A Word From SARC

The Sexual Assault Resource Centre Exists for a Reason

Graphic Morag Rahn-Campbell

The past few years have seen an increase in the public consciousness about sexual violence.

The stories surrounding Jian Ghomeshi and Bill Cosby along with the numerous public cases at both Canadian and American universities have made clear the prevalence of sexual violence—and the need for its prevention.

Research shows that one in four women and one in six men will experience some type of sexual violence in their lifetime. For women, it most likely occurs between the ages of 18 to 24, a statistic that has unsettling implications when considering the number of university students that fall within this age range.

What is SARC?

The Sexual Assault Resource Centre has been in operation for three years, offering services to Concordia students, staff and faculty of any gender and sexual orientation who have been affected by sexual violence.

SARC’s core values are explicitly feminist and intersectional, and our work is grounded in a survivor-centered approach to sexual violence. The centre believes that everyone on campus can contribute to creating a culture of consent, respect and support for survivors.

Out of the main office on the downtown campus, SARC operates a drop-in space and provides support services such as crisis intervention, one-on-one and group support, and referrals and accompaniment to other resources on and off campus.

Education on the matter and prevention efforts also form a crucial part of the SARC’s role in the Concordia community, including workshops and presentations, awareness-raising events, and ongoing campaigns around consent and sexual assault. The Centre’s latest campaign uses fruit to communicate messages about consent and bystander intervention through postcards, posters, and three animated videos.

Sexual Violence Policy:

Concordia released a report on sexual violence in August 2015 outlining a series of recommendations. One of these recommendations was the creation of a sexual violence policy, which SARC’s coordinator, Jennifer Drummond, participated in its creation.

The policy provides definitions of sexual violence and consent, and outlines the role of SARC and the response team that can be called together by the coordinator. The response team is designed to limit the number of times a survivor must repeat their story.

We encourage anyone who has been affected by sexual violence, knows someone who has, or wants more information to call or visit the SARC offices at GM-300.25 and 300.27. The drop-in is open Monday to Friday, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and is staffed by trained volunteers who can provide support, active listening, referrals and accompaniment to resources on or off-campus.

The coordinator can be reached by email or phone: Jennifer.drummond@concordia.ca or 514-848-2424 × 3353