacts of Sexual Violence


Section 3: Responding to disclosures of sexual violence




When delivering training on sexual violence, you will want to consider different mechanisms for evaluating both short- and long-term outcomes. We encourage you to collaborate with community frontline workers and organizations and researchers within your institution to develop a comprehensive evaluation strategy to determine the overall effectiveness of various forms of training on preventing and responding to sexual violence at your institution as well as other indicators such as awareness of your institution’s sexual violence and misconduct policy, changes in attitudes and values related to sexual violence, and the effectiveness of institutional response to sexual violence (including investigations, accommodations, and collaboration with different stakeholders and on- and off-campus organizations).

A consistent approach to measuring similar workshops will allow you to compare them over time and show improvement or the need for adapting the workshop to be more successful for the intended audience. The pre/post test is a common form of evaluating training programs. Identical tests are used at the beginning and end of the training and the results are compared to examine changes in knowledge, attitudes, and skills. Pre-tests can be given at the time of registration for a workshop or at the beginning of a session. Post-test can be given at the end of the sesion or shortly after the date of the last session. Additional tests can be given at set time after the workshop to assess long-term impact, e.g., 3 months, 6 months, 1 year. Post-tests can also be used throughout longer trainings, e.g., at the end of a morning session and again at the end of an afternoon session.

Frequently, pre/post-test questions will be a mix of quantitative and qualitative questions. Quantitative questions are usually answered by many respondents and have definitive answers. They often use Likert scales, where respondents indicate how much they agree or disagree with a statement by choosing from a set of fixed choices on a linear scale (e.g., strongly agree, agree, neither agree or disagree, disagree, strongly disagree). Qualitative questions can be used to understand these statements and to gather information not captured by the quantitative questions. All the questions should link to the learning objectives and outcomes for the training.

This training includes an example of how to incorporate pre/post-test assessment to determine learners’ comprehension and success in reaching the learning outcomes. Slides 11-15 include four “What would you do if….?” scenarios. You can choose to share 1-2 scenarios with students and ask them “What do you already know about responding to disclosures of sexual violence?” Slide 45 at the end of the workshop provides an opportunity to review the original scenario(s). You can facilitate discussion on the knowledge and skills the learners now have, e.g., awareness of the impacts of sexual violence, practised responding skills, and knowledge of local resources. (These areas of discussion parallel the learning outcomes for this training).

Below are examples of pre/post-test questions that can be used as part of your evaluation for this training.


  1. How well do you understand the term “sexual violence”?
    No understanding
    2 3
    Somewhat understand
    4 5
    Clearly understand
  2. How well do you understand the factors that contribute to sexual violence happening?
    No understanding
    2 3
    Somewhat understand
    4 5
    Clearly understand
  3. How knowledgeable do you feel about what to do if you receive a disclosure of sexual violence?
    Not at all knowledgeable
    2 3
    Somewhat knowledgeable
    4 5
    Very knowledgeable
  4. Can you think of different ways that trauma may impact someone?
    Cannot think of any
    2 3
    Can think of a few
    4 5
    Can think of many
  5. Can you think of reasons why people may not disclose that they have experienced sexual violence?
    Cannot think of any
    2 3
    Can think of a few
    4 5
    Can think of many
  6. Can you think of different ways to respond if you receive a disclosure of sexual violence?
    Cannot think of any
    2 3
    Can think of a few
    4 5
    Can think of many
  7. Can you think of support services for survivors of sexual violence?
    Cannot think of any
    2 3
    Can think of a few
    4 5
    Can think of many


  1. How well do you understand the term “sexual violence”?
    No understanding
    2 3
    Somewhat understand
    4 5
    Clearly understand
  2. Has your understanding of the term “sexual violence” changed? YES or NO
    1. If YES, how?
  3. How well do you understand the factors that contribute to sexual violence happening?
    No understanding
    2 3
    Somewhat understand
    4 5
    Clearly understand
  4. Has your understanding of the factors that contribute to sexual violence changed? YES or NO
    1. If YES, how?
  5. How knowledgeable do you feel about what to do if you receive a disclosure of sexual violence?
    Not at all knowledgeable
    2 3
    Somewhat knowledgeable
    4 5
    Very knowledgeable
    1. If you learned something new about this, what was it?
  6. Can you think of different ways that trauma may impact someone?
    Cannot think of any
    2 3
    Can think of a few
    4 5
    Can think of many
    1. If you learned something new about this, what was it?
  7. Can you think of reasons why people may not disclose that they have experienced sexual violence?
    Cannot think of any
    2 3
    Can think of a few
    4 5
    Can think of many
    1. If you learned something new about this, what was it?
  8. Can you think of different ways to respond if you receive a disclosure of sexual violence?
    Cannot think of any
    2 3
    Can think of a few
    4 5
    Can think of many
    1. If you learned something new about this, what was it?
  9. Can you think of support services for survivors of sexual violence?
    Cannot think of any
    2 3
    Can think of a few
    4 5
    Can think of many
    1. If you learned something new about this, what was it?
  10. What are one or two main pieces of knowledge or skills you’re taking away?
  11. Was there anything missing from the training?
  12. Is there anything you are still wondering about?

