If you have experienced sexual violence, there are resources and supports available to you on and off-campus. You do not need to file a formal complaint in order to receive support.
Let the Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office help you explore your options.
What is Sexual Violence?
Any sexual act, or an act targeting a person’s sexuality, gender identity or gender expression, whether the act is physical or psychological in nature, which is committed, threatened or attempted against a person without that person’s consent. This includes, but is not limited to: sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, indecent exposure, voyeurism, sexual exploitation, degrading sexual imagery, and distribution of sexual images or video of a community member without their consent.
This definition and more are found in our Sexual Violence Policy
Ask yourself: “Is my safety at risk?
If your safety or the safety of another member of the University community is at risk please find a safe place to contact emergency services:
- Call 911
- Call security services at 902-566-0384 (on-campus dial 0384),
- Call security services using the elevator phone or payphones with no cost dialing 4357 or HELP,
- Use the Emergency Poles located across campus, they provide direct voice access to security services office in the Central Utility Building.
- Use UPEI SAFE to contact security or the Police
- Ensuring confidentiality is upheld helps to create an environment where a person can disclose that they are experiencing/or have experienced sexual violence, get support and protect the integrity of an investigation process if one is initiated.
- Your information is ours to protect! Only people who need to know in order to provide support will be informed with your permission.
- Limits to confidentiality exist where a person, or the community is in imminent risk of harm.
Why is it important?
- To assess and care for physical injuries, emotional traumas.
- To test for possible infections and/or pregnancy.
- To have forensic evidence collected.
If you go to the hospital, it is your choice:
- To have a physical exam and medical treatment only.
- To report to the police and have a sexual assault evidence kit completed.
What can I expect from my hospital visit?
- To be treated with respect.
- To wait in a private room in the Emergency Department.
- If you go to QEH or Prince County Hospital you may be seen by a SANE (Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner, someone who has been specially trained in responding to patients who have been sexually assaulted and in collecting evidence). If a SANE is not available you may be seen by a physician, nurse practitioner or registered nurse.
- To have the processes of examination, treatment, and collection explained to you.
- To have the choice to report or not report (unless your situation requires reporting under the PEI child Protection or Adult Protection Acts).
- To be allowed a support person with you, however, they may be asked to leave the room during some parts of the exam.
What is a “rape kit” or “forensic evidence kit”?
- A box that holds the swabs, bags, and containers used to collect and store evidence from your body.
- During the collection, you will be asked questions about what happened to you so that they know what evidence to collect. The kit can take a long time to complete and can feel intrusive at times. You can refuse any part of the kit at any time.
- Evidence can be collected up to 72 hours after a sexual assault.
- A completed kit can provide useful evidence if you decide to pursue criminal justice.
- If you decide to have a kit completed police are contacted and come to the hospital, they do not remain in the room while evidence is collected.
- You can still report to the police if you decide not to have a kit collected.
(Adapted from PEIRSAC resource Seeking Medical Attention)
UPEI's Sexual Violence Policy supports that survivors be provided with a necessary workplace, academic, extracurricular, housing, and dining accommodations based on the circumstances of the incident and the needs and wishes of the person disclosing and/or reporting.
Contact the SVPRO coordinator to find out how we can help support you!
- Self Care After Trauma: Self-care is about doing things to help you feel healthy and comfortable. Regardless of when the trauma happened, self-care can help you cope with short and long-term effects.
- Grounding Techniques: Grounding techniques to use when experiencing the fight/flight or freeze response.
- PEI Rape and Sexual Assault Centre resource.
- You feel like sh*#: An interactive flow chart created by Jace Harr to help you guide your self-care.
- Health and Wellness Centre : Comprehensive health services are available to staff, faculty, and students.
- UPEI Counselling Services: Offers confidential, short-term help to students dealing with personal, relational or mental health concerns.
- Aspiria: Student -Assistance Program where you can access a wide range of professional services anytime and anywhere, for free, 12 months of the year.
- Work Health Life: An Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) provides you and your family with immediate and confidential support to help resolve work, health, and life challenges to improve your life.
- UPEI Residence Services Office: Residence Life Team is available to current students, the team is available to help facilitate academic success, social interaction, and personal growth.
- Chaplaincy Centre: The Chaplaincy Centre provides a location to meet, eat, socialize, pray, and hold religious services. UPEI Campus Minister provides a spiritual presence that is supportive of students, faculty, staff, and administration.
