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SEXUAL ASSAULT SURVIVORS' SUPPORT LINE & LEADERSHIP

SASSL exists to provide unbiased and non-judgmental peer support and referrals to survivors of sexual violence. Our walk-in support is available all year round during office hours. We also run educational outreach programs and information sessions at on campus and in the larger community. Our support line runs 24 hours a day during the fall-winter semesters of the school year and can be reached at 416-650-8056

What survivor support looks like at SASSL:

  1. 24 hour peer-support via our support line and during our staff office hours on issues related to sexual violence including personal and academic concerns, stress, sexuality etc. Our support line can be access at: 416-650-8056
  2. Informal referrals to other campus and community organizations related to housing, health, legal assistance
  3. Creation of outreach programs and workshops to educate students, faculty, staff and community members amount sexual violence                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
  4. Establish and maintain relationships and ongoing collaboration with York University’s colleges and other student-run organizations; give Frosh related, Residence Life, Don training, and in-class presentations related to sexual violence
  5. Creation of pamphlets, info-graphics, posters, videos, and other promotional material to aid our training efforts and commitment to education related to sexual violence; offering SASSL promotional items to campus and community organizations free-of-charge
  6. Extensive training of university students interested in volunteering for SASSL on anti-oppressive, anti-racist frameworks of understanding systemic and individual forms of sexual violence; training on active listening, and procedures and processes for accessing legal, housing, police, hospital supports
  7. Hosting campus and community events on sexual violence and other related issues including Trans Day of Remembrance, Dec. 6th National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women, Wen-Do Defense workshops, SASSL’s annual heART event etc.
  8. Attend regular internal and external university meetings related to sexual and gender violence prevention and response; research policies related to sexual violence and making recommendations to the university regarding further policy development; networking with other organizations and universities to further develop and improve policies and services related to sexual violence across Ontario campuses

York University’s Sexual Violence Response Office

In addition to SASSL’s student-run services, York University now also has a Sexual Violence Response Office. The Sexual Violence Response Office (SVRO) coordinates supports and resources for all members of the community that have experienced sexual violence, receives disclosures and complaints, facilitates safety planning, and assists survivors through the complaint process.This office was created following the approval of York University’s official Sexual Violence Policy in December of 2016 by the Board of Governors.

SVRO Office Phone- 416-736-5211

SVRO Location- W128 Bennett Centre for Student Services

SVRO Email- svro@yorku.ca

ABOUT US

SEXUAL ASSAULT SURVIVOR'S SUPPORT LINE & LEADERSHIP

VALUES

SASSL volunteers are trained in a variety of areas to recognize the diversity that shapes everyday life in the GTA. We know that all types of factors influence people’s lives… READ MORE

BACKGROUND

SASSL was founded in 1995 with the support of the York University administration. The original motivation came from York’s Sexual Harassment Education and … READ MORE

VOLUNTEER

SASSL is looking for enthusiastic folks with an understanding (or a willingness to learn!) about feminism and anti-oppression. Our volunteers come from diverse… READ MORE

FUNDING

In 1999, SASSL became recognized as an important presence on campus when York students elected SASSL to receive a $2.10 tuition levy. The levy is distributed across… READ MORE

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What services does SASSL offer?

The primary services SASSL offers are:

  • • Walk-in support in our office (see Contact for more details)
  • • Our anonymous 24/7 support line at 416 650 8056
  • • Various events and workshops throughout the year (see News & Events for more details)

See our Services page for more detailed information.

 

Do I have to be a women to access SASSL’s services?

No. SASSL supports people of all genders, which includes, but is not limited to: gender queer/non-binary people, cis/trans women and cis/trans men.

 

Do I have to be a York student to use SASSL’s services?

No. Anyone can reach out to our organization for support, although many of our services are prioritized for York students.

 

Do I have to have been sexually assaulted to call SASSL?

