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If you have been subjected to sexual violence, know that it is not your fault. We are here for you and can connect you to services, help you think through options, or simply listen. Our office will support you in whatever you choose to do.

You choose what to do next

If you or someone else is in immediate danger: 

Dial '80' from an internal phone or call 416-979-5040 to contact Ryerson Security

Where to Start

Tell yourself. Sometimes the first person survivors need to disclose to is ourselves. Too often we can internalize messages that it wasn’t “so bad” or was somehow our fault.

Share with someone you trust. This is never easy but consider sharing with a friend, a coach, a co-worker, or your residence advisor if you live on-campus. Let them know what you need.

Seek medical care. Even if there are no obvious injuries or don’t want to report the assault to the police, it is important to seek medical attention if the assault just happened. We can help you with that process - even accompanying you to a health care provider.

Connect with support. Contact Ryerson’s sexual violence support and education team, Farrah Khan and Yami Msosa. They are here to listen to you, and will help you access resources and make an informed decision about next steps - if and when you choose to.

Contact us

Email: osvse@ryerson.ca          Phone: 416.979.5000 ext. 3596

How We Help

You have access to our support regardless if the sexual violence happened on- or off-campus, or if you were subjected to sexual violence before you came to Ryerson. With your consent, we can help you with:

  • Safety planning
  • Referrals to counselling and medical services
  • Self-care resources
  • Academic and workplace accommodations
  • Understanding the reporting options available to you
  • Navigating systems and resources within the university and the community

Every survivor addresses violence, accesses supports, and heals from trauma in different ways. Any way you choose to survive and feel safe is valid. Our office will support you on whatever path works best for you.

Connect to Services

We can assist you in navigating all these services and supports, and help you determine what you need.

On-campus

The Office of Sexual Violence Support and Education

T: 416.979.5000 ext.3596  E: osvse@ryerson.ca

How our office helps

You have access to our support regardless if you were impacted by sexual violence that happened on- or off-campus, or if you experienced sexual violence before you came to Ryerson.

With your consent we can help you with:

  • Navigating systems and resources within the university and the community

  • Self-care resources

  • Academic consideration and workplace accommodations

  • Referrals to counselling and medical services

  • Understanding the reporting options available

     

Other On-Campus Resources


Dial (80) from internal phones or call 416-979-5040

24-hour emergency response, including crisis intervention/emergency management and referral. They provide safety planning and can assist you in making a report to the police if you choose to. Walk Safe program and free self-defense courses available.

 

Centre for Student Development and Counselling: Provides confidential, on-campus, individual and group counselling.

416-979-5195

 

Ryerson Medical Centre: You can obtain medical attention at the Ryerson Medical Centre during regular business hours but they cannot provide specialized sexual assault care. They can test for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or pregnancy. If necessary, referrals to local hospitals or specialists can be arranged. Payment through OHIP or a similar out-of province insurance plan is required.

416-979-5070

 

Housing and Residence Life: Direct connection to the professional staff Residence Life On Call personnel, Residence Advisors (RA) on-call and/or Residence Service Desk (RSD) Agents; personal connection/referrals to the Office of Sexual Violence Support and Education, and the Centre for Student Development and Counselling.


416-979-5000, ext. 5284

 

Aboriginal Student Services: A culturally supportive environment where all First Nations, Aboriginal, Inuit, Metis, status and non-status students can balance academic learning with traditional teachings.

416-979-5000, ext. 7699

 

Human Rights Services: Support for the Ryerson community, promoting a study, work and living environment free of discrimination and harassment based on prohibited grounds (e.g. race, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability, religion, etc.). Human Rights Services manages an informal and formal complaint process.

416-979-5349

 

Ryerson Students' Union (RSU) Sexual Assault Survivor Support Line: The RSU Sexual Assault Survivor Support Line works to provide peer-to-peer support for survivors of gender-based violence. The support line is open Monday to Friday 12pm – 9pm.

416-260-0100

 

Centre for Women and Trans People: A safe and inclusive place for all self-identified women, trans people and non-binary individuals on campus. Provides educational pamphlets, referrals and resources on issues that include racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, eating disorders, housing, sexual assault, pro-choice resources, violent relationships, support programs, women’s health and many more. Men are welcome to use the resources, but need to be let in.

