Know Support

Dealing with an experience of sexual violence is a process that is different for everyone. Know that you are not alone and that we are here to support you. There are several steps you can take to access support and assistance. Below is a list of options available to you.  

Counselling Services are available for all students at VIU. Gemma Armstrong, VIU Counsellor, is one of the many people on campus and in the community who you can turn to for support.

Safety

  • Call 911 for immediate safety and security and/or call the 24-hour, multilingual, confidential VictimLink BC service at 1.800.563.0808 or text 604.836.6381. See information for local support services.
  • If you live in VIU Residences, you may contact the Residence Manager or a Residence Advisor (main office phone: 250.740.6640; 24-hour phone: 250.740.6512).
  • At the Nanaimo campus, use any phone to call Campus Security at 250.740.6600 for assistance in getting to a safe place on campus.
  • At the Cowichan or tiwšɛmawtxʷ campus, call 911.

Medical assistance

Counselling and support

  • Counselling is available for all students at VIU campuses during regular office hours.
  • Support off-campus or outside of regular office hours is available at local Community-Based Victim Services Programs, hospital emergency departments, women’s centres, mental health clinics, walk-in clinics, and by contacting the Vancouver Island Crisis Line, the Sexual Assault Response Program, or VictimLink BC.
  • Support for all employees is available through the Employee and Family Assistance Program.
  • As difficult as it may seem, try to write down the details of what happened to you. This has two purposes: first, it may help to express some of your feelings, second, it may help you if, later, you decide you want to report the incident to police.

If you have experienced sexual violence

We will respect your right to choose how you receive support either on campus or in the community. VIU wants to provide resources and will support decisions you make regarding your personal safety and well-being.

If you have experienced sexual violence you have two main options available to you.

  1. Make a Disclosure (to receive personal support without seeking action involving the other party); and/or 
  2. Make a Report (to receive personal support and to also request action on the part of the University that may lead to safety and/or disciplinary measures involving the person(s) named as Respondent(s) in the Report). 

It can be difficult to talk about sexual violence but VIU is here to support you and respects your right to choose what actions you will take. VIU wants to create an environment where individuals feel comfortable and supported to make a disclosure and/or a report. We encourage any member of the VIU Community who has experienced sexual violence to do one or both to enable the University to provide support. An individual who chooses to make a Disclosure has the option to make a Report at any time in the future. VIU’s ability to take action and to provide support might be limited by the passage of time.

A member of the VIU Community who has experienced sexual violence has the right to:

  • Be taken seriously and be treated with respect
  • Be informed about on- and off-campus services and resources
  • Decide whether or not to access available services and to choose those services felt to be most beneficial
  • Decide whether to make a Report to VIU and/or to contact RCMP
  • Have a safety plan
  • Have reasonable actions taken to prevent further unwanted contact with the other person involved in the incident
  • Receive clear and transparent information throughout the process, and
  • Be accompanied by a support person throughout the process

An individual who has experienced sexual violence may contact law enforcement to explore criminal reporting options in addition to, or instead of, making a Disclosure and/or Report to VIU. RCMP are available to come on campus to provide assistance. The designated VIU employees noted below are able to assist in making arrangements for these supports to come on campus to discuss the possibility of making a criminal report.

Nanaimo Campus

Service

Phone Number

Location

Counselling

250.740.6416

Nanaimo Campus, Building 200
Health and Wellness Centre

Student Conduct Support Office

250.740.6364

Building 255, 2nd floor

International Student Services

250.740.6315

Building 255, 2nd floor

VIU Residences

250.740.6640

Building 4 – Cedar Centre

Cowichan Campus

Service

Phone Number

Location

Counselling Cowichan

250.746.3509

Cowichan Campus

tiwšɛmawtxʷ Campus

Service

Phone Number

Location

Counselling tiwšɛmawtxʷ

604.485.2878

tiwšɛmawtxʷ Campus