No. Anyone can call for any reason. We specialize in all issues related to sexual violence. For example, if you have a friend or family member who has been assaulted, if you are looking for information concerning sexual assault services, etc. Feel free to call SASSL or use our walk-in support anytime.

 

Does my assault(s) have to be legally defined as ‘rape’ for me to use SASSL’s services?

No. SASSL’s definition of sexual assault includes any unwanted advance, phrase, gesture, implied meaning, touch, or any other sexual act to which you have not consented. We do not believe in a hierarchy of assaults where some types are worse than others. (see Sexual Violence for more details)

 

Does my assault(s) have to have happened on campus or near campus for me to use SASSL’s services?

No. Wherever the assault(s) happened, whether at York, at home, or in another country, you can always call SASSL for peer support and referrals.

 

Does my assault(s) have to have happened recently for me to use SASSL’s services?

No. At SASSL we recognize that healing after an assault is a very personal experience that can take any amount of time, ranging from days, months, to many years depending on the person who is affected. It doesn’t matter if the assault happened yesterday, or 20 years ago. There is no time limit for being affected by an assault. You deserve support whenever you feel you need it and SASSL is here for you.

 

Do I have to be a feminist to use SASSL’s services?

No. We do not ask about your personal or political beliefs when we provide support. Regardless of our beliefs as an organization, our support services are open, confidential, and anonymous to everyone. SASSL is an openly feminist organization, which means that we are committed to fighting varying modes of oppression in relation to the marginalization of women and trans people.

 

Feminist!? Doesn’t that mean you won’t support men?

No. SASSL’s support services are open to anyone. To SASSL, feminism means a fight against patriarchal norms, which compose certain roles for ‘men’ and ‘women.’ As an organization that supports intersectional feminism, we recognize that these norms contribute to the rates of sexual assault and the nature of sexual assault against all genders. Patriarchal gender norms assume that men cannot be sexually assaulted. As a result, male survivors are often ridiculed and accused of lying. By fighting patriarchy, we fight the oppression of cis/trans women and gender queer folks, while at the same time combating harmful norms that negatively impact male survivors of sexual assault.

 

Intersectional feminism? What does that mean?

Intersectional feminism is a movement that recognizes that gender oppression is connected to other forms of oppression including, but not limited to, racism, classism, xenophobia, colonialism, homophobia, transphobia and ableism. This means that gender oppression is inseparable from these other issues. As an organization we strive for intersectionality and inclusivity in our work to better help survivors who experience multiple forms of marginalization.

 

I would like to interview a SASSL Coordinator or volunteer as a media representative/for a class project. How do I do that?

SASSL is an organization that is run collectively, which means that we need to develop responses to your questions together. If you would like our full organization’s response, you will need to give us your questions in advance, and give us the collective time to generate our responses. If you would like to have our members’ individual opinions instead of our organizational views, then we can give you the answers that you need faster. If your questions are inappropriate or in any way threatening, we reserve the right to withdraw from your interview at any time.

PLEASE NOTE:

We will not answer any questions that ask for confidential information. Such information that we will not release includes, but is not limited to: call details, survivors’ stories, times or dates of calls, how many calls we receive, identifying information about the people that use our services, and identifying information about our staff or volunteers.

 

SASSL has not answered the phone. Why is that?

Like any organization, SASSL has its limitations and failings. There are a number of reasons as to why your call may not be answered right away on our support line. One common reason is that we are in the middle of another call. Most other reasons are related to how our phone system works.

At SASSL we are 100% student-run and student-funded. As a result, we do not have full-time staff or a call centre. We have an office phone and a cell phone. The office phone is answered by coordinators during our office hours (Monday-Friday, 10am-5pm). At night and over the weekends, all calls are forwarded to our support-line cell phone by volunteers and coordinators who take the cell phone home. Since everyone who works and volunteers at SASSL is a student, there can sometimes be scheduling conflicts (such as commute time). Also, since our main phone line is located on York University’s Keele campus, we have been impacted by campus-wide power outages in the past.