416-979-5255, ext. 2350

 

Ryerson Students' Union (RSU) Legal Advice and Referral Services: Legal advice related to family and criminal law, legal procedures and documents, and dealings with lawyers.

416-979-5255

 

Continuing Education Students' Association of Ryerson (CESAR) Legal Clinic: Free, in-house legal services to CESAR members with in-house lawyer, Bill Reid.

Book online appointment

 

Continuing Education Students' Association of Ryerson (CESAR) Students Rights Coordinator: CESAR's Student Rights Coordinator can assist with grade appeals or standing, charges of academic misconduct or other issues at the university. They can guide you through the university's policies to protect your student rights.

416-979-5000 ext. 1-7056

 

Ombudsperson Office: A confidential information, advice and assistance resource for those who wish to address what they believe to be unfair treatment at the university.

416-979-5000, ext. 7450

Services for all genders...

Women’s College Hospital Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Care Centre: If you have been assaulted within the past week, this support is available 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Women, men, and trans people who are survivors of sexual assault and/or domestic/intimate partner violence can access this support.

416-323-6040

 

Sexual Assault Centres in Ontario: Confidential and free counselling to survivors of recent and historical sexual assault throughout Ontario. Contact a centre to ask about individual or group counselling. Also provide 24-hour, confidential crisis line to reach a counsellor by phone.

 

Victim Services Toronto: Assists people in crisis, 24-hours a day, seven days a week in the immediate aftermath of crime or tragedy.

416-808-7066

 

Good2Talk: 24/7 confidential helpline for post-secondary students in Ontario providing referrals about services and supports for mental health, addictions and well-being.

1-866-925-5454

 

LGBT Youth Line: Provides confidential phone and text support for 2LGBTQA youth, operating Sunday - Friday 4pm - 9:30PM.

Phone: 1-800-268-9688 Text: 647-692-0777

 

Trans Lifeline: 24/7 Confidential hotline staffed by transgender people for transgender people.

1-877-330-6366

 

Sexual Assault/Rape Crisis Centre of Peel: Provides a 24/7 crisis line, online crisis chat, individual therapy, therapeutic groups and workshops.

1-800-810-0180

 

Toronto Police Services: If you are in immediate danger, call 911.  For all other safety issues, call 416-808-2222.

 

Family Service Toronto: Provides professional, short-term, individual, couple and family counseling for people who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer (LGBTQ).

416-595-9618

 

Central Toronto Youth Services - Pride and Prejudice Program: Programs for lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, Two-Spirit and questioning youth, ages 13-24. Includes "Yo- Yoga" which is an 8-week trauma sensitive yoga program.

416-924-2100

 

Paths of Courage Residential Healing Centre: One-of-a-kind program, pioneered by the Sexual Assault Centre for Quinte & District. This one-week program is free of cost and provides assault survivors with opportunities to heal, transform and become empowered, while surrounded by nature.

If you self-identify as a woman...

Assaulted Women’s Helpline: 24-hour telephone support and counselling available in several languages.

416-863-0511

 

Barbara Schlifer Clinic: Provides counselling, legal information, interpreters and referral for women who have been physically or sexually abused.

416-323-9149

 

Fred Victor Centre: 24/7 Drop-in for women located in the Adelaide Resource Centre offers a warm, safe and welcoming space with access to health services on site.

416-392-9292

 

Toronto Rape Crisis Centre/Multicultural Women Against Rape: Crisis intervention, counselling and referral for survivors of rape/sexual assault. Open 24 hours.

416-597-8808

 

Women’s Support Network of York Region: Provides free, confidential services for women who have experienced sexual violence.

905-895-7313

 

Oasis centre des femmes: Support for francophone women in the GTA and Halton-Peel who are survivors of sexual assault.

416-591-6565

 

Fem'Aide: Offers French-speaking women who have experienced gender-based violence, support, information and referral to appropriate front-line services within their communities, 24/7.

1-877-336-2433

If you self-identify as a man…

Family Service Toronto: Provides counselling programs for male survivors of sexual violence. Confidential counselling services are provided free-of-charge up to eight sessions.

