Sexual Violence

Sexual Violence

Sexual Violence

Below you will find a list of information concerning campus sexual violence as well as the McGill and community resources available.

Getting Support

If you or someone you care about experiences sexual violence, know that you are not alone. There is no expected or required response to trauma. Some people who have experienced sexual violence feel grief, anger, or nothing at all. For some survivors it can take several months or years to even identify their experiences as sexual violence. Regardless of your experience(s) or response(s), there are free and survivor-centric support options available to you, if you would like to access them.

The Anti-Violence Coordinators (AVCs) are responsible for coordinating SSMU’s response to sexual violence, and they can be reached at

They can receive complaints about sexual and gendered violence and connect individuals who have experienced sexual and gender based violence and their supporters to resources. They also provide the SSMU GSVP training and coordinate the Involvement Restriction Policy, along with other faculties. 

At McGill and in the Montreal community there are peer-to-peer, student, and institutional support resources for you. Sexual violence is a specific form of harm that often requires support from specialized professionals who are trained in responding to trauma and gender-based violence. Accessing resources is completely at the discretion of the survivor and their needs.  For information about support resources that are confidential, non-judgmental, trauma-informed, and have staff who can work with people who have experienced sexual violence as they process their experience and seek healing, click here. They can be accessed at any point regardless of when the incident(s) occurred and are free of charge.

Accommodation Options

After an instance of sexual violence, you may experience difficulties in other areas of your life, including your personal, professional, and academic life. This is normal and it is not your fault. As a survivor you have the ability, and right, to access academic, housing, and professional accommodations. It is important to note that you do not have to file a formal complaint at SSMU, McGill University, or the police to access these accommodations.

Possible accommodations include:

If you would like support in accessing accommodations you can contact:

Reporting Options

If you have experience gendered or sexual violence, as a member of the SSMU and McGill community, there are places where you can file a report. 

A report can result in a formal investigation, and consequences and disciplinary measures on the person(s) who caused harm. It can also lead to an alternative or informal mediation process. 

To learn more about reporting options, click here.

Support Resources

If you need immediate support, you can access professional crisis support, either in person or over the phone, through provincial crisis centres. The centre that covers the area near McGill is called Tracom, their services can be accessed by calling 514-483-3033. Alternately, provincial sexual violence support hotline, run by the Montreal Sexual Assault Centre, is available 24/7 at 514-933-9007 or 1 888-933-9007.

Student and peer-to-peer resources

  • SACOMSS: The Sexual Assault Centre of the McGill Students’ Society is a volunteer-run organization committed to supporting survivors of sexual assault and their allies through direct support, advocacy, and outreach. Their services include Drop-In and Line (DIAL), Support Groups, Advocacy, and Outreach. The SACOMSS phone line can be reached at 514-398-8500.
  • McGill Peer Support Centre: The Peer Support Centre offers free, non-judgemental peer support, and can help direct you toward other available resources.
  • The McGill Students’ Nightline: The McGill Students’ Nightline is a peer resource which offers confidential, anonymous, and non-judgmental listening. Services include active listening, resource referrals, and crisis management. Nightline can be accessed at 514-398-6246.
  • Legal Information Clinic at McGill: The Student Advocacy Branch at LICM can help students navigate McGill’s internal policies. Their volunteers can inform, advise, and represent students who are undergoing disputes at the University. They can also assist students who have had a complaint filed against them.
  • The Eating Disorder Resource and Support CentreProvides peer-support programs, including support groups for individuals who have eating disorders and disordered eating.
Medical Services

The Montréal Sexual Assault Centre is partnered with the CLSC Metro and the Montreal General Hospital to provide medical services and support for those over the age of 18 who have been sexual assaulted in the past 12 months. This includes:

  • Medical examination 
  • Testing for sexually transmitted infections 
  • Forensic samples (also know as a rape kit) 
  • Medical treatment and follow-up 
  • Psychosocial support 
  • Information on police and legal procedures 