If you have tried calling multiple times and do not get an answer, we want to know about it so that we can track what went wrong, and prevent this from happening in the future. If you would like to report any such problems anonymously, feel free to fill out our anonymous feedback form.

 

I am unsatisfied with SASSL’s services and/or have encountered problems with a member of SASSL and/or feel that SASSL services are inaccessible to me. What can I do about this?

Your voice is important and you deserve to have your concerns taken seriously. There are several ways that you can contact SASSL to voice your concerns.

Anonymous ways to contact SASSL are:

  1. Through our anonymous feedback form. Our form is split up into a number of sections,  and you only need to fill out the sections that pertain to your situation or complaint.
  2. Through our Tumblr page at http://sasslyorku.tumblr.com/. Tumblr has an anonymous ask option which does not require an account to fill out. Be aware that unfortunately, Tumblr anonymous asks have a character limit.
  3. Call our office line at 416-736-2100 ext. 40345. We don’t have caller ID and you do not have to leave a callback number or tell us your name.

NON anonymous ways of contacting SASSL:

  1. Send an email to sassl@yorku.ca
  2. Stop by our office which is open Monday-Friday, 10am-5pm, and ask for a coordinator. Location: B449, 4th floor of the student centre at York University

 

 

Survivor Emergency Funds

SASSL Survivor Support Emergency Request Funds

SASSL provides limited financial support to survivors in immediate need. These funds can go directly towards things like emergency housing, food, childcare, or counselling costs. You do not need to be a student to access funds. In order to do so, a brief request form needs to filled out. Staff/ volunteer support is available while filling out the form if required. Generally, you can include as much detail as you feel comfortable sharing. For the time being, survivors’ can access funds once every two years. This a policy we are currently reviewing because we recognize that some people may need to access this resource more than once within a two year period. A maximum of $350 is available through this fund. Print copies are available at our office (B449 York University Student Centre) or digitally below. Once approved, you can usually pick-up a cheque within 48 hours. We can also arrange to have it mailed to you directly if needed. To speak with someone directly about the funds, you can contact us:

SASSL Office Info Phone – 416-736-2100 ext. 40345

SASSL 24 Hour Support Line – 416-650-8056

SASSL General Email – sassl@yorku.ca

During SASSL Office Hours – Monday to Tuesday 10am to 3pm, Wednesday to Friday 10am to 5pm

SASSL Survivor Emergency Request Fund (WORD DOC.): Survivor Support Request Form 

SASSL Survivor Emergency Request Fund (PDF.): Survivor Support Request Form

Other Funding Support Resources on Campus

The Office of Student Community Relations Office (OSCR):

OSCR supports students impacted by critical incidents, facing personal crises or multiple complex issues. The Office of Student Community Relations supports students, parent/guardians and the community in its role as the University liaison in the management of critical incident cases. In addition to helping arrange appropriate referrals and support both internal and external to York. OSCR provides support for incidents such as, but not limited to, critical illness or injury of a student, student death, attempted suicide and sexual assault. OSCR advocates for students to secure academic accommodations, financial assistance, stop-outs/leaves and emergency housing.

At your request, SASSL can send the information you provide us to OSCR to seek further additional academic, and financial supports. OSCR will require your name, student number and a brief synopsis of your situation. This information will be kept confidential. It will only be released to Debbie Hansen and Joanie Cameron Pritchett, and will not be relayed to any other community agency or partner. Upon release of your information you will be contacted by Debbie Hansen and/or Joanie Cameron Pritchett, and work with OSCR for these additional supports. SASSL will not communicate with OSCR regarding the status of supports you are seeking, or other information once this form has been released. We will only do so upon your request, with signed consent. You may still seek peer support from SASSL during this time. You can find a copy of the consent form attached to the SASSL request form below:

SASSL Survivor Emergency Request Fund with OSCR Consent Form (WORD DOC.): Survivor Support Request Form- OSCR

