What is the Office for Sexual Violence Response, Support and Education (O-SVRSE)?
The Office for Sexual Violence Response, Support and Education is a McGill University office that provides confidential, non-judgemental and non-directional support and education to McGill students, faculty and staff of all genders who have been impacted by sexual violence.
The office is committed to working towards the prevention of sexual and gender based violence while fostering a culture of consent at McGill. It was created in 2016 under the Office of the Dean of Students, as a result of the new McGill Policy Against Sexual Violence.
What is the difference between SACOMSS and O-SVRSE?
Both SACOMSS and O-SVRSE offer support services to individuals who have been impacted by sexual violence. We both offer confidential, non-judgemental, non-directional, free services. Both of our organizations strive to be pro-survivor, feminist, and anti-oppressive. However, there are also some differences in our services. NOTE: Individuals can access both SACOMSS and O-SVRSE services at the same time, along with the various other resources available at McGill.
Who can access the services?
SACOMSS – Open to the general public and provide support to survivors, their peers, and their allies. Our services are open to people of all genders and are currently offered in English only.
O-SVRSE – Open to McGill students, staff, and faculty who have been impacted by sexual violence. Their services are also open to people of all genders. Services are offered in both English and French.
SACOMSS – We offer support both in person and over the phone, endeavoring to maintain hours from Noon to Midnight. However, sometimes we have reduced hours as we are a volunteer service. Please check the weekly schedule here for detailed hours.
O-SVRSE – Open during regular business hours, including drop-in hours Tuesdays from 9am -11am and Fridays 10am – 1pm.
SACOMSS – Located on campus, in the basement of the SSMU (University Centre) Building, at 3480 McTavish, B-27. Our office is wheelchair accessible. UPDATE (MAY 2018): Our office and drop-in centre has been moved to the 5th floor of 2075 Robert Bourassa (Room 5) due to the ongoing SSMU building closure.
O-SVRSE – Located off-campus at 550 Shrebrooke O. Suilte 585 (West Tower elevators 1-11). The office is wheelchair accessible. O-SVRSE also offers services on McGill MacDonald Campus.
Volunteer-run or Professional?
SACOMSS – All services are offered by trained volunteers, many of whom are students or community members. We are not professionals. Our support comes in the form of facilitated support groups, active-listening, resource referrals, reporting information, and accompaniment. We are a SSMU service, meaning we operate under the umbrella of the McGill Student Union.
O-SVRSE – Operated by full time staff, including professional social workers. They offer crisis intervention, short term crisis counseling, referrals, survivor support activities, support groups, reporting information, and accompaniment. They are an office within McGill University under the Office of the Dean of Students.
SACOMSS – Advocacy Branch volunteers are trained to assist and support individuals who are interested in reporting sexual violence at McGill or filing a complaint under a McGill policy. In addition, they are knowledgeable about support and accommodations that are available.
O-SVRSE – Staff members can support individuals who are interested in reporting sexual violence at McGill, to McGill Security, or the Police. In addition, they are able to accompany individuals through the process both at McGill and outside of McGill.