Collecting data about rates of sexual violence and reporting

There are a number of challenges to collecting data about rates of sexual violence and reporting. However, collecting data about rates of reporting on campus can be an important indicator of how well an institution is doing to address sexual violence.

There are a number of reasons why people choose to not report experiences of sexual violence including: they did not feel that authorities could do anything about it or that authorities would help them; fear of not being believed; previous poor experiences with reporting or accessing support and services; fear of revenge by the perpetrator; fears about privacy and confidentiality. Many of these barriers can be addressed by continuing to develop safer and more effective approaches to supporting survivors. If initiatives are successful in addressing these barriers, an institution can expect rates of reporting to increase. Making links between rates of reporting and initiatives like training on responding to disclosures and other changes to procedures and protocols can help to build the evidence-base for ongoing training in this area.

Additional Resources


You may find these resources helpful to review for your own learning as a facilitator or to include in your trainings.



Adamosky, R. (2015). BC international student survey: Final report. Retrieved from

Antoine, A., Mason, R., Mason, R., Palahicky, S., and Rodriguez, C. (2018). Pulling together: A guide for Indigenization of post-secondary institutions. A professional learning series. Retrieved from

Arnold, R., Burke, B., James, C., Martin, D., and Thomas, B. (1991). Educating for Change. Toronto: Between the Lines. Available from

Baker, L. (2014). Sexual Violence Prevention – Are we increasing safety or reinforcing rape culture? Good Intentions … and unintended bad consequences. Learning Network Brief, 21. London, Ontario: Learning Network, Centre for Research and Education on Violence Against Women and Children. Retrieved from

Baker, L., Barreto, E., and Etherington, N. (2015, October). Intersectionality. Learning Network, 15.

Barker Heilman, B. and Barker, G. (2018). Masculine norms and violence: Making the connections. Washington, DC: Promundo-US. Retrieved from

BCcampus. (2019). Moving forward together: Building capacity to prevent and respond to sexual violence on campus forum.

BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services. (2013). Trauma-informed practice guide. Victoria, BC: BC Mental Health and Substance Use Planning Council.

Bonistall Postel, E. J. (2020). Violence against international students: A critical gap in the literature. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse21(1), 71–82.

Canadian Bureau for International Education. (2018). International students in Canada. CBIE Research in Brief Number 10. Retrieved from

Elliot, D. E., Bjelajac, P., Fallot, R. D., Markoff, L. S., & Reed, B. G. (2005). Trauma-informed or trauma-denined: Principles and implementation of trauma-informed services for women. Journal of Community Psychology, 33(4), 461-477.

Ending Violence Association of BC. (2016a). Campus sexual violence: Guidelines for a comprehensive response. Vancouver, BC: Ending Violence Association of BC. Retrieved from

Ending Violence Association of BC (EVA BC). (2016b). Responding to a sexual assault disclosure: Practice tips for universities & colleges. Retrieved from

Forbes-Mewett, H., & McCulloch, J. (2016). International students and gender-based violence. Violence against women, 22(3), 344–365.

Hines, D. A., & Palm Reed, K. M. (2015). An experimental evaluation of peer versus professional educators of a bystander program for the prevention of sexual and dating violence among college students. Journal of Aggression, Maltreatment & Trauma, 24(3), 279–298.

Jozkowski, K. N., Henry, D. S., & Sturm, A. A. (2015). College students’ perceptions of the importance of sexual assault prevention education: Suggestions for targeting recruitment for peer-based education. Health Education Journal, 74(1), 46-59.

Little Bear, L. (2009). Naturalizing Indigenous Knowledge, Synthesis Paper. Canadian Council on Learning. Retrieved from

McMahon, S., Lowe Hoffman, M., McMahon, S. M., Zucker, S., & Koenick, R. A. (2013). What would you do? Strategies for bystander intervention to prevent sexual violence by college students. Journal of College and Character, 14(2), 141–152.

McMahon, S., Postmus, J. L., Warrener, C., & Koenick, R. A. (2014). Utilizing peer education theater for the primary prevention of sexual violence on college campuses. Journal of College Student Development, 55(1), 78–85.

Mori, S.C. (2000). Addressing the mental health concerns of international students. Journal of Counseling & Development, 78, 137-144.

Moynihan, M. M., Eckstein, R. P., Banyard, V. L., & Plante, E. G., (2012). Facilitator’s guide for bringing in the bystander: A prevention workshop for establishing a community of responsibility (Revised Version, 2017).

National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. (2019). Reclaiming power and place: The final report of the national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls.,Reclaiming%20Power%20and%20Place,women%2C%20girls%20and%202SLGBTQQIA%20people

Ontario Association of Interval and Transition Houses. (2018). How does intersectionality work? Understanding intersectionality for women’s services.

Orchowski, L. M., & Gidycz, C. A. (2015). Psychological consequences associated with positive and negative responses to disclosure of sexual assault among college women: A prospective study. Violence Against Women, 21(7), 803-823.

