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Responding to Disclosures workshops offered virtually

April 19, 2021 — 

Sexual violence impacts people of all identities and backgrounds. The University of Manitoba is committed to building a safe and inclusive campus community where survivors of sexual violence know they can receive the supports they need. An important part of supporting someone who has experienced sexual violence is being prepared to respond to a disclosure. We are pleased to announce that the Responding to Disclosures workshop is now being offered virtually to all interested staff and faculty.

Initially offered in 2017, Responding to Disclosures is ideal for all faculty and staff members – there is no limit to who could be faced with a situation in which someone discloses sexual violence.

“Often times people first turn to someone they trust to disclose what has happened to them. How that first disclosure is received can have a huge impact on the individual’s healing and how they move forward. Through this training, we hope participants will feel confident in responding in a caring and supportive way,” explains Emily Livingston, virtual sexual violence education facilitator.

Designed to give staff and faculty the knowledge and skills to respond to disclosures in an effective, compassionate, supportive, and consistent way, the workshop walks participants through key elements and guidelines to responding to a disclosure of sexual violence and making appropriate referrals. While the workshop does include a brief overview of the university’s Sexual Violence policy, the focus of this workshop is on effective response to and less so on the process of filing a formal complaint or report.

The newly-adapted online version of the workshop continues to be interactive, providing participants with the opportunity to engage with one another in group discussions, practice receiving disclosures for different scenarios, and receive feedback from facilitators.

“As the university continues to operate in a primarily virtual environment, we want to ensure members of the UM staff and faculty community have access to this important training,” says Bre Woligroski, Sexual Violence Resource Centre Coordinator.  “Whether the person disclosing experienced violence in person or virtually, we want all staff and faculty to feel equipped to respond in a survivor-centered and supported way.”   

Registration is now open for spring sessions. Staff and faculty interested in attending a workshop are encouraged to sign up through the Learning & Organizational Development website. For more information on the workshop please email Plans are also underway to launch Responding to Disclosures workshops tailored towards students and other targeted groups on campus in the near future.


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