Letter of Support from the Sexual Assault Support Centre of Ottawa (SASC)

MEDIA RELEASE: CARLETON UNIVERSITY SEXUAL ASSAULT SERVICES

As has recently been reported, Carleton University has announced that they will finally respond to student calls for a sexual assault centre on campus. While our organization has long supported the Carleton students’ call for the establishment of such a centre, we are deeply concerned that the university administration is directly ignoring the core elements of this call – that the centre be a student-run, peer support model. The Coalition for a Carleton Sexual Assault Centre (Carleton Coalition) has been operating and self-funding a crisis line using volunteers’ personal cell phones since March 2010, and has led the student organizing for a student-run centre on campus for five years. They have demonstrated the expertise and personal commitment to respond to this need, often in the face of direct hostility or minimization by the university administration.

SASC Ottawa, with our 29 year history of supporting survivors of sexual violence in Ottawa, has stood in full support of the dedicated work since its inception, and stands behind Carleton students request to have a sexual assault centre that employs a non-medical, peer support model.

Questions have been raised about the effectiveness of the peer support model that the Carleton Coalition opted as the best means of support for the students on campus. Sexual assault centres have a long history in the province of Ontario, and survivors of sexual violence have consistently evaluated models employing non-medical, peer-support, and survivor-directed frameworks as most helpful to them in healing from sexual violence. We hope that Carleton University administration fully acknowledges the concerns of the students and Ottawa community around the development of the centre.

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For more information please contact:

Yamikani Msosa, 613-725-2160 ext 233

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