Concordia University

Supporting survivors

Sexual violence is prevalent and the impacts on survivors, and their communities, are many.  It is estimated that 1 in 4 women, and 1 in 6 men, will experience some form of sexual violence during their lifetime. These statistics only give us part of the picture; because of the barriers that various forms of oppression create within our communities and institutions, we have limited data on the many other individuals that experience high rates of sexual violence, for example individuals who are transgender, lesbian, gay, bisexual, aboriginal, people of color and people living with disabilities.

SARC’s mission is to build a community that supports all survivors of sexual violence. A truly supportive community is one that is survivor-centered, meaning that we understand survivors to be the experts in their lives, able to choose what is best for them at a particular moment in time.  Respect for the diverse ways that survivors make sense of their experience and choose to move forward is essential.

Build a community that supports survivors

Everyone has a role to play in building a community that supports survivors:

  • Listen to, and believe survivors when they disclose to you
  • Remind a survivor that it was not their fault; the only person responsible for sexual assault is the perpetrator.
  • Speak out against sexual violence, intervene in situations that promote rape culture or could escalate to sexual harassment or sexual assault.  
What you can do right now

Steps you can take right now:

  • Brush up on your communication and active listening skills and make sure your reactions are helpful, and not harmful Find handouts on our resources page
  • Familiarize yourself with the on and off campus resources for survivors, check out SARC’s What to do section of the website
  • Get involved with groups or organizations that work to raise awareness about sexual violence, find out about volunteering with SARC, or contact the LIVE centre for information about volunteering at organizations in Montreal.

Dialling up Dialogue

Visual conversations on the impact of sexual assault, March 7 - 10, 2016

Concordia’s Sexual Assault Resource Centre (SARC) staged a public exhibition of works by survivors of sexual assault and their allies to help inform the conversation about what it means to give support.

The artwork was created during a series of photography workshops where participants shared views and feelings about their experiences, seeking to express the impact of sexual assault and the current dialogue around it.

The exhibition was intended to create an open space to view this critical issue from new angles through the lens of these artists. Read more about this event.  


This project is a collaboration with the artist-run centre Articule, as part of its Special Projects programming.

Back to top

© Concordia University