WAVAW and the VCC Community C.A.R.E. About Gendered Violence!
In April 2013, WAVAW, Vancouver Community College (VCC), and its Students’ Union launched an amazing 18-month project called C.A.R.E. (Campus Allied Response Effort) About Gendered Violence. With funding from Status of Women Canada and WAVAW’s generous donors, we developed an action plan to prevent gender-based violence on campus and enhance support for survivors–and we’ve already taken steps to make the plan a reality! Components include policy changes, service enhancements, training resources for employees and students, and much more. The process has been informed by the needs, priorities, and vision of the VCC community in all its diversity. Through surveys, multilingual focus groups, Aboriginal Talking Circles, interviews with campus service providers, workshop dialogues, and other creative means, we have worked to capture the perspectives of people who study and work at VCC. Click here to learn more about our campus consultation process! Much of the work of the project has been carried out by a Campus Taskforce made up of VCC students, faculty, and staff. Under WAVAW’s leadership, the Taskforce provided guidance about strategies for creating lasting change at VCC and championed the project throughout the College. A major emphasis for C.A.R.E. has been ensuring that our work against gender-based violence makes a lasting impact on campus. We are thrilled that VCC is forming a brand new Committee on Gender-Based Violence to continue advancing C.A.R.E.’s goals. WAVAW is committed to providing ongoing consultation and support to VCC well into the future. We know that our partnership with the College has already created powerful, system-level changes to enhance safety for women and people of all genders, and we’re excited to witness the continued growth of the anti-violence movement taking place at VCC! Read an announcement about the project on VCC’s website. Download a handy chart that outlines the stages of the project! Read about it in The Georgia Straight!
Why Do We C.A.R.E.?
Research has demonstrated that gender-based violence is widespread on Canadian campuses:
- 4 out of 5 female undergraduates reported experiencing violence in a dating relationship (Statistics Canada, 2006)
- 7% of female students reported being threatened or physically forced into sexual activity (Canadian Federation of Students, 1999)
- 13% of female students reported experiencing an attempt at unwanted sex while intoxicated (Canadian Federation of Students, 1999)
- 1 out of 5 male students agreed that forced sex is acceptable “if he spent money on her,” “if he is stoned or drunk,” or “if they have been dating for a long time” (Johnson, 1996)
By teaming up with WAVAW, VCC has taken a clear stand against violence and is working to ensure that the disturbing statistics above don’t reflect the experiences of VCC students. Thank you to Madison Reid, WAVAW volunteer and graphic designer, for designing the C.A.R.E. About Gendered Violence logo. Funding for this project has been provided by Status of Women Canada.
C.A.R.E. About Gendered Violence Focus Groups, Talking Circles & Survey
Here’s a bit more about our student consultation process, conducted in April and May 2014!
In partnership with VCC’s Centre for Instructional Development and the Students’ Union of VCC, we developed and administered an online survey to learn more about what students think about gendered violence at VCC and what VCC can do to prevent or respond to violence. More than 130 students participated!
We hosted a number of 45-minute group conversations to invite students to tell us what safety means to them and they would like to see happen at VCC as part of the C.A.R.E. campus action plan. Thanks to the 60+ students who joined the conversation! Click here to download a PDF poster for the C.A.R.E. focus groups. We offered groups in Farsi رسیدن, Cantonese 廣東話, Hindi हिंदी, Urdu اردو, Arabic العربية, and English with American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation. Here are all of the sessions that took place.
Thursday, April 10th, 12:00-12:45 pm, Broadway Campus Room A2555
- In Hindi हिंदी / Urdu اردو.
Monday, April 14th, 12:00-12:45 pm, Broadway Campus SUVCC Office, Room A2662
- In Cantonese 廣東話.
Tuesday, April 15th, 12:00-12:45 pm, Broadway Campus Room A2504
- Open to all VCC students – in English.
Tuesday, April 15th, 3:30-4:15 pm, Broadway Campus Room A2556
- Open to all students learning English as an additional language (ESL) – in English.
Wednesday, April 16th, 12:00-12:45 pm, Broadway Campus Room A2555
- Open to all students learning English as an additional language (ESL) – in English.
Thursday, April 17th, 12:00-12:45 pm, Broadway Campus SUVCC Office, Room A2662
- In Farsi رسیدن.
Tuesday, April 22nd, 12:00-12:45 pm, Broadway Campus SUVCC Office, Room A2662
- In Arabic العربية.
Wednesday, April 23rd, 11:45 am to 12:30 pm, Broadway Campus Room 2706
- Open to all VCC student – in English.
