Responding to Disclosures on Campus

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This trainings includes 7 modules with video scenarios, practice quizzes and links to important resources to help you respond supportively and effectively to disclosures of sexual violence on campus. The practice quizzes test your knowledge and prepare you for the final quiz. The practice quizzes are not graded. If you fail a quiz you will have the chance to take it again. If you fail twice, you can then proceed through to the next practice quiz. There are unlimited chances to pass each practice quiz by simply refreshing your browser window and starting the quiz again. This is a large course and may take some time to load on your computer.

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If you are an employee of an Ontario university or college, this website has been developed for you. This online training has been designed for adult learners who approach learning in multiple ways.

This online training has been designed for adult learners who approach learning in multiple ways.

  • You can move through the training at your own pace.
  • You can travel forward or backward between the training modules and the website at any time.
  • You can explore various links that offer additional resources, further reading or take you to related areas on our website and to various links online.
  • When viewing the scenarios, click on the icon shown for closed captioning.
  • You will find quizzes to test your knowledge and problem-solving skills throughout the training modules.
  • One you have completed the modules, you can choose to obtain a certificate by completing a final quiz. You can also choose to take this course to gain knowledge and skills to support your work, without obtaining a certificate. There is no cost for the training or the certificate.
  • You can also choose to participate in our evaluation survey here

Research shows that the initial responses to incidents of sexual violence make a significant difference in outcomes, consequences and system navigation for survivors.

This training is designed to support all employees of colleges and universities in Ontario

Training outcomes:

• Respond supportively & effectively to disclosures of sexual violence.
Know where to seek tangible support & resources in your institutions and communities.
Examine one’s own attitudes, behaviours & beliefs.
Learn about professional & institutional practices and initiatives in education & in Ontario.

Use of scenarios in training:

The training contains several video scenarios depicting survivor disclosures of sexual violence and harassment and examples of both supportive and unsupportive responses. The video scenarios are key learning tools for exploring the multiple issues that can influence both the survivor and responder. The scenarios depict many of the barriers and stigma that affect notions of consent and coercion.

Some participants may be emotionally affected by the content of the scenarios – just as it is often emotionally upsetting to respond to a face-to-face disclosure by a survivor of sexual violence. If you are a responder who has also been affected by sexual violence you can access suggestions on self-support here.

Below is our Responding to Disclosures on Campus video montage:

“Sexual violence is a serious problem in Ontario communities and our campuses are not immune. Research shows that between 15 and 25 per cent of college and university-aged women will experience some form of sexual assault during their academic career.” From Developing a Response to Sexual Violence: A Resource Guide For Ontario’s Colleges and Universities


Supportive Ways to Respond

In this training, you will learn supportive ways to respond to disclosures of sexual violence. Making the choice to disclose sexual violence can be very difficult and stressful. Research has shown that a survivor’s well-being can be affected by the type of responses received from support sources during and following disclosure. Knowing how to respond can make a significant difference in the experience of the individual who is confiding in you. Emotional support is characterized by responses such as telling the survivor that they are not to blame, comforting the survivor, listening and understanding and showing them that they are believed. Survivors receiving more supportive responses have more positive psychological health compared to survivors that receive negative responses to disclosure. (Ahrens, Campbell & Ternier-Thames, 2007 and Borja, Callahan and Long, 2006)

Unsupportive Ways to Respond

This training demonstrates unsupportive ways to respond to disclosures of sexual violence so that you can observe responses to avoid. There are many ways in which people might respond unsupportively way to a disclosure of violence. Some of these unsupportive responses include victim blaming, encouraging the survivor to keep the violence secret, taking control, making decisions for the survivor without permission, minimizing the seriousness of violence and aligning with the perpetrator.

A critique of unsupportive responses can help avoid using these in the future.