Letters to the Editor

Resources and Aid available

Resources and Aid available

Re: “Surviving rape culture
at Queen’s”

Dear Editors,

Thank you for printing “Surviving rape culture at Queen’s” in the February 11th issue of the Journal. The author was brave to come forward with their experiences and to start a conversation about sexual violence (and the Journal was wise to place a trigger warning before the piece).

This piece highlighted that there are significant service deficiencies for victims of sexual assault, especially male victims of sexual assault. However, I wanted to highlight the services that are available to anyone who has faced non-consensual sexual touching, non-consensual sex, or intimate partner violence:

- Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence Unit at KGH: This is an emergency service, intended to be within a week of an instance of sexual assault or intimate partner assault (it is recommended that people seek this service as soon as possible after the assault, though). To access this service, simply go to a hospital and ask for the SA/DV Nurse on call. This service can be used by anyone no matter their sex or gender identity.

- Sexual Assault Centre Kingston: This is a counselling and resource service, and there is no time frame associated with accessing the services. It is only available for women (including transwomen and transmen). There is a 24-hour crisis line (613-544-6424) and an office line to book appointments (613-545-0762). More information at: http://www.sackingston.com/

- K3C Community Counselling Centres: K3C offers a variety of counselling services (some are gendered and for women only, but many are not), some at no cost and all at low cost. They also have a support group for adult male survivors of sexual assault. More information at: http://k3c.org/

These services exist in addition to the counselling services available through Queen’s Health, Counselling and Disability Services (613-533-2506), the support available from the Peer Support Centre (613-533-6000 ext 75111), and further information, referrals and resources available from the Sexual Health Resource Centre (613-533-2959). The Queen’s Human Rights Office (613-533-6886) can also advise on cases of sexual harassment.

The overwhelming response to this article, both positive and negative, shows the need for a long-overdue discussion about sexual violence at Queen’s University. While the comments were in some ways disheartening (and in many ways also triggering – the Journal may want to consider closing comments on articles that require a trigger warning), they also showed that further education and awareness is desperately needed. I hope the students who reacted positively to this article will not let the conversation end, and will seek to continue this discussion and break down the stigma associated with being a victim of sexual violence.

Amanda Judd, ArtSci ’11
Director — Sexual Health Resource Centre

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