SASSL Survivor Emergency Request Fund with OSCR Consent Form (PDF.): Survivor Support Request Form- OSCR

If you prefer to contact OSCR directly yourself to find out more details about the services they can be reached at:

OSCR Location –  W128 Bennett Centre for Student Services, York University

OSCR Office Phone Line – (416) 736-5231

OSCR Email – oscr@yorku.ca

Sexual Violence Response Office (SVRO):

SVRO coordinates supports and resources for all members of the community that have experienced sexual violence, receives disclosures and complaints, facilitates safety planning, and assists survivors through the complaint process. In addition to providing services that include access to emergency housing and academic appeal/ deferral support, they also help coordinate emergency financial assistance.

SVRO Location-  W128 Bennett Centre for Student ServicesSVRO Office Phone Line – 416-736-5211

SVRO Email – svro@yorku.ca

Pamphlets & Resources

PROMOTIONAL REQUEST FORM

The following form is for those who would like to make requests to SASSL’s Publicity & Promotions branch. There are different sections of the form for members of SASSL, and for those outside of SASSL:

If you are not a member of SASSL and you would like to order SASSL’s promotional items, collaborate on an educational campaign, or have us promote one of your initiatives, fill out the form below!

If you are a member of SASSL and you would like to make a design request, postering request, social media request, or tabling request, fill out the form below!

 https://goo.gl/forms/kGQgAajDUDp5xfqz1

 

 

PROMOTIONAL ITEMS AVAILABLE

If you need resources such as pamphlets, buttons, posters, postcards etc. SASSL would be happy to provide. If you have resources for us pertaining to sexual violence and related issues we would love to distribute them. If you are interested in any of our promotional items browse the options below and contact our Publicity & Promotions Coordinator to see how many are available and how we can get them to your organization for distribution. To contact the Publicity & Promotions Coordinator, email sassl@yorku.ca and ask for the Publicity & Promotions Coordinator.

1) Pamphlets

SASSL has two types of Pamphlets: full-sized, and discreet.

Full-Sized:
Our full sized pamphlets (pictured below) were last updated in 2014 and contain all of our information as well as services both on and off campus.

new booklet_22july.qxd

PAGE 1 PDF DOWNLOAD

 

new booklet_22july.qxd

PAGE 2 PDF DOWNLOAD

Discreet:

Our discreet pamphlets (pictured below) were created in 2015 and the contain minimal information about our services, but all the same information about services both on and off campus. They are small so that people can take them without others around them knowing that they are for services related to sexual violence.

mini pamphlet front

PAGE 1 PDF DOWNLOAD

mini pamphlet inside

PAGE 2 PDF DOWNLOAD

2) Posters 

SASSL has a variety of posters including four designs for our general informational posters (pictured below). If you would like posters that are event specific, please contact the Publicity & Promotions Coordinator and ask about the specific event.

SASSL Poster 1

POSTER 1 PDF DOWNLOAD

3) Buttons & Stickers 

Sassl has five button designs and one sticker design. The buttons are 1.5″ in diameter and the Stickers are 4″ in diameter. Both sets of designs are pictured below.

Buttons:

Buttons 2

 

Stickers:

Sticker 1

 

4) Pens

SASSL has pens printed with the following information “SASSL, Sexual Assault Survivors’ Support Line & Leadership, B449 Student Centre, (416) 650 8056 (24 hrs)”

To pick up any of our resources come to our office in the Student Centre on York University’s Keele Campus room B449. If you are on York Keele or Glendon Campus and would like us to deliver them to you please contact Publicity & Promotions Coordinator by emailing sassl@yorku.ca and asking for the Publicity & Promotions Coordinator.

Erase Your Internet History

Is someone tracking the websites you visit online?

Follow the instructions on this page to erase your browsing history after you visit our website. We cannot guarantee that everything will be erased. These instructions should assist you in reducing the chances of someone finding out that you have visited our website or any other websites similar to ours.

