Getting medical attention
If you have been recently sexually assaulted, you are encouraged to seek medical attention as soon as possible, even if you do not have apparent injuries.
You can contact the Victoria Sexual Assault Clinic 24/7 at 250-383-3232, where you can arrange to meet with a support worker and a specially trained forensic nurse examiner. Here you may receive the appropriate medical examination, medication, crisis support, connections to community resources and reporting options.
In an emergency, you can also go to a hospital emergency department.
To preserve evidence, you should do your best to avoid changing your clothing, using the toilet, showering, eating, or brushing your teeth.
Where to start
Realize: What happened to you was not your fault and you deserve to be believed and understood.
Tell someone you trust: Consider sharing your experience with a friend, co-worker, counsellor, coach, or someone else you can confide in.
Seek medical care if needed: If an assault has just happened, it's important to seek medical attention, even if there are no obvious injuries. We can assist and support you with that process.
Document the incident: First-hand written notes, prepared as soon as possible after the event, are considered good evidence by courts, human rights tribunals, labour boards, and employers. Try to include specifics like names, dates, times, locations, witnesses and any other details you can remember.
Connect with support: Contact Camosun's Office of Student Support. They are here to listen and will help you access resources and make an informed decision about what you'd like to do next. You can also talk with a counsellor on your campus, an advocate from the Student Society, or the Ombudsman.
What is sexual misconduct?
Camosun's Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy applies to any/all sexual misconduct involving a Camosun student. It applies to sexual misconduct that is alleged to have been conducted at any Camosun location, having a real or substantial connection to the college, college activities, or college-related functions.
Sexual misconduct is a broad term used to encompass unwanted or unwelcome conduct of a sexualized or sexual nature.
- It includes sexualized violence and means any sexual act or act targeting an individual's sexuality, whether the act is physical or psychological in nature, that is committed, threatened, or attempted against an individual without the individual's consent.
- Sexual misconduct includes: sexual assault, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation, stalking, indecent exposure, voyeurism, non-consensual posting of sexually explicit pictures or video with the intent to distress. Read our key definitions PDF.
How Camosun can help
Regardless of when or where the sexual violence or misconduct occurred, you have access to our support. Every person who experiences sexual violence or misconduct will choose to access support and engage in healing in a different way. Our Office of Student Support will provide information and support you on whichever path you choose to take.
See our list of on-campus and off-campus services.
With your consent, we can help you with:
- Safety planning
- Referrals to medical and community support services
- Self-care resources
- Academic and workplace accommodations
- Understanding available reporting options
- Navigating systems and resources within the college and the community
In addition to ensuring that you receive the support that you need, the Office of Student Support is available to outline and clarify college processes. They can also assist you in understanding and choosing which options for resolution are right for you.
For example, the options available under the Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy include:
- Receiving support and/or accommodations and not reporting
- Reporting your situation to the college
- Submitting a complaint to the college
- Making a report to the police
We will assist you in making an informed choice, and will respect your decision.
Healing from trauma
Sexual assault/violence can impact a person on many levels: psychological, physical, social, emotional, academic, and at work. It is common to experience a wide range of feelings, including shock, fear, disbelief, confusion, outrage, sadness, despair, and anger. Any or all of these feelings are valid and natural responses to a traumatic experience.
Remember: there is no right or wrong way for you to feel, react, or behave.
Seek emotional support
Speak with a counsellor or therapist, call or text a support line, or seek support from a friend or trusted colleague. You don't need to carry this burden alone.
If you can make time for self-care, it will help your healing process. Remember to nurture yourself in ways that make sense to you, but choose activities that are healthy and safe.
Allow your voice to be heard
If and when you are ready, speaking out about sexual violence and rape culture can be empowering to survivors. Look for opportunities to share your story, or confide in trusted friends or professional helpers. Anything you choose to say can be powerful and healing for yourself and possibly benefit others as well. See Services for ideas.
Knowing that one's personal information will be treated confidentially is essential in creating the safety and comfort required for you to disclose information about sexual violence or misconduct, and to seek support.
Camosun is committed to protecting the privacy and confidentiality of everyone involved in a complaint of sexual misconduct or violence. In rare cases, in accordance with the Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy, the college may be required to breach confidentiality.
Students will be notified by the Office of Student Support if confidentiality needs to be breached in accordance with privacy legislation and applicable laws and policies. If an employee is involved and confidentiality is an issue, the Office of Student Support will facilitate appropriate notification to the employee in coordination with Human Resources.
The college may be required to breach confidentiality in cases where:
- an individual is identified as being at imminent risk of harming themselves or another
- there are reasonable grounds to believe that members of the college community or wider community may be at risk of harm
- it is necessary to do so in order to promote fairness of process for all parties involved
- notification and/or action is required by law, other college policies, or an external body with proper authority (for example, if one of the persons involved is a minor or if the judge subpoenas the college's case records).
Support for respondents
- Have you caused harm to someone else?
- Has someone told you that you have violated their boundaries?
- Have you been named as a respondent in a complaint about sexual misconduct at the college?
It can be very difficult process to accept being accused of hurting someone and to assume responsibility for one’s actions. Often, counselling is very helpful in making sense of these difficult personal situations.
In order to ensure fair process, the college provides support and referral for individuals named as a respondent in a sexual misconduct complaint.Contact the Office of Student Support to discuss processes and options for support.