Plain Language Resource Sheets for Survivors & Respondents

May 29, 2020 , Written by Shoak Alhussami

Going through a sexual violence and misconduct incident is probably one of the hardest situations someone can experience. In such times, it can be particularly challenging to start looking for support services, filter through the information available out there, and select what is most suitable for you. It is even more emotionally taxing, to say the least, to navigate legal documents like sexual violence policies if, as a survivor, you are contemplating reporting the incident to SFU or, as a respondent, you have been accused of sexual violence and misconduct in a formal report. Therefore, the Sexual Violence Support & Prevention Office has created two resource sheets for survivors and respondents in plain language. This step stems from understanding the difficulty that people affected by sexual violence and misconduct – survivors, respondents, and supporters – face while navigating complex, jargon-loaded legal and formal writing. So, the aim of the two sheets is to provide information in a quick, easy manner.

For Survivors

Please remember that you are not alone. There are many support services and resources on campus as well as off campus that can be helpful to you that you might or might not be aware of. Whether you are considering making a disclosure, making a formal report at SFU, or looking for other kinds of support, the following resource sheet can help give you a quick reference to what is available and some information regarding reports and investigations. The sheet includes information about:

  • Where to go for support
  • The kinds of support services available at the SVSPO and SFU
  • Making a disclosure
  • Making a report
  • What happens in an investigation

Plain Language Resource Sheet for Survivors (pdf)

For Respondents

Dealing with sexual violence incidents can be a stressful time for those who have or are alleged to have caused harm. If you have been named as a respondent in a report of sexual violence and misconduct, there are resources and support services you can access on and off campus, and they are outlined in the following sheet along with brief information about reports and investigations. This sheet provides information about:

  • The kinds of support services available at SFU
  • Your rights
  • Your responsibilities
  • What happens after a report is made
  • What happens in an investigation

Plain Language Resource Sheet for Respondents (pdf)

These two resource sheets can also serve as a quick reference to those of us who are supporting survivors and respondents. To read more about supporting survivors, you can refer to this resource.

This is the second part of a series on plain language in the context of sexual violence. To read part one, click here.


About the author: Shoak Alhussami is a recent master’s graduate in Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies. She has also worked at the SVSPO as the research assistant to support the GP 44 Policy review. She is passionate about gender and sexual equality, women’s rights, ending gender-based violence and fighting heteropatriarchy. When not working, she would be browsing linguistics or literature books and memes!