Wednesday, April 23rd, 1:00 to 3:30 pm, Broadway Campus Room 1228
- Workshop followed by focus group in English with American Sign Language (ASL) interpretation. Open to Deaf and hard-of-hearing students.
Thursday, April 24th, 12:00 to 12:45 pm, Downtown Campus Room 205A
- Open to self-identified women students – in English.
Monday, April 28th, 12:00 to 12:45 pm, Downtown Campus Room 205A
- Open to all students – in English.
Friday, May 2nd, 12:00 to 12:45 pm, Broadway Campus Room A4001
- Open to all students – in English.
We also offered Talking Circles–one at each campus–for Aboriginal students and staff to share their input into VCC’s action plan on gender-based violence. A big thanks to WAVAW’s Aboriginal Program staff members Jodie and Jen and to VCC Elder Dee George for stepping up to facilitate the process! We were honoured to work with you. Click here to download a PDF version of our Talking Circles poster.
The C.A.R.E. team has created some amazing resources to educate students and employees about gender-based violence. You can download some of them here!
C.A.R.E. About Gendered Violence Resources Plain English Fact Sheet on Sexual Assault and Consent In consultation with VCC and its Students’ Union, WAVAW’s C.A.R.E. team produced and distributed an information sheet in accessible language about what all VCC students need to know about sexual assault and consent. The content is tailored to the VCC community and includes a list of on-campus and off-campus resources. Paper copies are available at Counselling & Disability Services, the Students’ Union Office, and the Aboriginal Gathering Space. You can download this great resource here! Resource List on Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence One of the main insights from the C.A.R.E. campus consultation process was that VCC students and employees wanted more information about where to get support to deal with gender-based violence–both on campus and in the community. In response, we’ve compiled a list of support services and links, have collaborated with the Registrar’s Office to have our list emailed to all VCC students, and have distributed hundreds of paper copies on campus. We know that it’s so important for survivors to have choices about the services they receive–including services that are accessible and multilingual. Check it out!
Anti-Violence Valentines In February 2014, C.A.R.E was thrilled to collaborate with VCC’s Digital Graphic Design Department, the Students’ Union of VCC, and WAVAW volunteer Madison Reid to create alternative valentine cards to re-imagine love as based in respect, compassion, and collaboration for positive social change! The Students’ Union has agreed to continue C.A.R.E.’s popular valentine crafting stations on both VCC campuses every February. You can download the complete collection of 19 card designs here and share a positive Valentine’s Day message with somebody you care about! Articles from the C.A.R.E. Facebook Page C.A.R.E. successfully used social media to engage with the VCC community: over 130 C.A.R.E. Facebook followers joined the conversation about creating a safer campus for women and people of all genders! To wrap up WAVAW’s official leadership of C.A.R.E., we have had to take down our Facebook page, but we’ve created an archive of the thought-provoking links we’ve posted over the past months. Happy reading!
- California Legislature Passes ‘Yes Means Yes’ Bill
- The Power of the Peer Group in Preventing Campus Sexual Assault
- Awesome CiTR Radio Podcast! C.A.R.E. Assistant Coordinator Sarah on the Culture of Violence on Campuses
- #NotAllMen, but #YesAllWomen: Campus Tragedy Spurs Debate on Sexual Violence
- An Artful Act of Resistance by Brown University Students
- Choosing a College? Look Into Campus Sexual Assault Statistics
- ‘You Don’t Say’ Campaign by Duke University Students
- ‘Non-Consensual Sex’: How Colleges Rebranded Rape
- Scottish Campaign Against Sexual Violence Avoids Blaming the Victim
- Concordia University Engineers Rewrite Frosh Songbook
- Six Ways to Discuss Healthy Masculinity
- How Should Colleges Actually Target Sexual Assault?
- Photo Gallery of Marches to End Violence Against Women Worldwide
- Hollaback’s Study of Campus Harassment
- Beyond Blue Lights and Buddy Systems
- Five Creative Ways Students Are Fighting Rape Culture
WAVAW is proud of our collaboration with campus leaders create and implement a three-year Campus Action Plan for VCC.
All of C.A.R.E.’s recommendations have emerged from our in-depth campus consultation process, our literature review of best practices, and WAVAW’s 30 years of experience providing survivor-centered support services and education to challenge the culture of violence against women. Over 45 employees and over 400 students contributed their insights and vision!
Here are some highlights of our plan!
Theme 1: Systems and Communications
Committee at VCC to continue addressing gender-based violence
- Already being formed!
