SASSL exists to provide unbiased and non-judgmental peer support and referrals to survivors of sexual violence. We provide a 24 hour crisis line during the school year and walk-in support at our Student Centre office, in addition to educational outreach programs and information sessions on the York University campus and in the GTA.
Most sexual assaults are committed by someone we know. Whether it’s recent or it happened a long time ago, being at school can bring up issues about sexual assault. Luckily, the campus has several resources that can help you.
University is the perfect place to make friends and build new memories, but just remember: No matter how much you drink, what you’re wearing, or “how far you go” with someone,
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
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
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
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
SASSL Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
Do I have to be female to use SASSL’s services?
No. SASSL supports people of all genders, which includes, but is not limited to: gender queer folks, cis/trans women and cis/trans men.
Do I have to be a York student to use SASSL’s services?
The primary services SASSL offers are our walk-in support, in our office (see contact us for more details), as well as through our anonymous 24/7 support line. At SASSL we recognize the importance of anonymity as well as confidentiality. SASSL also hosts various events and workshops throughout the year (see our Events page for more details). With this being said, SASSL offers support to any individuals who reach out to us on campus. As such, many of our services are prioritized for York students however anyone is welcome to reach out to our organization for support.
Do I have to have been sexually assaulted to call SASSL?
No. Anyone can call, for any reason. We specialize in issues related to sexual violence, which includes a wide variety of issues and struggles. For example, if you have never been assaulted, but fear being assaulted, have a friend or family member who has been assaulted, are triggered by sexual assault 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 covers a wide variety of actions that range from verbal/online harassment or threats to any unwanted sexual activity. We do not believe in a hierarchy of assaults where some types are worse than others.
Does my assault/s have to have happened on campus or near campus for me to use SASSL’s services?
No. Whether it’s an assault that happened at York, at home, or in another country, you can 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. SASSL is an openly feminist organization, which means that we are committed to fighting varying modes of oppression in relation to the oppression of women and trans people. . Regardless of any of our beliefs as an organization, our support services are open, confidential, and anonymous. What is most important to us is that those who call us receive the support and referrals that they need, not what their personal or political beliefs entail.
Feminist!? Doesn’t that mean you won’t support men?
No. To SASSL, feminism means a fight against patriarchal norms, which compose certain roles for ‘men’ and ‘women’ in a binary category of gender. As a feminist organization, we recognize that these norms contribute to the rates of sexual assault and the nature of sexual assault against all genders.
Cis/trans women and gender queer folks are more likely to be sexually assaulted because they are oppressed due to their genders, which is further complicated by other markers of identity, such as race, disability, and age . In stating this, we are not saying that men are never assaulted, or that they are rarely assaulted. Patriarchal gender norms assume male supremacy, and male strength, which makes the general public believe 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 these 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, ableism . This means that gender oppression is inseparable from these other issues. As an organization we strive for intersectionality and inclusivity in our work, in an effort to help survivors who are marginalized for multiple reasons, for instance racialized women who are also cash poor. . We hope to continually grow and change as an organization to accommodate more populations. Our aim is growth because we recognize that our services are not necessarily perfect or 100% inclusive. As a result we are open to suggestions by our service users.
I feel as though a member of SASSL has been oppressive towards me/someone that I know, or 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.
The most anonymous ways to contact SASSL are:
Our tumblr is: http://sasslyorku.tumblr.com/
Office phone: 416-736-2100 ext. 40345
Other options for contacting members of SASSL are: