I've Experienced Sexual Violence

What is Sexual Violence?

Sexual violence is a broad term that describes any violence, physical or psychological, carried out through sexual means or by targeting sexuality. This violence takes different forms including sexual abuse, sexual assault, rape, incest, childhood sexual abuse and rape during armed conflict. It also includes sexual harassment, stalking, indecent or sexualized exposure, degrading sexual imagery, voyeurism, cyber harassment, human trafficking and sexual exploitation.

Sexual assault is any type of unwanted sexual act done by one person to another that violates the sexual integrity of the victim. Sexual assault is characterized by a broad range of behaviours that involve the use of force, threats, or control towards a person, which makes that person feel uncomfortable, distressed, frightened, threatened, carried out in circumstances in which the person has not freely agreed, consented to, or is incapable of consenting to.

Sexual harassment is unwelcome sexual attention directed at an individual by someone whose conduct or comments are, or should reasonably be known to be, offensive, inappropriate, intimidating, hostile, and unwelcome. Sexual harassment often occurs in environments in which sexist or homophobic jokes and materials have been allowed.

See the Glossary for more definitions.

What is Consent?

The expressed, voluntary agreement to engage in the sexual activity with another individual or individuals.

  • Someone who is incapacitated in any way (i.e., due to the use of drugs or alcohol, being asleep or unconscious, or a disability that prevents an individual in giving consent) cannot consent
  • Past consent does not imply future consent
  • Being in a relationship with an individual does not constitute consent
  • Silence or an absence of resistance does not imply consent
  • Consent to engage in sexual activity with one person does not imply consent to engage in sexual activity with another
  • Consent can be withdrawn at any time
  • Coercion, force, or threat of either invalidates consent
  • Consent cannot be obtained if the accused abuses a position of trust, power, or authority
  • Consent cannot be assumed by the accused based on impaired judgment

See the Glossary for more definitions.

What to do if you Experience Sexual Violence

Survivors may choose to seek out the services listed below at any time, however immediately after the violence has occurred, they may wish to consider the following steps:

1. Go to a Safe Place and Seek out Help

  • If you are a student, and live in Residence, contact a Residence Life Supervisor. You may need to contact your Don first, and can do so by calling the front desk of your Residence and asking for the on-call Don. Dons are there to listen to, support, and believe you.
  • If you are a student, and don’t live in Residence, or you are not a student, call or go to a trusted friend, family member’s house, or shelter if you feel physically and/or emotionally unsafe.
  • If you are a student, faculty, or staff member, and need assistance getting to a safe place: use a Blue Emergency Phone on campus to call Campus Security Services; reach them at ext. 5555; or 24-hours a day at 705-498-7244.
  • If any member of the Nipissing University Community is not sure what to do, or does not feel comfortable disclosing the sexual violence to the support people at the University, you can call the following 24-hour supports:
    • Assaulted Women's Helpline (tollfree): 1-866-863-0511
    • Good2Talk Helpline at 1-866-925-5454
    • LGBTYouthline: 1-800-268-9688 or TXT 647-694-4275
    • Amelia Rising Sexual Assault Centre 24 hour Crisis Line 705-476-3355
    • North Bay Regional Health Centre’s Crisis Intervention line at 705-495-8198

2. Get Medical Attention as Soon as Possible

  • If you have been sexually assaulted, you may have been physically injured or be at risk for infection. Seeking out medical care can help to reduce these harms.
  • You also have the option to proceed with a Sexual Assault Evidence Kit at the hospital, and/or receive other medical attention at the hospital. You may choose to have the Sexual Assault Evidence Kit completed and: report to police, not report to police, or have the kit frozen up to three months, if you are unsure. You can see a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE Nurse) at your local hospital

 

  • North Bay Regional Health Centre, Sexual Assault Treatment Centre
       50 College Drive
       705-474-8600 ext. 4478

3. Seek out Counselling Support

  • You may or may not feel that you would like counselling support after the incident of sexual violence. This is entirely your choice, and whatever you choose, it is important to know that there is always help available, should you ever need support in the future. There is no time limit in seeking counselling support. If you are unsure how to access support services, the Sexual Violence Prevention and Education Coordinator at Nipissing University can help you navigate services on and off campus.
  • Students can access free and confidential support through Student Counselling Services on Campus in B210 (ext. 4507).
  • Faculty and staff may choose to seek out support through Nipissing University’s Employee & Family Assistance Program Aspiria.

Reporting Options

It is your personal decision whether you choose to seek medical assistance, report the sexual violence to the police, or to Nipissing University. If you want to know more about your options, you can call and speak to the Sexual Violence Prevention and Education Coordinator at Nipissing University, at Crisis Intervention at the Hospital, by calling Amelia Rising Sexual Assault Centre, or a local Victim Support Line.

Nipissing University

You may decide that you want to report the sexual violence to Nipissing University. The following are contacts for filing a complaint:

  • Sexual Violence Prevention and Education Coordinator 705-474-3450, ext. 4075 | svsupport@nipissingu.ca
  • Office of Student Development and Services 705-474-3450, ext. 4099 | osds@nipissingu.ca
  • Campus Security; 705-474-3450 ext. 5555 or 705-498-7244 (Emergencies)

If you choose to report the sexual violence to the staff at Nipissing University, we will ensure that we help to support each individual by providing information on what options are available to you. Examples of possible options may be filing a complaint under Nipissing University’s Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities if the accused is a student, or assisting you in reporting the sexual violence to police. Staff can also help in providing you with on-campus mental health support, and information about community supports available to you.

Police

You may choose to report the sexual violence to the police. You may choose to do this whether or not you make a complaint with the University against the accused or not. Making a police report does not stop you from also making a complaint at the University against the accused.

The Toronto Police have created A Guide for Sexual Assault Survivors that provides some information that might be helpful in understanding the legal process.

Click here for police contact information in your community.

Medical and Support Options

You are entitled to complete medical care regardless of whether you decide to report the sexual violence to the police, or Nipissing University. Getting medical attention will allow medical staff to determine if you require treatment for any injuries, exposure to sexually transmitted infections, as well as provide a screening for pregnancy. You may choose to attend the Emergency Room, your family doctor, the Campus Health Centre, or a Walk-In Clinic.

If you choose to have a Sexual Assault Evidence Kit, you will need to visit the Emergency Room. The purpose of this kit is to collect evidence of a sexual assault. Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners complete this kit with patients, and are on call 24/7. You may choose to complete the kit and report to police, not report to police, or have the kit frozen for up to 3 months. A medical exam can be done up to 7 days following the assault, and the “Plan B” (Morning After) Pill can be taken up to two days following the assault.

» What to Expect When Reporting a Sexual Assault (can provide you with more information on how to prepare for completing the kit, and what to expect)

The following Sexual Assault Centres in your local hospital can provide you with a Sexual Assault Evidence Kit, as well as treatment for injury, sexually transmitted infections, or pregnancy:

  • North Bay:
    • North Bay Regional Health Centre
      Sexual Assault Treatment Centre
      50 College Drive
      705-474-8600 ext. 4478

There are many options in the Community to receive support. You may choose to access support or campus, or you may prefer to receive support in the community. Whatever you choose, we hope that you will reach out to someone you trust to help you through this time.