SSMU’s Response to the Closure of OSVRSE

SSMU’s Response to the Closure of OSVRSE

The McGill Office for Sexual Violence Response, Support and Education (OSVRSE) provides confidential, non-judgmental and non-directional support to those who have been impacted by sexual or gender-based violence.

We have been informed by the McGill Administration that OSVRSE has temporarily closed its services due to staffing issues that are expected to be resolved in the new year. While OSVRSE is not currently operational, support and accompanying services remain available through the Sexual Assault Centre of the McGill Students’ Society (SACOMSS) and the Office of the Dean of Students (ODoS).

ODoS plays an important role in  managing crisis cases and providing support to the student body in academic accommodations and beyond. The office contains case managers, trained in confidentiality, disclosures of sexual violence, and mental health first aid, that can provide support, resources, and optionally help navigation of the reporting process. ODoS case managers received specific training for the transition period from OSVRSE upon their temporary closure in order to ensure continuity of service during this transition period. ODoS can be contacted for support by phone  at 514-398-1881 or 514-398-4990 or via email  at casemanager@mcgill.ca

SSMU and its services recognize the reluctance felt by survivors in sharing their experience with the McGill administration, and therefore work to offer complementary resources so  individuals have access to timely, intersectional and specialized resources to support their healing processes. SSMU services that are independent from administration such as SACOMSS and the SSMU Anti-Violence Coordinators remain available to offer support to survivors through various free services such as DIAL (helpline), support groups, and more. More information can be found on the SACOMSS website or by reaching out to avc@ssmu.ca.  Other resources include  services for survivors of gendered violence the Union for Gender Empowerment (UGE) and Queer McGill (QM) and, more generally, community resources open 24/7 such as the Montreal Sexual Assault Support Center (514-933-9007).

The current state of affairs is unacceptable and we hope that it will be remedied quickly. SSMU will continue to advocate for more resource allocation to support services on campus, particularly prioritizing sustainability of current resources including in the  McGill Office for Sexual Violence Response, Support and Education. 

Signed,
The SSMU Executive Committee

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