If you have been sexually assaulted, you can go to one of the following designated centres:

  • CLSC Métro (Monday to Friday, 8am-5pm) – English and French
    1801 de Maisonneuve Blvd. West, 3rd floor, Montreal, Quebec
  • Montreal General Hospital (Monday to Friday 5pm-8am, Weekends and Holidays 24h) – English only
    1650 Cedar Ave. Montreal, Emergency room Pine Avenue Entrance (corner of Cote-des-Neiges)
  • Hopital Hotel Dieu (24/7 for emergency) – French
    3840 St Urbain Street
    Emergency support within five days of assault, intervention appointment within six months of assault, ask for the on-call sexual assault support worker
Under 18
  • Montreal Children’s Hospital (24/7 for emergency, can call 514-412-4481 call for appointment 8:30am – 4:30pm Monday to Friday) 1040 rue Atwater – English
  • Hospital Ste-Justine (24/7 for emergency) 3175 chemin de la cote Sainte-Catherine Montreal – English and French
Community Resources

The Montréal Sexual Assault Centre
  • The Montréal Sexual Assault Centre: The Centre offers a range of free services to anyone who has been a victim of sexual assault, sexual abuse, or incest, as well as to survivors’ family and friends.
  • Services include medical and legal aid, as well as individual therapy for those 18+. They also provide bilingual listening, support, and referral services for all ages and a toll-free 24/7 helpline for all.
  • The toll free helpline can be reached at 1 800-933-9007; for information about their services, they can be reached at 514-933-4504.
Crisis Centres/Centres des Crises
  • Crisis Centres/Centres des Crises provides services for those experiencing mental health crises, offering support over the phone 24/7, temporary housing, mobile intervention services and accompaniment. Can be an alternative to hospitalization
  • Tracom is the crisis intervention centre for the area around McGill, they can be reached over the phone at 514-483-3033. Their services are free, professional and English/French bilingual
  • Tel-Aide: A free, anonymous, non-judgmental listening centre for people in distress in both English and French. They can be reached at 514-935-1101.
  • CIRCLES: CIRCLES is a resource, a letter of solidarity to fellow survivors, and a reconstruction of what it means to heal collectively. The resource document includes an in-depth listing of support services available in the community.
Project 10
  • Project 10: The Project promotes the personal, social, sexual, and mental well being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, two-spirit, intersexed, and questioning youth and adults ages 14–25. They provide support services through appointment and an accompaniment service. Services in French and English.
Crime Victims Assistance Centre (CAVAC)
  • Crime Victims Assistance Centre (CAVAC): Crime Victims Assistance Centres offer free, confidential, front-line services to any crime victim or witness in English, French, or Spanish.
  • They provide accompaniment services to police and judicial processes as well as post-traumatic and psychosocial intervention.
  • The Centres also provide legal information, assistance with filing applications or producing documents, and referrals to specialized services. To access their services you must first make an appointment by calling 514-277-9860.
SOS Violence Conjugale
  • SOS Violence Conjugale: Free, confidential, bilingual hotline for individuals experiencing domestic violence and for people supporting them, available 24/7. They provide support, safety information, evaluations, and direct referrals. They can be reached at 514-873-9010 in Montreal and across Quebec at 1 800-363-9010.
  • Provides support and advocacy services for sex workers in Montreal. Their support line can be reached at 514-285-8889.
McGill Resources

  • Office for Sexual Violence, Response, Support, and Education (O-SVRSE): The Office for Sexual Violence Response, Support and Education (OSVRSE) provides support to those who have been impacted by sexual and gender-based violence.
  • They provide crisis intervention and short-term counselling and can help connect  people who have experienced sexual violence with resources, assist in safety planning, provide support groups and activities, and assist with academic or workplace accommodations.
  • They can provide information about reporting processes and McGill policies as well as provide accompaniment services for those who wish to make a report, either at McGill or outside of it.
  • To make an appointment for individual support, fill out this form or email at Their services are professional, English/French bilingual and free for members of the McGill community.
Resources for McGill Workers

  • Counselling Services for AMURE Members: Counselling services for AMURE members: any research employee at McGill who has experienced sexual assault, domestic violence, or abuse can anonymously access counseling and support services at the expense of AMURE’s savings.
  • Employee and Family Assistance Program: free and confidential service offering short-term counseling and referral services. Your EFAP can be accessed 24/7 by phone, web, or mobile app and is available to regular staff members as well as their spouses and children as part of their benefits.
What is Sexual Violence?

