The University of Toronto Tri-Campus Sexual Violence Prevention and Support Centre is now open at its three locations.
The initiative, created through consultations with stakeholders across the university, is designed to provide a welcoming, safe environment. “We are addressing key needs in terms of feeling safe on campus,” says Terry McQuaid, executive director of personal safety, high risk, sexual violence prevention and support, who oversees the new centre. “The centre provides a safe place to go, ask questions and receive support, and is the first point of contact for people to learn about the supports available to them.”
The offices will be staffed by three sexual violence prevention and response coordinators. Paula Lam is graduate of U of T’s sociology program, and brings to the position extensive experience providing crisis counselling, facilitating support groups, delivering educational workshops and coordinating projects and initiatives to prevent and end sexual violence. Meg Saxby is a social worker, educator and clinician with over ten years of experience in feminist sexual health, newcomer advocacy and the co-operative movement. She is trained in a variety of body-based therapeutic approaches and has worked extensively with survivors of violence, both individually and in groups. Colleen Boehme is a social worker, counsellor advocate and an alumna of U of T’s Factor Inwentash Faculty of Social Work. She brings a variety of education in complex trauma, gender-based violence, and concurrent disorders to her role. Centre director Angela Treglia was previously sexual violence prevention education coordinator at Western University, and has worked in various student services and residence life professional roles involving sexual violence prevention education, crisis intervention and victim advocacy.
The Tri-Campus Sexual Violence Prevention & Support Centre is a key part of the University’s Policy on Sexual Violence and Sexual Harassment, which covers all members of the U of T community. Centre staff are available to receive disclosures, take and provide options for formal reports to the University, and offer services and supports related to incidents of sexual violence. The Centre also offers training and education, and is the first point of contact for those who need accommodation.
The three new Centres—one on each campus—are part of a series of measures to improve safety and coordinate services. The University’s policy makes a clear distinction between disclosing an incident and making a formal report, which is not required in order to access support.
The U of T Mississauga Centre, located in 3094G in Davis Building, will operate from 9:30 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Friday until September 1, 2017, and from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm from September 5 onwards. The St. George Campus centre is currently located in Room 606 of the Claude T. Bissell Building, and will move to 702 Spadina Avenue on July 11, 2017. The UTSC centre is located in Room 141 of the Environmental Science & Chemistry Building. All three locations can be reached by telephone at 416-978-2266. After-hours messages left on the Centre’s voicemail will be returned the following day. At UTM, after-hours urgent calls may be directed to UTM Campus Police at 905-569-4333.