Principles for Supporting Survivors
York University recognizes that anyone can experience sexual violence. Individuals may encounter increased vulnerabilities based on intersectional aspects of their identity or perceived identity including such factors as race, Indigeneity, economic status, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, language, age, ancestry, ethnicity, ability, faith and/or immigration status.
Survivors can also experience many barriers to disclosing, reporting, and/or seeking support; barriers can differ based on the lived experience of the survivor. York University strives to reduce these barriers in order to better support survivors in the community.
Some acts of sexual violence are motivated by sexism, racism, colonialism, ableism, homophobia and transphobia, as part of a wider societal context that includes patriarchy, whiteness, and colonization as contributors to acts of sexual violence. The Sexual Violence Response Office will work with survivors to determine the appropriate supports and accommodations required based on the individual survivor’s experiences and expressed needs.
York University recognizes the traumatic effects of sexual violence and is committed to providing appropriate support and information about options available to survivors. York strives for survivors to:
- Be treated with compassion, dignity, and respect;
- Be provided with non-judgmental and empathic support;
- Have confidentiality maintained and any limits to confidentiality explained;
- Be informed of the procedures in place to address sexual violence;
- Be provided with timely safety planning assistance;
- Be informed about on and off-campus supports and services available to them; and to receive survivor-driven supports and services appropriate to their social identities including race, Indigeneity, economic status, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, language, age, ancestry, ethnicity, ability, faith and/or immigration status;
- Be provided with necessary academic, workplace, extracurricular and/or housing/dining accommodations as appropriate;
- Decide whether to pursue criminal or non-criminal reporting options subject to the limits described in this policy;
- Determine what and how much they choose to disclose and to whom;
- Have reasonable and necessary actions taken to prevent further unwanted contact with the respondent;
- Have options for reporting and/or filing a complaint outlined clearly; and
- Wherever possible, retain control over the matter and any decisions pertaining to their experience including reporting to police.