Often, individuals who experience harm have difficulty recognizing that their experiences are ones of sexual violence.It is important to understand that sexual violence is a broad category that encompasses a range of harms. It is never your fault.

According to the OurTurn National Action Plan, under the broadest of categories, sexual violence is defined as:

“[A]ny sexual act or act targeting an individual’s sexuality, gender identity or gender expression, whether the act is physical or psychological in nature, that is committed, threatened or attempted against an individual without that individual’s consent.”

Examples of sexual violence include but are not limited to:

    Any form of sexual touching or the threat of sexual touching without the individual’s consent.
    Unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature that detrimentally affects the working, learning, or living environment of, or leads to adverse consequences for, the one directly subjected to the harassment.
    Engaging in conduct that causes an individual to fear for their physical or psychological safety, such as repeatedly following or communicating with someone (through any means), engaging in threatening conduct, or keeping watch over any place where the individual happens to be.
    Exposing one’s body to another individual for a sexual purpose or coercing another individual to remove their clothing in order to expose their body without their consent.
    Non-consensual viewing, photographing, or otherwise recording of another individual in a location where there is an expectation of privacy and where the viewing, photographing, or recording is done for a sexual purpose.
    The distribution of a sexually explicit photograph or recording of an individual to one or more individuals other than the individual in the photograph, or recording the individual without their consent in a photograph or recording.
    Stealthing is defined as nonconsensual condom removal during sexual intercourse. 
Responses to Sexual Violence and How You May Be feeling

Anyone can experience sexual violence, regardless of their gender identity. Each person’s response to harm is individual; there is no expected way that a survivor should act. Response to sexual violence may be immediate or may a longer time. It can impact specific areas of your life or be completely overwhelming. Just know that any response you have is normal and your experiences are valid. Healing is not often linear and each person’s journey is unique.

Some of the possible responses to sexual violence you may experience include:
  • Mental health impacts (e.g., depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, suicidal thoughts);
  • Physical injury;
  • Pregnancy;
  • Sexually transmitted infections;
  • Dissociation;
  • Flashbacks and triggers;
  • Self-injurious coping behaviours (e.g., self-harm, substance abuse, eating disorders);
  • Changes in how you view trust, a sense of vulnerability, and feeling unsafe;
  • Personal and professional impacts;
  • Academic difficulties.
The Intersectionality of Sexual Violence

At the SSMU, we believe that any and all discussions surrounding sexual violence must take an intersectional approach which recognizes the reality that individuals from certain marginalized groups experience sexual violence at higher rates and differently than those from more privileged communities.Specifically, it is crucial to recognize that individuals who experience various forms of marginalization — including, but not limited to, women, trans and gender nonconforming people, queer people, people of colour and racialized people, Indigenous Peoples, people with lower socioeconomic status, and disabled people — are disproportionately impacted by sexual violence.

More resources

Rape Culture on Campus and SSMU Advocacy

Rape culture is a culture in which sexual violence is normalized and accepted. Rape culture creates a climate in which we accept that our policies, practices, law enforcement, and courts do not respond well to the problem of sexual violence. It is shaped by power dynamics within and between communities and social structures that existed historically and persist today. It is reinforced through dominant ideas, social practices, media images, and social institutions condone sexual violence. 

To learn more about what the SSMU is doing to confront and dismantle rape culture, click here.

SSMU Gendered and Sexual Violence Policy

Please find more information on the SSMU Gendered and Sexual Violence Policy here.