If you are in immediate danger or if this is a medical emergency dial 911
Bringing in the Bystander® Workshop
This bystander intervention workshop is highly interactive and uses a community responsibility approach rather than focusing strictly on the roles of perpetrator and victim. It teaches bystanders how to safely intervene in instances where sexual violence is occuring or likely to occur as well as the culture that surrounds it. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to request a workshop for your group.
What is sexual assault
Sexual assault is any form of sexual contact without voluntary consent. Sexual assault affects people of all ages, genders, and sexual orientations.
Sexual assault is a crime no matter the past or present relationship between the people involved. Examples of sexual assault include:
- Touching sexual body parts
- Forced sexual intercourse / rape.
Anyone can be a potential aggressor of sexual assault. Understanding consent and having effective communication in all relationships are key to preventing sexual assault. Be sure to understand these concepts before engaging in sexual activity. Throughout the year the University of Saskatchewan campus has workshops and resources on consent, healthy relationships, and supporting survivors. If you are unsure of anything found on this page be sure to find resources so you understand these important concepts.
If you have been sexually assaulted, tell someone:
Students and employees working with students (all U of S students regardless of campus location) are encouraged to contact the Student Affairs and Outreach team who will provide coordination of support and accommodations for the student.
There is a large community on and off-campus that can provide support:
- Friends or family
- Protective Services
- Student Wellness Centre
- Aboriginal Students' Centre
- International Student and Study Abroad Centre
- USSU Help Centre
- USSU Pride Centre
- USSU Women's Centre
- Saskatoon Sexual Assault and Information Centre (24 Hour Crisis Line)
- Saskatoon Crisis Intervention Service (Mobile Crisis)
- Saskatoon Police Service
Sexual assault prevention policy
The University of Saskatchewan is committed to creating a safe space free of sexual assault and sexual misconduct. The procedures below outline the options both students and staff have if they have experienced sexual assault or misconduct, and how the university will respond.
After any incident, you may disclose your experience with a university staff member.
Report an incident
Report the incident to initiate immediate investigation.
Make a complaint
Formal complaints initiate the University's processes which hold students or staff who have committed an offense to account.
If someone you know has been sexually assaulted, read the Seek Help material above to become familiar with supports available on campus and your role in the process.
Consent is a voluntary, sober, and enthusiastic “yes” to engage in sexual activity. Consent to one kind of sexual activity does not mean that consent is given to another sexual activity. Consent is not continuous and can be revoked at any time.
A person can never consent when:
- Assumed or implied from silence or an absence of “no”
- Affected by drugs or alcohol, or are unconscious
You need to know that... Consent is fundamental to any relationship and can only be given when it is enthusiastic, voluntary and sober.
We're All Part of the Solution
You can personally contribute to a campus culture that encourages active, enthusiastic, and voluntary consent. Here are some tips:
- Understand what sexual assault is. Rape is not the only type of sexual assault. Any unwanted sexual contact is sexual assault. Also, it is important to know that assault can happen in relationships, friendships, and stranger-encounters alike.
- Be sure to communicate your desires and plans for the evening to sexual partners. Remember that these plans can change at any time and consent can always be revoked.
- Understand that consent can be revoked at any time. As soon as someone is not saying “yes”, they are saying “NO”. Silence is not consent.
- Respect the rights of others who do not want to dance with you, kiss you, or have sex with you.
- Be aware of your alcohol or drug consumption. Although substances in no way excuse sexual assault, their use may cause you to lose proper judgement.
- Never slip anyone drugs or excessive alcohol. Not only is this illegal, but you have no idea how that person might react to those substances and there is no way they can consent with those substances in their system.
It takes a community culture change to end sexual assault. We all have a role to play in ending this violence. Taking a course or reading about bystander intervention can help anyone stop sexual assault in their own lives and whole community. Remember, if you would want help in that situation, that person probably wants your help. Look out for others.
When you see something; do something! When you hear something; say something! When you get that gut feeling like something is wrong, you are almost always right. Doing something and/or saying something doesn’t always mean going fisticuffs with someone. There are many strategies you can use.
- Always make sure that you yourself are safe. Never intervene if you feel like your life or safety is at risk. In these situations it is best to find safety then call the police
- Don’t be afraid to call the police if you feel unsafe. Situations where children are involved, weapons are present, or there is a high chance of physical harm, need to have police involvement
- Distract the perpetrator. If you feel comfortable, distract the perpetrator by asking for the time or starting another benign conversation
- Give the target an out. By asking the target if they want a drink, want to go home, go to the washroom, or have study tips for a class, you can give them the opportunity to leave the situation
- Get an authority figure. If you cannot intervene yourself but want to do something, find a bouncer, manager, instructor, administrator, or coach to intervene on your behalf
- Speak out. Sexual assault continues because we allow these actions to occur, sexist jokes to be funny, and survivors to be forced into silence. You can make a huge change just by refusing to accept aspects of rape culture such as violent films/shows, rape jokes, demeaning comments towards women, objectification of people’s bodies, and the support of celebrities who have committed acts of sexual violence.
Self Defense and Prevention
The information and services below are meant to give you tools to enhance your personal safety. If a sexual assault or misconduct occurs, the fault will always lie with the perpetrator of the assault, and never with the survivor.
- Go out with someone that you trust to look out for your safety and vice versa
- Do not leave your drink unattended
- If you are at a bar, watch the bartender pour your drink
- When you are going out to a party or bar, make sure someone knows where you are at all times
- If you do not feel well and need to lie down, make sure you are with someone you trust to stay with you and check on you
- Avoid traveling home alone from parties or bars
- Organize safe and reliable transportation home and always carry money for cabs or buses home
- If you are taking a cab or bus home make sure someone you trust knows when you expect to be home and check in with you at that time
- Keep your cell phone on you at all times
- If you have to walk home alone, make sure you stay on busy, well lit streets
- Be aware of people that seem like they could be following you
- Do not hesitate to ask someone for help
- Do not be afraid to make a lot of noise or make a scene
- Vary your routines, including changing your routes to school, work and other places you regularly frequent. You should also alter the times you go to certain places, if possible.
- Whenever possible walk with a friend and stay in public locations.
- Use Safewalk while on campus.
- Trust your instincts: If you are somewhere that doesn't feel safe, either find ways to make it safer, or leave. Always be aware of your surroundings.