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Marshall working with Fanshawe and community partners for sexual violence prevention and education

Emily Stewart | Interrobang | News | September 26th, 2016




Sexual violence prevention advisor at Fanshawe, Leah Marshall, works with the college and community partners to bring two sexual violence prevention awareness initiatives to campus a month each year.

During Sexual Awareness Week, Fanshawe welcomed YouTube star and public speaker Laci Green, who discussed “Taking Down Rape Culture” and the responses and attitudes surrounding sexual violence.

“We had a lot of student involvement,” Marshall said of the event.

She works with on-campus services such as Counselling and Accessibility Services and Campus Security Services to provide educational programming on sexual violence prevention. She also works with students, providing confidential support and guidance to students who experienced sexual violence either recently or in the past.

Marshall works with students to bring forward initiatives surrounding sexual violence prevention awareness, including collaborating with fine art student Tristian Mc- Donald to create a colouring book for sexual assault survivors and those who support ending sexual violence. The colouring book launched during Sexual Awareness Week.

She also talks to students about how they can support their peers and/or friends who were sexually assaulted.

“It is important to know that we should start by believing the survivors and start by allowing them to really guide the process,” she explained. “When it comes to supporting someone, either in your peer group or on campus, it’s important to start believing that person, and recognizing and knowing what the options are on campus so that you can provide those to another student if they are unsure.”

When she was asked about the number of reported sexual violence cases this year, Marshall explained that providing a number “would be something that we would produce at the end of the term.” However, she said there are more students coming forward to look for available support after Fanshawe brought a sexual violence prevention advisor to campus.

“When it comes to supporting survivors of sexual violence, we need to let them know about all of the options that are available to them so they are in control of the process and deciding how to move forward,” Marshall said. “We’re shifting from a rape culture to a culture of consent, and that’s not going to take one person or one position or one student activist, that’s going to take everyone in our community.”

Marshall added that if you see something happening on campus that you know isn’t right or you read a comment online to report it, “Whether that’d be to security, whether that’d be to a confidential support.”

She said that it’s important for survivors of sexual violence to know that there are confidential services available. “Sometimes it feels easier to maybe not address those things because a fear of the myths and the stigma that exists in our society, but just know that there are supportive resources available that can help you support through the process and the decision that you make.”

Seeking support on campus

Fanshawe’s website points to on-campus and off-campus resources for those who have experienced sexual violence. Marshall will keep information students tell her confidential, unless there is a risk for the safety of the campus community.

As the sexual violence prevention advisor, she will guide students and provide referrals so they receive the accommodations, support and services with or without a formal complaint to Campus Security. She is available from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. from Monday to Friday in room F2010. Students can either call 519-452-4465 or 1-844- 666-7872 or email lkmarshall@fanshawec.ca.

Formal complaints and cases of emergency can be addressed to Campus Security Services, who will then call the Regional Police Services. Campus Security Services can be reached by calling 519-452-4430 extension 4242, or by dialing 4242 on any campus phone. They are located in Room D1027.

Beyond campus: Support available in the community

Marshall also acknowledged that some students would rather seek off-campus support and pointed to the Sexual Assault Centre London and St. Joseph’s Hospital for off-campus support.

St. Joseph’s Hospital has a Regional Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Treatment Program offering many services. Counselling, safety planning, sexually transmitted infection (S.T.I.) testing and treatment and forensic evidence collection are just a few of the many services. Specialized nurses and social workers can help anyone of any gender identity or non-conforming gender identity. People can also talk to them about the options available and these individuals give support in a free, confidential and patient directed manner. The program is available 24/7.

Partners, friends and parents of the survivor can also receive support, education and trauma information from the Regional Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Treatment Program. The client can receive counselling with or without medical care. Visit sjhc.london.on.ca/sexualassault for more information.

The Sexual Assault Centre London also offers crisis and support services 24/7 to everyone. Client- focused counselling and support groups for girls and women who are 15-years-old and over are also available. Call 519-438-2272 to speak to someone on the Crisis and Support Line. Visit sacl.ca for more information.
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