Gender-Based and Sexual Violence Response & Awareness
If you have experienced any form of gender-based or sexual violence, you will find support at Ambrose.
Gender-based and sexual violence is any any form of abuse, assault or harassment that originates from dominant societal norms surrounding gender (Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women). Gender-based violence can take many forms including, but not limited to, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, stalking, emotional, psychological, physical, spiritual, and financial abuse, intimate partner violence, human trafficking, sexualized violence, sexual assault, technology-facilitated violence, stealthing (nonconsensual removal of protection), and threats of violence in order to coerce sex.
Ambrose Community Advocates, faculty, key staff and student leaders are trained to receive disclosures of gender-based violence and to support students who have experienced violence. An Ambrose Community Advocate may be best suited as the first point of contact for anyone who has been impacted by 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 culturally sensitive way using an intersectional lens that seeks to minimize re-victimization and further trauma.
Ambrose Community Advocates, Faculty, Staff & 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:
VP Student Life
Want to Make a Formal Report at Ambrose?
There is an option for individuals impacted by violence from another Ambrose community member to file 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 gender-based or sexual violence. Formal reports can be withdrawn at any time (see the Gender-Based Violence Policy for more details on filing a report). No one is ever forced to report and will be informed upon inquiry of what is involved in the reporting and investigation process. You can submit a formal report by contacting a community advocate or going directly to Monique Verhoef, Vice President Student Life: firstname.lastname@example.org (for students) or Myles Nelson, HR Director: email@example.com (for staff or faculty).
Seek Medical Care
If you have been recently sexually assaulted or experienced violence 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 (1213 4 Street SW,
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.
While Sheldon Chumir a very good option any of the local hospitals can and will help you:
- Rockyview General Hospital (7007 14 St SW, 403-943-3000)
- Foothills Medical Center (1403 29 Street NW, 403-944-1110)
- Peter Lougheed Center (3500 26 Avenue NE, 403-943-4555)
- South Health Campus (4448 Front Street SE, 403-956-1111)
Talk to someone
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.
Ambrose students also have access to 24 hour help through the Student VIP health plan. This can be accessed through I.M. Well or click here. You don't have to be on the student plan to access I.M. Well - it is available for ALL Ambrose students.
Ambrose Pastoral Counselling
Terry Fach, the Ambrose Campus Chaplain is available for pastoral counselling and can be reached in the Student Life office or by calling (403-410-2000 ext.5915).
Much of the information below can be found on this Canada wide resource to help end violence:
One Line: Sexual Assault Services in Alberta
Alberta's One Line for Sexual Violence is available to anyone in Alberta who is looking for support or referrals to specialized sexual assault service providers. Call or text 1-866-403-8000. Association of Alberta Sexual Assault Services
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.
Domestic Violence Resources
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(SAFE).
Awo Taan Native Women's Shelter
The shelter provides basic needs and housing for up to 32 people for a 3-week period. Awo Taan also works to help clients escape cycles of violence or abuse. Counsellors provide support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to connect clients to further support and guidance. Crisis Line: 403-531-1972 or 403-531-1976. www.awotaan.org/programs/emergency-shelter/
YW Sheriff King Home
YW Sheriff King Home is a short-stay crisis shelter for women and their children leaving domestic abuse and violence. The shelter provides basic needs, including food and personal items, as well as individual domestic abuse counselling and support. Crisis Line: 403.266.0707. www.ywcalgary.ca/programs-services/domestic-violence-crisis/
Calgary Drop-In Society
Calgary Drop-In Centre: 1 Dermot Baldwin Way, SE, Call: 403-266-3600. Get help here: calgarydropin.ca/howwehelp/get-help/
Get help now by phone, text, or chat: www.woodshomes.ca/contact-us/get-help-now/
Inn from the Cold
A temporary family crisis doesn’t have to lead to homelessness. If you get help early, we can help you stay in your home and decrease the possibility of a housing crisis in the future. Call 403-263-8384 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Someone is available 24/7, but please note that email is best for non-urgent inquiries. innfromthecold.org/emergency-shelter/
The Mustard Seed
Find help now with shelter, assistance or someone to talk to: 1-833-448-4673, theseed.ca/services
The Salvation Army
Centre of Hope, 420 9 Ave, 403-410-1111
Help a friend
Supporting someone who has disclosed an experience of gender-based or sexual violence.
Some key messages that can be helpful are:
- I believe you
- Sexual assault is not your fault
- This 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 them to 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.
Take care of yourself
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
- Self-Care is Not Optional, Marcia Baczynski
- 4 Ways to Overcome Self-Blame After a Sexual Assault, Sian Ferguson
Make a criminal report
The decision to participate in the criminal justice system can be a very difficult decision to make. Reporting gender-based and sexual violence is completely optional and never mandatory.
It is never too late to report violence to the police. However, some evidence, particularly in cases of sexual assault, 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. Go to Calgary Police Service district offices for location and contact information.
- With a Community Advocate or any Student Life staff, 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
Here is what is likely to happen in the reporting process with the Police:
- 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.
Sexual Violence Response and Awareness Committee
Monique Verhoef (Chair)
Myles Nelson (Co-chair)
Julian Erb (Staff)
Brad Weinberger (Staff)
Tracey Urquhart (Staff)
Nathan Snow (Student)