Waves of Change: Creating Campus Responses to Sexual Violence
This program has been designed by the Antigonish Women’s Resource Centre and Sexual Assault Services Association with funding from Justice Canada and in partnership with various Nova Scotian post-secondary institutions, in order to address sexualized violence on campus. The program is made up of five separate training modules that take a prevention approach to sexualized violence on campus.
The goal of this program is to teach participants to recognize a broad range of sexually violent scenarios that commonly occur on post-secondary campuses. Participants will also learn various techniques to intervene either as bystanders or as a community in order to interrupt or stop sexual violence, support survivors, hold those who cause harm accountable for their actions, and transform the culture that allows violence to happen. This program draws on participants' existing skills, knowledge, and creativity in order to facilitate broader strategies for social change.
Each module of this training program approaches the issue of sexualized violence on campus from the framework described above. However, the modules are divided in a way that allows us to focus more narrowly on particular themes related to this issue. The modules build upon each other, allowing participants to deepen their knowledge and understanding as they move through the trainings. The structure of the curriculum is as follows:
- Basic Bystander: This training module introduces participants to the issue of sexualized violence on campus. Participants will learn about the law and sexualized violence in Nova Scotia. Participants will also be introduced to the concept of bystander intervention and will be taught various intervention techniques.
- Alcohol and Sex: This training module takes a harm reduction approach to the issue of alcohol-facilitated sexualized violence. Participants will learn about the various ways that alcohol can be used by perpetrators to facilitate sexual violence, as well as the risks in properly negotiating consent when under the influence. They will learn how to plan and participate in saf(ER) parties, gatherings, relationships, and hookups. They will learn how to spot patterns of boundary crossing behaviour when alcohol is involved and will have the opportunity to generate strategies to address those who cause harm. This training is particularly useful for campus bar and security staff, as well as residence staff, and anyone living in a “party” house or residence.
- Advanced Bystander Intervention: This training will go more in-depth into the issue of sexualized violence on campus paying particular attention to the ways that power and identity can impact both how we experience sexualized violence and how we intervene as bystanders or community members. Participants will learn how to understand sexualized violence on campus from an intersectional approach. They will also learn various strategies for intervention in contexts where the power between those causing harm and those intervening is particularly uneven. They will learn how to be allies to marginalized groups or individuals in their interventions, as well as how to act in solidarity with survivors of campus sexualized violence.
- Creating Communities of Accountability: This training is especially useful for and directed to pre-existing groups or communities, such as a sports team, residences, the campus LGBTQ community, a particular department of study, or a group of activists. Participants will learn the principles and goals of community accountability. Participants will work together to generate their own understanding of what a safe and inclusive community should look like and will come up with strategies to make that vision a reality. In particular, this training will teach participants how to recognize when someone in your group or community is causing harm and how begin to direct that person towards more accountable behaviour. Finally, participants will also learn strategies for supporting and honouring survivors in their community or group.
- Creating Social Change: This training will take a broader historical and cultural approach to understanding the root causes of sexualized violence on campus. Participants will learn about the various ways that culture can support and encourage sexualized violence. Participants will work together to come up with various strategies to effect cultural, social and political change on campus and in broader society. Participants will learn how to build networks of solidarity, how to creatively get their message out to broad audiences, and how to generate and maintain momentum when pushing for social change.
- Visible @ X Coordinators: Ella Rosquist and Cara Stevenson