Sexual Assault Resources

What is sexual assault?

Sexual assault is any unwanted sexual contact within or outside a relationship

Sexual can include anything from unwanted sexual touching to forced sexual intercourse without a person’s consent, and also includes the threat of sexual contact without consent.

Sexual assault affects people of all ages, genders and sexual orientations

Most people know the person who assaulted them. They can be someone the survivor knows a little, such as a first date, or very well, such as a good friend or partner. Sexual assault can involve situations where sexual activity is obtained by someone abusing a position of trust, power or authority. Many people do not tell anyone of their assault, or even realize it was an assault, until months or years later.

Sexual assault is a crime and is never the fault of the survivor

Sexual assault is a crime, whatever the past or present relationship between the people involved (married, living together, dating, friends, acquaintances, strangers). No one has the right to threaten or force another person to have sexual contact. No one has the right to abuse a position of trust, power or authority to get another person to have sex.

Sexual assault is not the survivor’s fault and is a violent crime. What clothes a person wore, where they were, who they were with or whether they were under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of their assault is irrelevant. The only person responsible for a sexual assault is the person who commits the crime.

For a list of information and resources available to UBC students, please visit the UBC Students’ Sexual Assault Resources page.

Common reactions

Each survivor of sexual assault has their own personal experience, emotions and ways of coping. There is no right or wrong way for a survivor to feel or react following a sexual assault.

Sexual assault: A few common reactions

  • A change in how the survivor feels about themselves. For example, lowered self-esteem or confidence.
  • A change in how the survivor feels about their body. For example, feeling unclean, detached from their body or wanting to harm their body.
  • Physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach problems or eating and sleeping problems.
  • Emotional symptoms such as mood swings or feelings of loss, grief, anger, rage, irritability or depression.
  • Using alcohol, drugs, food or exercise to cope with intense feelings.
  • Lack of motivation and difficulty concentrating.
  • Problems with sexual intimacy, wanting less or more sex, a change in pleasure, or a change in emotional connection.

If you have been sexually assaulted

First steps include ensuring your safety, going to a safe space, and seeking medical attention.

Ensure your safety

If you or others are in immediate danger, or you fear for your safety, call 911.

Go to a safe space

The most important thing you can do is find a safe space. This may be the home or room of a friend, or any place where you feel physically and emotionally safe. Talk with someone you trust such as a friend or family member.

Seek medical care

Receiving medical attention can often be important, even if it has been a while since the assault.

Vancouver General Hospital Sexual Assault Service (24-hour service)

The Sexual Assault Service at Vancouver General Hospital provides assessment and treatment of injuries, sexually transmitted infections, and pregnancy prevention as well as forensic evidence collection and emotional support.

Sexual Assault Service, Vancouver General Hospital
899 West 12th Avenue Jim Pattison Pavilion, Vancouver, BC

Note: Campus Security will arrange and provide a coupon for taxi service to VGH.

Go directly to the Vancouver General Hospital Emergency Department and ask for the Sexual Assault Service. Female patients may arrange for a Women Against Violence Against Women (WAVAW) Rape Crisis Centre counsellor to meet them at the hospital by calling 604-255-6344.

Kelowna General Hospital Emergency Room

Kelowna General Hospital
2268 Pandosy Street, Kelowna, BC

Find support

Support is available for survivors of sexual assault, and it’s okay to ask for help. Reaching out for help is a sign of strength.

EFAP Counselling Services

UBC’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) provider, Shepell, provides free emergency counselling to faculty, staff, and their dependents. Call the Shepell Access Centre at 1-800-387-4765, 24 hours a day, and the intake team will connect you with specific trauma support services. Learn more about EFAP Counselling Services.

AMS Sexual Assault Support Centre (SASC)

The Sexual Assault Support Centre provides information, advocacy, and support for UBC students, staff and faculty with reporting and connection to services. Services are confidential, free of charge, and are provided in a supportive and inclusive space.

AMS Sexual Assault Support Centre
6133 University Boulevard, Room 3127, Vancouver, BC

VictimLink BC

VictimLink BC is a toll-free, confidential, multilingual telephone service available across BC and Yukon 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It provides information and referral services to all victims of crime and immediate crisis support to victims of family and sexual violence.

VictimLink BC
1-800-563-0808 FREE
TTY: 604-875-0885
Text: 604-836-6381

Women Against Violence Against Women (WAVAW)

Women Against Violence Against Women offers support and a 24/7 crisis line for anyone who has been affected by sexual violence. Staff are also available to accompany the survivor to the Vancouver General Hospital (VGH) Sexual Assault Service if desired.

Women Against Violence Against Women
24-hour crisis line: 604-255.6344
Toll-free: 1-877-392-7583 FREE

Other Community-Based Support Services

24-hour contacts

Campus Security

Campus Security is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to provide response and assistance with safety planning. Campus Security also keeps records of each sexual assault reported to them.

Vancouver campus
Campus Security
Emergency contacts
Personal security resources
2133 East Mall, Vancouver, BC

Okanagan campus
Campus Security
LIB016 – 3287 University Way, Kelowna, BC

Who you can notify about the assault

Each person will have unique reasons for choosing whether to report. It’s important to honour your choice regarding what feels manageable for you. Each of the following services supports disclosure of as much information as you are able and comfortable giving while maintaining your privacy.

If you or others are in immediate danger or fear for your safety, or wish to report a crime/assault, call 911.

Assistance with reporting

AMS Sexual Assault Support Centre (SASC)

The AMS Sexual Assault Support Centre can inform survivors about reporting options and what to expect after making a report. They can also accompany survivors to RCMP or Campus Security offices.

Sexual Assault Support Centre
6133 University Boulevard Room 3127, Vancouver, BC

Reporting options

If the incident took place on campus, it can be reported to the RCMP.

RCMP, Vancouver campus detachment

RCMP, UBC Detachment
2990 Wesbrook Mall, Vancouver, BC

RCMP, Kelowna detachment

RCMP, Kelowna Detachment
350 Doyle Ave, Kelowna, BC

Local law enforcement agencies

If the incident took place off campus, you can report to the police department or law enforcement agency for the district where the incident occurred.

BC Police Forces

UBC Reporting Options

Vancouver campus: Administrative Heads of Unit

The Administrative Head of Unit (AHU) is any of the following: Director of a service unit; Head of an academic department; Director of a centre, institute or school; Principal of a college; Dean; Associate Vice President; University Librarian; Registrar; Vice President; Deputy Vice Chancellor & Principal; or President. The AHU in your unit, with the support of Faculty Relations and/or HR Advisory Services, is able to hear your concerns and investigate them.

If you don’t know who your AHU is, you can ask your supervisor, or your union/association representative, or contact the HR Service Centre at 604-822-8111.

Okanagan campus

Please contact the office of the Director of Human Resources at 250-807-8618.

Support survivors and help end the violence

Learn more about what you can do to support sexual assault survivors and how you can help end the violence.