SASSL exists to provide unbiased and non-judgmental peer support and referrals to survivors of sexual violence. We provide a 24 hour support line during the fall-winter semesters of the school year. Our walk-in support is available all year round in our Student Centre office. In addition to these services we also provide educational outreach programs and information sessions at York University and in surrounding areas.
Most sexual assaults are committed by someone we know. Whether if it happened recently or 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, NO STILL MEANS NO!Please note our support line will be limited to our office hours during the summer, from May to August. SASSL’s support line will re-open on a 24 hour basis in September 2015!
If you are experiencing a crisis, please call the following help lines that pertain to your situation:
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
What services does SASSL offer?
The primary services SASSL offers are:
See our Services page for more detailed information.
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/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.
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:
NON anonymous ways of contacting SASSL:
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!
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 email@example.com and ask for the Publicity & Promotions Coordinator.
SASSL has two types of Pamphlets: full-sized, and discreet.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and asking for the Publicity & Promotions Coordinator.
Is someone tracking the websites you visit online?
If so feel free to follow the instructions on this page to erase us from 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:
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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. To see what fees you are paying, 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 and form for you to exercise your right to opt-out and receive this levy money back.
There will be one period during the year where refunds will be processed. The period is two weeks following the drop deadline for the F term for each year. To find out the exact dates, click on the correct fall-winter term following this link: 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:
Student Community & Leadership Development (SCLD) will, on behalf of an organization, accept appeals or deal with any other discrepancy.
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 are available in our office, and in the following link.
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:
In order to double check that this list has not changed, we as that you also look up your program at the following link:
If you have feedback that you would like to give us about our organization or our services, here are the ways in which you can contact us:
Anonymous ways to Contact SASSL:
Non-Anonymous ways to Contact SASSL
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:
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 email@example.com around that time.
WenDO is a women and non-binary self defense course that is aimed at empowering people of oppressed genders. These workshops are normally paid but we have the pleasure of being able to coordinate these workshops multiple times a year for free. It is always held throughout the fall-winter semesters on York Campus. Follow us and stay tuned.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and ask for our events coordinator.