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The SVRC's office welcome space is full of comfy chairs and colourful pillows, helpful pamphlets. A selection of teas are lined up beside a kettle. There is red rope art displayed on the wall. It is comfortable and inviting.

The Sexual Violence Resource Centre's welcome space

SVRC re-launches Responding to Sexual Violence Disclosures training for staff and faculty

Spring registration is now open; sign up through the Learning & Organizational Development website

April 18, 2023 — 

This spring, the Sexual Violence Resource Centre (SVRC) is relaunching the Responding to Sexual Violence Disclosures training for UM staff and faculty members. The new 2.5 hour workshop will be offered to UM community members in both in-person and online (via zoom) formats. Sexual violence is an umbrella term representing a broad range of inappropriate behaviours including sexual assault, sexual harassment, and stalking. Sexual violence impacts individuals of all genders, identities, abilities, and backgrounds, and all members of our community should be prepared to help support someone disclosing an experience of sexual violence. 

Initially offered in 2017, the updated Responding to Disclosures workshop continues to be a valuable  opportunity to help faculty and staff members prepare for a situation in which they receive a disclosure  of sexual violence. Responding to Disclosures also provides information on recent changes that were made to the University’s Sexual Violence Policy , including the new requirement for supervisors to refer the individual disclosing to the SVRC.  

“As the university has returned to in-person activities 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 disclosing person experienced violence in person or online, we want all staff and faculty to feel equipped to respond in a survivor-centered and supported way.” 

Designed to give staff and faculty the knowledge and skills to respond to disclosures in a compassionate, supportive, and consistent way, the workshop walks participants through key elements and guidelines for 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 a supportive and survivor-centered response to the person disclosing, focusing on their needs while providing options for support and information. The workshop is facilitated by staff from the SVRC as well as other support areas at the University. 

“Many who have these experiences first turn to someone they trust to tell their story. How that first disclosure is received can have a huge impact on the individual’s healing and how they move forward,” states Emily Livingston, Sexual Violence Education and Program Officer at the SVRC.  ”Taking this training is a proactive way for staff to feel prepared in responding in a caring and supportive way should a disclosure arise.”  

Spring registration is now open for an in-person session happening at the Bannatyne Campus as well as a virtual session open to staff from any campus. 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 emily [dot] livingston [at] umanitoba [dot] ca. 

A student version of Responding to Disclosures is also available. Student groups, as well as staff and faculty members who supervise student-staff or student groups on campus, are welcome to book a cost-free workshop. Please contact Emily at the email above for more information. 

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