Cultivating a Community of Care:  Healing & Justice for Sexual Violence Survivors

During Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) hosted by SFU in January 2022, we asked survivors of sexual violence and the community to answer two questions centred on healing, justice, support, and care. We are grateful to all the survivors who submitted responses to this project – your experiences and your voices are important and valued. We are also grateful to the community members who shared their words of support and care for survivors – you help create an environment where healing and justice can occur. By bringing together the voices of survivors and community we can address sexual violence in a way that centres survivors’ lived experiences while creating a space of care and support.

The aim of this project is to showcase what healing and justice mean to survivors of sexual violence, from their own experiences and in their own words. In the spirit of this, responses are presented below in the order in which they were submitted, so as to not impose any arrangement that would privilege one voice over the other. Instead, we want survivors’ individual voices to highlight the diversity of experiences and different meanings of healing and justice in their most organic and unfiltered form.

This project also aims to create an online community of care for survivors, by creating a space where survivors can see their own voices and those of fellow survivors recognized, and where community members share support. We hope the submissions shared through this project will help guide our community and service providers to continue learning what is needed to best support survivors.

We recognize that the submissions shared in this project may bring up difficult feelings, and you may want to seek support. We invite you to connect with the Sexual Violence Support & Prevention Office (SVSPO) for confidential de-briefing or personal support at any time: https://www.sfu.ca/sexual-violence/contact-us.html. The SVSPO offers free, confidential personal support for SFU and FIC students, faculty or staff who have been impacted by sexual violence.  

This project is led by GSWS masters student Megan Bobetsis. As a survivor of sexual violence, this project comes from Megan’s own experience of isolation and her desire to create a space of care and support for fellow survivors that recognizes the various needs and experiences among survivors. Please feel free to reach out to Megan at megan_bobetsis@sfu.ca with any questions, comments or just to connect.