By Jess Spindler, Resource and Resolution Advisor
April of each year is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) SAAM is an international movement dedicated to raising awareness about sexual violence, its impacts, and supports available for those affected by sexual violence.
SAAM can be empowering for some survivors, while difficult and emotionally draining for others. Here are some ways that you can prioritize your health and wellbeing this month and every day of the year:
- Grounding techniques to help keep you present:
- Physical, Mental and Soothing Grounding Exercises (Arizona Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence)
- Six Different Grounding Exercises for Anxiety and Intense Emotions (The Growlery)
- Audio Exercises for Managing Stress and Anxiety (Crisis & Trauma Resource Institute)
- Colouring book downloads for survivors and supporters (courtesy of Ryerson University’s “Consent Comes First” initiative)
- Suggestions for practicing self-care (i.e. taking care of yourself and your needs)
- Guidance for supporting someone who has experienced a traumatic event
- Helping Yourself or Others After Experiencing a Traumatic Event; Building a Self-Care Plan (Mental Health Commission of Canada)
- How to Support a Friend or Loved One Who Has Been Sexually Abused (The New York Times)
These resources and many others are included in the College’s Library Guide on Sexual Violence Awareness, Education, Prevention and Supports. The Guide includes links to books, articles, videos, websites and other resources on a range of related topics such as:
- Campus sexual violence
- Building a culture of consent
- Understanding trauma and trauma-informed practice
- Self-care, healing and recovery
- Male survivors
- BIPOC perspectives
Red River College is committed to a safe and inclusive working and learning environment for our staff and students, free from all forms of sexual violence. This commitment extends to all Colleges spaces—whether you are studying on campus, or learning online.
If you have experienced sexual violence, know that it is not your fault. Acts of sexual violence are the responsibility of the perpetrator alone, and you are never to blame. You should also know that you are not alone— you have the option of sharing your experience and accessing help. There are supports available to you through the College, including:
- The College’s Resource and Resolution Advisor Jess Spindler is available to discuss with you your options for reporting a concern to the College, if another member of the College community was involved.
- RRC Counselling Services are available to all students. Appointments with a counsellor are available by phone or video conferencing. Counselling can offer help with personal/relational challenges, managing mental wellness, and support in times of crisis.
- The REES (Respect Educate Empower Survivors) online reporting tool, which allows survivors to make a report of sexual violence to their College or police using a secure online reporting form.
- The College’s No Wrong Door microsite includes information about College policies and procedures on sexual violence, and additional information about supports.
If you are in crisis and need to speak with a counsellor immediately, please contact
Klinic’s 24 hour crisis line at: 1-888-322-3019, or
Sexual Assault Crisis Line: 1-888-292-7565
In the case of an emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to your nearest emergency room