Rensburg, M. J. van, & Smith, H. (2020). Navigating uncertainty, employment and women’s safety during COVID-19: Reflections of sexual assault resistance educators. Gender, Work & Organization.

Roy, V., Lindsay, J., & Dallaire, L.-F. (2013). Mixed-gender co-facilitation in therapeutic groups for men who have perpetrated intimate partner violence: Group members’ perspectives. The Journal for Specialists in Group Work, 38(1), 3–29.

Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy Act (SBC 2016, chapter 23). Retrieved from the BC Laws website:

Sexual Violence and Prevention Response Office. (2020). Bystander intervention (Facilitation notes). Thompson River University.

Simpson, J. (2009). Everyone belongs: A toolkit for applying intersectionality. Canadian Research Institute for the Advancement of Women.

SVM Training and Resources Working Group. (2020). Evaluating sexualized violence training and resources. Victoria, B.C.: BCcampus.

Turner, G., & Shepherd, J. (1999). A method in search of a theory: Peer education and health promotion. Health Education Research, 12, 235-2.

Turpel-Lafond, M. (2020). In plain sight: Addressing indigenous-specific racism and discrimination in B.C. health care summary report.

Women’s Earth Alliance and Native Youth Sexual Health Network. (2016). Violence on the land, violence on our bodies: Building and indigenous response to environmental violence.

Appendix 1: Sexual Violence Training and Resources Working Group


Contributor Post-Secondary Institution
Amy Rowes North Island College
Ashley Bentley Capilano University
Audrey Wong Capilano University
Bryanna Anderson University of the Fraser Valley
Chantelle Spicer Simon Fraser University
CJ Rowe Simon Fraser University
Cori Andrichuk College of the Rockies
Dranna Andrews-Brown Royal Roads University
Glen Magel British Columbia Institute of Technology
Greg Mather University of the Fraser Valley
Heather Carson Okanagan College
Heather Thomson Okanagan College
Jo-Anne Stoltz Selkirk College
Kenya Rogers University of Victoria
Kerry Roberts University of Northern British Columbia
Kyla Mcleod Royal Roads University
Mary DeMarinis Justice Institute of British Columbia
Nancy Darling Okanagan College
Paola Quiros Simon Fraser University
Patrick Bourke Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Rhonda Schmitz Selkirk College
Sasha Wiley-Shaw University of British Columbia
Contributor Student Associations
Adreen Muchini College of the Rockies
Amrita Ramkumar Douglas College
Anouk Borris Vancouver Island University Students’ Union
Catherine Gehman Justice Institute of British Columbia
Danielle Landeta-Gauthier British Columbia Institute of Technology Students’ Association
Eleanor Vannan Camosun Student Society
Grace Dupasquier Alliance of B.C. Students
Gurpinder Gaidu Douglas College
Irma Kahn Vancouver Island University Students’ Union
Tashia Kootenayoo University of British Columbia – Okanagan Students’ Union
Contributor Community Associations
Kate Rossiter Ending Violence Association of BC
Nour Kachouh Ending Violence Association of BC

Appendix 2: Sexual Violence Training Development Team


The resources for this project were developed, written, and reviewed collaboratively by a group of subject matter experts with project management and technical support provided by BCcampus. The development team included individuals with expertise in a wide range of areas, including sexual violence prevention and response, trauma-informed practice, adult education, equity and inclusion, Indigenous education, and community-based anti-violence programming and service delivery.

Matty Hillman Lead, Supporting Survivors Training
Meaghan Hagerty Co-Lead, Active Bystander Intervention Training and Accountability & Repairing Relationships Training
Amber Huva Co-Lead, Active Bystander Intervention Training and Accountability & Repairing Relationships Training
Melissa Singh Co-Lead, Consent and Sexual Violence Training
Sandra Suasnabar Alberco Co-Lead, Consent and Sexual Violence Training
Tasnim Nathoo Lead, Curriculum Development
Perminder Flora Subject matter expert (working with international students and multicultural considerations)
Jewell Gillies (Musgamgw Dzawada’enux) (they/them/theirs) Subject matter expert (Indigenization and decolonization and LGBTQ2SIA+ considerations)
Kate Rossiter Subject matter expert (community-based anti-violence programs and services)
Chanelle Tye Subject matter expert (LGBTQ2SIA+ and gender inclusivity)
Terri Bateman Instructional Designer
Robynne Devine
Project Manager
Kaitlyn Zheng Pressbooks Coordinator
Gabrielle Lamontagne Indigenous Coordinator

Versioning History


This page provides a record of edits and changes made to this book since its initial publication. Whenever edits or updates are made in the text, we provide a record and description of those changes here. If the change is minor, the version number increases by 0.01. If the edits involve substantial updates, the version number increases to the next full number.

The files posted by this book always reflect the most recent version. If you find an error in this book, please fill out the Report an Open Textbook Error form.

Version Date Change Details
1.01 May 3, 2021 Book published.
1.02 Jan 11, 2022 Updated slide deck. Remediated slide deck in Introduction to be more accessible.