416-595-9618

 

One in Six: Canada’s knowledge centre on male sexual trauma and recovery.

 

Support Services for Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse: Provides help for male survivors of sexual abuse, both recent and historical. The program is the first of its kind in Canada and is delivered by agencies across the province. Survivors also have access to a 24-hour, multilingual, toll-free phone line for immediate crisis and referral services.

1-866-887-0015

If you are under the age of 18, or have children who have been abused...

Sick Kids’ Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect (SCAN) Program: Care, support and assessment to children and teenagers who may have been maltreated, and their families.  The SCAN Program provides a link between SickKids and community doctors and hospitals, Children's Aid Societies, police, schools and other community agencies.

416-813-6275

 

The Gatehouse:  

The Gatehouse offers support groups for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse as well as partners.

416-255-5900

Getting Medical Attention

If you decide to report the assault to the police, you can seek medical attention to document the violence. You can undergo a forensic medical examination at the Sexual Assault/Domestic Care Centre located in a hospital emergency room, ideally within 72 hours. This helps to collect and preserve evidence. Some portions of the examine may be considered for collection up to 7-12 days post-assault depending on the circumstances and type of assault.

In Toronto, this can be collected by a specially trained nurse through the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE) Program. When you arrive at any hospital emergency department in Toronto, the staff will contact the SANE on duty through the Women’s College Hospital Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Care Centre.

If you are unsure about reporting to the police, but would like to preserve the evidence while you make a decision, you can specify this when you meet with the SANE.

Prior to the exam, you should do your best to refrain from changing your clothing, using the toilet, showering, eating, or brushing your teeth.

Even if you have not been injured physically, or don’t want to report the assault to the police, you may want to consider being tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or pregnancy.

You can also obtain medical attention at the Ryerson Medical Centre during regular business hours, however, they cannot provide specialized sexual assault care.

How to File a Report with the University

Reporting or not reporting is your choice. If you choose to report, you have several options and there are many factors to consider. We can assist you in understanding each option so that you can make an informed decision.

How our office supports you

Our Office will work with you in determining what support and/or workplace and academic accommodations you need and help you access them. Everyone's needs will be different, and the types and forms of support and accommodations made available will be tailored on a case-by-case basis.

We can assist survivors in understanding each of these options and help them collect all the information that they need in order to make an appropriate decision on next steps.

Reporting to University authorities

Making a report or complaint

If you have been subjected to sexual violence by another member of the Ryerson community, you have the right to report it to the university. If you do choose to file a report you have to contact Human Rights Services.The complainant may file a report or complaint in writing via e-mail or letter or may request an in-person meeting to make their report or complaint. Our office is able to provide support through the process if you would like.

Human Right Services Contact info:

Human Rights Services

Location: POD 254A

E-mail: humanrights@ryerson.ca

Phone: 416-979-5000, ext. 5349

Your rights during the investigation and adjudication process

You can expect a timely, transparent and fair process. You will be advised of your rights and responsibilities, will be kept informed about the investigation and outcome, and will receive regular updates including estimated timeframes and any delays.

You also have the right to a support person throughout the process. Our office can provide this support or you may choose to identify an alternate to accompany you to meetings. This could include a friend, family member, legal representative, etc.

Confidentiality

All information related to cases of sexual violence will be kept confidential. You are expected to keep the details of any case confidential, outside your circle of support, in order to ensure the integrity of the investigation and decision making process.

However there may be circumstances where university employees may be required to disclose information about the case. this includes;

  • An individual is at risk of life-threatening self-harm;

  • An individual is at risk of harming others;

  • There is risk to the safety of the university and/or broader community;

  • Disclosure is required by law; for instance, under the Child and Family Services Act, reporting is legally required if an incident involves a child 16 or under; or, to comply with the Occupational Health and Safety Act or with human rights legislation; and/or

  • Evidence of the disclosed incident of sexual violence is available in the public realm (e.g. video shared publicly on social media).