- Mawi’omi Centre: A home away from home for all Indigenous students. The Centre’s lounge offers a place for students to gather together to socialize, study, and relax. It also assists with admission, course selection, tutoring and access to other student services. It also offers support, growth, and teachings from the elder in residence.
- AVC Wellness Facilitator: Available to meet one on one with AVC students for support, and academic coaching. Saphire MacPhee: 902-566-6788.
- Student-Athlete Support: Support available to student-athletes at UPEI. Leigh Reid: 902-394-0927
- Security Services: Available to protect and provide for the ongoing safety of the people, property, and information resources of the university community and to provide students, faculty, staff, and visitors with a secure environment in which to live, work, study, and play.
- PEI Rape and Sexual Assault Centre: The Prince Edward Island Rape and Sexual Assault Centre is a non-profit, government-funded organization that provides services to adults (women and men) and youth (over age 16) survivors of recent or historic sexual assault and childhood sexual abuse across Prince Edward Island.
- Community Mental Health: Mental health care is offered in hospitals and in community health facilities across the province. Bilingual services are available in some locations.
- Family Service PEI: Our therapeutic counselling services help people deal with a full range of life events – from coping with daily pressures to overcoming abuse, to dealing with mental health issues. We can work with you to get you on the path to wellness, whether it be individually, as a couple or with family.
- Addictions Services: Addiction Services provide a range of programs designed to help you through the various stages of recovery. Addiction Services is closely aligned with Mental Health Services to ensure that individuals living with an addiction and a mental health disorder receive coordinated care.
- Mental Health Walk-in Clinics: Mental health walk-in clinics offer immediate mental health support to help with anxiety, as well as life events causing stress and other mental health issues. No appointment needed, free 45-60 minute appointments available
Family Violence Prevention
- Outreach Services: Outreach Services are confidential support services for abused women as well as possible victims of abuse who may not use the services of the shelter, but still need some education and safety planning surrounding issues of domestic violence. Outreach coordinators provide one-on-one support, group support, referral services, safety assessment and planning, advocacy, accompaniment to court and other meetings, information and public education.
- Anderson House: Anderson House is a provincial emergency shelter for women and children who are in need of safety because of violence in their lives.
- Blooming House: Blooming House is a registered not-for-profit organization based in Charlottetown, PEI. They run an Out of The Cold (OTC) Shelter – 12 hours a night, seven nights a week. The primary goal is to provide safe overnight shelter for women in the Charlottetown area.
- Salvation Army Bedford Macdonald House: It provides shelter and short-term residence for men who find themselves in a homeless situation. Call (902) 892-4777
Navigating Criminal Justice
- Victim Services: Victim Services assists victims of crime throughout their involvement in the criminal justice system. Assistance is available to victims of crime anywhere on Prince Edward Island.
Crisis Phone Lines
- Island Helpline: The Island Helpline provides free, confidential emotional support and crisis intervention to Islanders of all ages. Trained and caring staff and volunteers are available to answer your call any time of the day or night, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Creating a Safety Plan
- Community Legal Information Association (CLIA): Community Legal Information Association of PEI Inc., often called CLIA, is a non-profit registered charity. We provide free legal information through our phone line, website, e-mail, publications, and outreach efforts. We also provide lawyer referrals for Islanders who need legal advice and would like to connect with a lawyer.
- Legal Aid: Prince Edward Island Legal Aid is an access to justice program, providing legal representation and assistance to low-income individuals who have serious legal needs in the areas of criminal law, youth criminal justice, or family and civil law.
- Rise Program: The RISE program provides free legal resources to people have experienced sexual violence and workplace sexual harassment. Resources include: legal information; free advice from a lawyer for up to 4 hours, support navigating the justice system; and referrals to other community support services.
While social distancing and staying at home is the best practice to limit the spread of COVID-19, home is not always the safest place to be for some people. If you are experiencing abuse, harassment, or violence in any way, know that you are not alone and you do not deserve to be mistreated. There is help available.
Consider following resources as we face this time ahead:
COVID-19 and Gender-based Violence
- COVID-19 and violence against women what the health system can do
- COVID-19 Linked to More Gender-Based Violence by Canadian Women’s foundation
- Impacts of COVID-19 on Canadians
- Activity Book for Self-care during Covid19: from the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual & Domestic Violence PDF
Supporting each other
- Helping family and friends experiencing violence at home
- Pods and Pod Mapping Worksheet from the Bay Area Transformative Justice Collective
Intimate Partner Violence
- COVID-19 related controlling behaviour from the Learning Network