Regular surveys about experiences of students and employees relating to gender-based violence
- Being planned with VCC’s Institutional Research Department!
Clear and simple procedures for employees to deal with disclosures of gender-based violence
- Already drafted – now being circulated throughout the College!
Support for survivors to connect with different services on campus
- Already planned with VCC’s Counselling & Disability Services Department!
Theme 2: Education and Information
WAVAW-led workshops for students and employees
- WAVAW’s C.A.R.E. team has already reached more than 200 students with workshops and more than 3000 students with on-campus activities and information tables! Future workshops will be arranged by VCC’s new Committee on Gender-Based Violence.
Changes to VCC policies
- Revisions to the Student Code of Conduct and Violence in the Workplace Policy and Procedures are already underway based on recommendations from WAVAW’s C.A.R.E. team!
Educational events on a regular basis
- The Students’ Union of VCC has committed to hosting two C.A.R.E. legacy events annually, including our amazing anti-violence Valentine’s Day crafting stations!
Updates to library and classroom materials
- Ongoing at the VCC Library!
More information about resources for support
- Have you seen C.A.R.E.’s Resource List on Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence? This great reference tool has been circulated to all current students via email by the VCC’s Registrar’s Office. The C.A.R.E. team has also distributed hundreds of paper copies on campus!
Accessibility standards for information
- We’ve created versions of our reference materials that are accessible for speech-to-text software and for printing in Braille. We’re also working with the VCC Marketing & Communications team to translate some materials into the languages most commonly spoken at VCC. And we’ve worked hard to ensure that all of our handouts are written in plain English.
Theme 3: Student Health and Safety
Sexual assault support centre
- An important long-range goal for the College! Space possibilities have already been discussed.
Space or group for self-identified women only
- The Students’ Union of VCC will assess student interest in forming a Women’s Collective, while VCC’s Counselling & Disability Services Department may launch a women-only support group!
WAVAW training for all security personnel
- Booked for October 2014!
Amazing work, C.A.R.E. team! We look forward to VCC’s continued work on these vital goals for campus safety. We’ve already come so far, and we’ve witnessed so much commitment and passion for anti-violence measures on campus!Resources for Support – At VCC and Beyond
Valuing Safety for All
VCC, the Students’ Union of VCC, and WAVAW are committed to building a campus culture where all students and employees are respected, valued, and secure. We work to ensure the physical and emotional safety of our diverse College community members, and to create the best possible environment for learning, working, and thriving. We recognize that violence and abuse exist throughout society, and that students and employees may sometimes require support to deal with their experiences. Here is a list of some on-campus and off-campus resources that can offer information and help.
VCC Counselling Services Free, confidential counselling services for VCC students. VCC Arbiter of Student Issues The Arbiter of Student Issues helps students resolve conflict or deal with complaints under VCC policy, including issues relating to harassment on campus. Students’ Union of VCC – Student Advocate Help for VCC students who think they have been treated unfairly by a College employee or need help with College policies or procedures.
Women Against Violence Against Women Rape Crisis Centre (WAVAW) Services and referrals for self-identified women who have been sexually assaulted. Battered Women’s Support Services Society Services for self-identified women who have experienced relationship violence. Sexual Assault Service – Vancouver General Hospital Survivors of sexual assault of all genders, within the past seven days, can go to the VGH Emergency Department (920 West 10th Avenue, Vancouver). Ask for the Sexual Assault Service – nurses and doctors are on-call 24 hours a day. You do not need a Care Card. VictimLINK Information, crisis support, and referrals to all victims of crime. 24-hour service in many different languages. Family Services of Greater Vancouver A wide range of services including counselling and support for survivors of childhood sexual abuse and/or incest. BC Society for Male Survivors of Sexual Abuse Support for self-identified men and boys who have been sexually assaulted or abused. Vancouver and Lower Mainland Multicultural Family Support Services Society (VLMFSS) Help for immigrant and visible minority women and their families who are experiencing family violence. Services are offered in many different languages. YWCA of Metro Vancouver The Domestic Violence Outreach Worker provides one-to-one support and outreach in the Downtown Eastside, including safety planning, for women who have experienced violence in a relationship. The Legal Educator provides legal support to women and answers questions about legal issues. Catherine White Holman Wellness Centre Free counselling, health services, and legal information for transgender and gender non-conforming people. Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Deaf-Blind Well-Being Program Free counselling, advocacy, and mental health interpreting for Deaf, hard of hearing, and deaf-blind people. MOSAIC Multicultural Victim Services Program Support, information and practical help for multicultural victims of any crime. Services are offered with cultural sensitivity and in many different languages.