Sexual Violence Response and Awareness
If you have experienced any form of sexual violence, you will find support at Ambrose.
Sexual violence is any violence, physical or psychological, carried out without consent through a sexual means or by targeting sexuality. This includes but is not limited to all sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, indecent exposure, voyeurism, degrading sexual imagery, or the taking or distribution of sexual images or video of a member of the university community without their consent.
Ambrose Community Advocates, faculty, key staff and student leaders are trained to receive disclosures and to support students who have experienced sexual violence. An Ambrose Community Advocate is best suited as the first point of contact for anyone who has been subjected to sexual violence and can provide confidential information and support and discuss on and off campus reporting options and services that are available. They will respond in a way that minimizes re-victimization and further trauma.
Although a community advocate is best suited as the first point of contact for anyone who has been subjected to sexual violence, members of the university community (faculty, key staff, and student leaders) who become aware of sexual violence involving a member of the university community, whether through a disclosure or otherwise , will:
- Assist the member of the university community in accessing available support services
- Report the incident to the applicable senior officer, university staff are required to report the occurrence of such incidence to the applicable senior officer. Reporting does not need to include identifying information unless there is imminent risk to the university community.
- If appropriate, take action to prevent further sexual violence from occurring, including alerting campus security and calling 911 if there is imminent risk.
Ambrose Community Advocates, Faculty, Staff and Student Leaders
A Community Advocate is best suited as the first point of contact for anyone who has experienced sexual violence, but faculty, key staff and student leaders who become aware of a possible incident of sexual violence will also provide support to students.
Ambrose Community Advocates are:
WANT TO MAKE A FORMAL REPORT AT AMBROSE?
There is an option for individuals impacted by another Ambrose community member to submit a formal report. Ambrose will respond to the formal report and take whatever steps necessary to guard the safety of the community, pursue justice for the involved individuals, and support the survivor of sexual violence. You can submit a formal report by contacting a community advocate or going directly to Monique Verhoef, Associate Vice President Student Life: firstname.lastname@example.org (for students) or Albert Elliott, HR Director: email@example.com (for staff or faculty).
If you have been recently sexually assaulted you may require medical care.
You can see any medical professional for help.
To see a team that is specifically equipped to support and help you after experiencing a sexual assault, go to Sheldon Chumir Hospital www.albertahealthservices.ca/info/service.aspx?id=1962
If the incident happened in the past 96 hours you can go to Sheldon Chumir Hospital and see the Calgary Sexual Assault Response Team (CSART) who are a team of Doctors, Nurses, and Counsellors. This team can look after any medical concerns that you may have and, if you choose, do a sexual assault kit and collect any forensic evidence that may be on your body in the case that you decide to report to the police.
To access CSART go to emergency at the Sheldon-Chumir and tell the intake nurse that you have been sexually assaulted.
Talking to someone can be helpful in managing the impacts of sexual violence. There are several options of trained people you can speak to on and off campus.
Ambrose Student Counselling Services
Counsellors at Ambrose are available by appointment to support managing crisis, stress and trauma. To book an appointment https://ambrose.edu/book-appointment
Ambrose Pastoral Counselling
Terry Fach, the Ambrose Campus Chaplain is available for pastoral counseling and can be reached in the Student Development office or by calling (403-410-4000 ext 5915)
Ambrose Students also have access to 24 hour help through their student health plan. This can be accessed through “We Speak Student” or click here:
Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse
Calgary Communities Against Sexual Abuse (ccasa) is a local sexual assault service agency that works to support survivors of sexual assault or abuse. Their support and information line can be reached at 403.237.5888. This line is available as immediate support or an intake can be done to get an appointment to see a counsellor.
Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter
The Calgary Women’s Emergency Shelter (CWES) is focused on ending family violence, including dating and domestic violence. Professionally trained counsellors are available to provide counselling, safety planning, information and support to all genders. Their 24-Hour Helpline can be reached at 403. 234.7233.
Supporting someone who has disclosed an experience of sexual violence.
Some key messages that can be helpful are:
- I believe you
- Sexual assault is not your fault
- You have the right to set your own limits in any relationship
- What you are feeling are normal responses to trauma
- I am here to listen
- You are not to blame for someone else’s behaviour
- Violence is never okay or justifiable
Offer options about what resources are available (see below)
Things to avoid:
- Do not point out things that they could have done differently to prevent the assault or abuse from happening.
- Do not question why they did or did not do certain things
- Do not ask they tell you what happened
- Do not give advice
Take care of yourself. It can be very difficult to hear that someone that you care about has been hurt or abused. After receiving a disclosure and supporting, check in with how you are feeling and what you might be needing to support yourself. You may want to access counselling services as well https://ambrose.edu/counselling
The impacts of sexual violence can have physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual effects. Consciously taking care of yourself can be helpful to recovery. This means taking care of yourself and doing things that feel good.
Find the strategies that are right for you, such as:
- Drinking Water
- Eating Healthy
- Spending time with friends you trust
- Listening to music
The decision to participate in the criminal justice system can be a very difficult decision to make. Reporting sexual assault is completely optional and never mandatory.
It is never too late to report sexual assault to the police. However, some evidence is time sensitive and as time passes it may be difficult to obtain certain pieces of information that can substantiate the investigation. That being said, it is absolutely okay for you to take your time to consider if reporting to the police is right for you and to do so when you are ready.
There are three different options in reporting a sexual assault to the police:
- You or a support person can phone the Calgary Police Service: 403-266-1234 and a Constable can come to your home.
- Consideration: The officer will be in uniform and be driving a police car. For some, having a police officer come to their home is undesirable.
- You can go into your local district office and make a report. If the district is particularly busy they may not be able to take the report at that moment. It is possible to schedule an appointment at your local district online. Go to Calgary Police Service and select Schedule Your Appointment.
- With a Sexual Violence Prevention and Response team member, you can phone CPS and have a Constable come to the campus. You can make the report in a discreet and confidential location.
It is possible to request a specific gender of Constable; however, it might take longer for them to arrive and one may not be available at that time.
The Reporting Process
The police officer will take your statement. Often they will ask you to tell them what happened as you remember it and then they will ask clarifying questions. The officers will want to make sure they have as many details as possible, so at times these questions may feel very personal; however, these details are necessary to complete a proper investigation. They may ask for a written statement as well. They will provide you with the means to do this written statement, however, if you had previously written out a statement and wished to provide this to the officers you can as well. Throughout making this report, you can take breaks at any time.
The report that you make will be given a file number. Keep the file number and the name and badge number of the constable in your records so that if you wish to inquire about the report the police can easily locate it within the system.
Usually the constables will then take this report and it will be assigned to a primary investigating officer. Sometimes, the investigating officer will be the same constable who took the original report, other times the file will be assigned to a detective in specialized units. If the crime happened outside of the Calgary jurisdiction, the file will be transferred to the appropriate detachment, such as the RCMP. Often the Detectives will want to have you come to the station to do a video-taped interview, where they will go over your original report and ask any follow-up questions that they may have. This interview is done in a ‘soft’ room. That is, in a living room like environment with couches. The cameras are located within the walls.