In general, you want to erase two things:

Your Cache (this is where the computer stores copies of files you’ve recently looked at with your browser)
Your History List (this is a single file containing the addresses of the places you’ve recently visited)

Click on one of the following links that corresponds with the browser that you are using:

Chrome IconFirefox LogoInternet Explorer Icon
Google ChromeMozilla FirefoxInternet Explorer
Safari IconOpera IconKonqueror Icon
SafariOperaKonqueror

Levy Opt-Out

Opt-Out Overview

There are a number of levies at York that were established with the provision that students may opt-out of paying them. This provision to opt-out was requested by the organization’s who receive the levy themselves. Please visit http://sfs.yorku.ca/fees/courses/index.php and under the New Students category, select your Faculty/Program to see which levy fees you are paying and which ones you are may opt-out of (these fees are noted by an asterisk).

Depending on your Faculty, you may be able to opt out of the following levies:

1. Centre for Women and Trans People (CWTP) Room 322 Student Centre
2. Ontario Public Interest Research Group (OPIRG) Room C449 Student Centre
3. Sexual Assault Survivors Support Line & Leadership (SASSL) Room B449 Student Centre
4. World University Service of Canada (WUSC) Centre For Refugee Studies – 8th Floor, York Research Tower

These groups, together with Student Community & Leadership Development (SCLD), have created the following process to help students exercise their right to opt-out and receive levy money back.

Refunds are be processed once during the school year. The period is two weeks following the drop deadline for the F term for each year. The Fall 2017-18 drop deadline is November 10th. Further details regarding course add/drop deadlines can be found here : http://www.registrar.yorku.ca/enrol/dates

To receive the levy refund, you must submit the following to each organization that you wish to opt out of:

  1.  Print out class schedule.
  2.  Photocopy of YU Card
  3. A completed opt out form available at the respective office (each office has its own opt-out form). Find SASSL Levy Opt Out Form below, or stop by the office to pick-up a copy.

Student Community & Leadership Development (SCLD) will, on behalf of an organization, accept appeals or deal with any other discrepancies.

Procedure for Opting-Out of SASSL Levy:

At SASSL levy refunds are given in cash only. Students are also asked to come to our office (B449 Student Centre) in order to pick them up.  We will not provide refunds by mail or by cheque. Levy Opt-out forms can be picked up at our office or found here:

2017-2018 Levy Opt-Out Form Word File 2017-2018-Levy-Opt-Out-Form-SASSL

2017-2018 Levy Opt-Out Form PDF File  2017-2018-Levy-Opt-Out-Form-SASSL PDF

We ask that you submit this form, and all other required documents to our office, NOT through email. At our office we would also ask you to confirm which department or program you are from so that we know whether or not you are eligible for a refund. For a full list of programs that are eligible for refunds, please open the following document:

List of Programs that Pay SASSL’s Levy

In order to double check that this list has not changed, we ask that you also look up your program at the following link:

http://sfs.yorku.ca/fees/courses/index.php

If you have feedback that you would like to give us about our organization or our services, there are several ways you can contact us both anonymously and non-anonymously.

Contact SASSL Anonymously:

  1. Use our anonymous feedback form.
  2. Use the Anonymous ask feature on our Tumblr page. Tumblr has an anonymous ask option and you do not need an account to send an anonymous message through this feature.
    Our tumblr is: http://sasslyorku.tumblr.com/
  3. Call our office line and do not leave a callback number or your name.
    Office phone: 416-736-2100 ext. 403453. If you call after hours your number will not be saved and you can leave a message. Please keep in mind that during our hours when the office phone is answered we do have caller ID that is displayed only while the call is taking place.