 

Interim measures

In some instances, it may be necessary to implement interim measures, which are temporary measures put in place to protect the parties and the community. Consequences for violating interim measures will be clearly communicated to you at the time they are applied. Examples of interim measures that might be considered include:

  • Changes within university housing (if you and the complainant live in residence)

  • Restrictions to access campus or parts of campus

  • No contact/communication orders

  • Employment/workplace restrictions

  • Changes to class and/or section enrollments

Withdrawal of a complaint

At any time throughout the process, before a decision is made, you may choose to withdraw your complaint. You are required to communicate, in writing, your decision to withdraw their complaint to Human Rights Services. In some circumstances, the university may still pursue the complaint (see the next section). Know that even if you withdraw your complaint you can still receive support from our office.

Circumstances where the University may proceed without a complaint

In some cases the university may be required to or choose to investigate an incident of sexual violence even though the survivor has chosen not to file a report or complaint.

Examples of such circumstances could include, but are not limited to:

  • Where there is risk to the safety of individuals and/or the broader community; for example where repeated allegations have been made about the conduct of the same individual.

  • Where required by law, such as under the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

  • Where there is evidence of sexual violence in the public realm (such as a video posted on social media).

If such a situation applies to the survivor, information and support will be made available at every step of the process, even if they choose not to participate.

Using the Residence Community Standards process

Ryerson’s Residence Community Standards process would apply where the individuals involved live on-campus in a Ryerson residence.

Residents agree to act in a responsible manner so as not to compromise or endanger the health and safety of others (in person or via social media).

Housing & Residence Life has the right to determine what constitutes unsafe practices and the appropriate sanctions for residents in such situations.

Making a complaint/report to the manager in a workplace

This option involves Human Resources and the Office of Vice-Provost Faculty Affairs depending on the parties involved.

Filing a grievance with your union

If you are part of an union, you will be expected to take your complaint to your union first.

All collective agreements (union contracts) provide for a grievance process. This is a legally-protected process for complaints, including enforcement of employment and human rights law.

Most collective agreements contain specific extra protections against discrimination and harassment as well.

It will be up to you whether you proceed with a grievance, but they can advise you, and explain your rights and options.

If you are not comfortable with your local union representative, you can call the main office or a higher-level representative.

Notice of investigation

Human Rights Services will appoint an impartial investigator who has knowledge, training and experience in sexual violence investigations and related issues. The investigator may be internal or external to the university.

If you reasonably believe that the investigator may have a conflict of interest, you may request an alternative investigator. Human Rights Services will consider your concerns to determine whether or not to assign an alternative investigator.

Once an investigator is appointed, Human Rights Services will provide you with a notice of investigation that includes the following information:

i.   The name and contact information of the investigator

ii.   A written account of the complaint

iii.   Confirmation of the right to a support person or representative during the investigation

iv.   Any interim measures that will be in place during the investigation

v.   A link to the sexual violence policy and any other related policies

vi.   The name and contact information of the university support person designated to support you. This is typically one of our staff.

Once an investigator is appointed, they will contact the parties within seven (7) business days to confirm:

i.   Their appointment by Human Rights Services

ii.   The role of the investigator

iii.   Next steps in the investigation process

How to file a report with the police

It is always your choice whether or not you report the crime to the police.
Reports can be made to the police in an effort to pursue criminal charges under the Criminal Code of Canada.

Filing a police report

It is not guaranteed that the perpetrator will face charges or be found guilty, even when you know they are.

If you report the assault, the police will take your statement, investigate the matter and determine if there is enough evidence to lay charges. The police and the Crown will require your participation in what can become a public process. If the matter proceeds to court, you will likely be called to testify.

The court process can seem daunting. We will provide you with resources that can support you during the process including:

- Toronto Police Services - A guide for sexual assault survivors

- Ontario Women’s Justice Network - When a sexual assault case goes to trial (PDF)

- Court Prep - What it is like to go to court

Healing from Trauma

Sexual assault/sexual violence can impact you on many levels and you may experience a wide range of feelings. There is no right or wrong way for you to feel or react.

Confidentiality

Confidentiality is essential in making you feel safe to disclose sexual violence, and seek support and accommodation. Before you disclose information, you have the right to ask the person about the level of confidentiality you can expect from them.