6 Ways to Take Action for Consent Awareness Week (Sept. 19 – 23)

Consent Awareness Week is an educational initiative held at universities across the country. The week is an opportunity for campus communities to create a dialogue about consent, pleasure, relationships and increase understanding of sexual violence. It’s also an opportunity to raise awareness of on- and off-campus services.

This year we are excited to be taking the lead of student advocates, including #HighSchoolToo, and members of the Ontario University Sexual Violence Network by marking this week in September in order to align with the increased risk of sexual violence and harassment that accompanies the start of the new academic year. As a part of Consent Awareness Week, we will also be recognizing We Believe You Day on Wednesday, September 20.

Creating a culture of consent on campus requires collective action. Here are six ways you can be a part of the change in our community.

1. SHARE: UofT’s #CheckInForConsent Campaign

Taking action means deepening our understanding of consent. Watch and share these videos from our #CheckInForConsent campaign to learn more about how to practice positive, active, on-going consent in all of your relationships – and share these graphics to spread the word.

2. READ: Learn and reflect with the Restorative Reading Book Club

Join the SVPS Centre’s tri-campus reading community and get a free copy of our chosen book to read together! We’ll be exploring 2 books together a semester:  

1 non-fiction book that digs into issues related to sexual violence prevention, healing, intersectional feminism, decolonization, and anti-racism work, and;

1 fiction book that is fun and light – this book might touch on more complex themes, but won’t be directly related to our work at The Centre. We’re open to graphic novels, queer romance, sci-fi, and other books for all-ages that explore joy, healing, and humour. 

We’ll announce our first book on Friday, September 23.

3. PRACTICE CARE: Mark I Believe You Day on September 20 with this session self-care and healing

We’re excited to once again offer this session on queer healing with Afro-Indigenous consultant and educator Shanese Anne! Through videos, discussions, and activities, participants will find ways to affirm, grow and heal within themselves, breaking-through the colonial and cis-heteronormative understandings of being healthy.

This will be a 2-hour virtual workshop. It is open to all UofT students, but will focus on the needs of queer students.

4. BUILD COMMUNITY: Join this monthly drop-in group for survivors of sexual violence

Healing Hearts is a support group for people of all genders who have had an experience of sexual violence or harassment. Join us to talk consent and pleasure, healthy boundaries, intimacy after trauma, and more at these free monthly drop-in meetings.

You can register at any time prior to the meeting! It’s free to join, and we’ll be sharing care-packages with registrants later in the term.

5. SHOW-UP FOR SURVIVORS: Register for an upcoming, virtual training to learn how to respond to disclosures of sexual violence in a trauma-informed way

Join us for one of our upcoming interactive and comprehensive trainings, which teach participants to support a disclosure of sexual violence. These workshops empower participants to manage a disclosure effectively using an empathetic and trauma-informed approach. Through role-play, discussions and story-telling, participants will come to learn the supportive steps in taking a disclosure.

For Staff and Faculty

October 4, 2022: 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

November 8, 2022: 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

For Students

October 7, 2022: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

April 5, 2023: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

6. SEND SUPPORT: Share messages of care with survivors

Mark We Believe You Day on September 20, 2022, by sending message of care and support to survivors on campus. We’ll share the letters anonymously on social media, and we’ll include them in a future book for survivors to flip-through when they visit the Centre. All letters can be emailed to svps.programs@utoronto.ca.