Contact SASSL Non-Anonymously:

  1. Send an email to sassl@yorku.ca This would be a good way to provide your feedback if you are someone who does not mind having their email displayed to SASSL coordinators. This option also allows us to reply and ask for further clarification on the points that you address.
  2. Stop by our office Monday-Friday and ask to speak to a coordinator. This is best if you are someone who is best at face to face conversation and if you do not mind us knowing who you are.
    Office Location: B449 4th floor of the student centre at York University
  3. Call our office phone: 416-736-2100 ext. 403453 during our office hours and reveal whatever information you are comfortable revealing and speak to someone immediately.

News & Events

Sexual Assault Survivors’ Support Line & Leadership holds a variety of large and small events each year in order to provide spaces of empowerment, education, and community for students at York University and the surrounding communities. Feel free to check the posts on this page to see what’s happening and when.

For more information about current events and educational materials, feel free to follow our social media pages:

Facebook

Tumblr

Twitter 


 

Yearly Events

HeART:

HeART has been a SASSL event since 2008. It is our largest event and we hold it yearly. HeART is an all arts night that is open submission often focusing on themes of survivorship and healing. We share art, we share experience, we eat good food and we enjoy our community together. We have seen the works of visual artists, musicians, poets, video artists, dancers and many more, expressing a wide variety of issues like racism, colonialism, sexual violence, gender-based violence, gender identity, citizenship etc. We have had the pleasure of hosting performers such as d’bi Young, Sun the Real Sun, Leah Lakshmi and many more wonderful artists. HeART usually has a call-out for artists about a month prior to the event and that is when people can apply to either perform or display their work. The usual time for the HeART event is in March so if you are interested you can email sassl@yorku.ca around that time.

WenDO

WenDO is a women and non-binary self defense course that is aimed at empowerment. These workshops are normally paid but we have the pleasure of being able to coordinate these workshops multiple times a year for free. Classes are held throughout the fall-winter semesters on York Campus. Follow us on social media or check here for further details. Upcoming class schedule and details coming soon!

Tabling:

Like many other organizations at York, SASSL frequently has a table in Vari hall, and at orientation events in which we hand out free stuff, educational materials and resources. Keep an eye out for us if you are interested in stopping by.

On top of our yearly events SASSL normally has different mini-events every year depending on who we have on our team and what ideas and resources they bring. These events can be equally as fun as our yearly events so follow us on social media to stay updated on what we have each year. If you have any ideas for events, if you would like us to support your event or if you would like to collaborate with SASSL on an event, don’t hesitate to email sassl@yorku.ca and ask for our events coordinator.

 

WenDO at SASSL

Please check-back soon for more details related to this years upcoming self-defense class schedule. More details to come soon!

SASSL regularly hosts free self-defense classes several times throughout the school year. These classes are generously supported and funded through York University’s Women & Trans Safety Committee.They cover a wide variety of physical and verbal self defense techniques, awareness and avoidance of threatening situations.Techniques are designed to be easy to use for all bodies and abilities. For further information or inquires, people email the Event Coordinator at: sassleventscoordinator@gmail.com

 

 

Events Calendar

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1
SASSL Volunteer Training 10:00 am
SASSL Volunteer Training @ SASSL Office
Oct 1 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
More details about the exact room where training will be held to follow soon!
2
3
4
5
6
7
SASSL Volunteer Training 10:00 am
SASSL Volunteer Training @ SASSL Office
Oct 7 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
More details about the exact room where training will be held to follow soon!
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31

Monthly Myth

Monthly Educational Campaign

In 2014 SASSL run a monthly campaign to address some of the more pervasive myths that exist about sexual violence and challenge them with relevant statistics and information. You can find all of the posters released during the campaign below. Our campaign included both these posters as well an online posts that contained expanded information on statistics and reference lists.The purpose of this campaign was to educate the York community about the nature of sexual violence in North America and challenge people to think more critically about their perceptions/ misconceptions about sexual violence.

November / December 2014

Monthly Myth Nov Dec

January 2015

gender myth (3)

 February 2015

stranger myth

(click to enlarge images)

 

 

 

 

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