SGBV Education + Training

Some of the many barriers to disclosing sexual or gender-based violence (SGBV) include the fear of not being believed or of being blamed. Those fears are not unfounded; misconceptions around sexual violence are prevalent in society.

For example, many people incorrectly assume that if a person did not scream, fight back,  or explicitly say “no,” there must have been implicit consent. Anyone receiving a disclosure, investigating, or adjudicating a complaint, and even those who have been subjected to SGBV themselves might hold these and other false beliefs.

Education on these and other topics is designed to correct these misconceptions, ideally removing the barriers survivors commonly experience when seeking support and information on the options available to them. The goals of education and training around SGBV are to:

  • help those who have been subjected to SGBV feel safer in disclosing and seeking support;
  • ensure that those who receive disclosures know how to appropriately support and refer;
  • allow investigators to use trauma-informed interview techniques in order to get the best information possible from complainants, respondents and witnesses; and
  • ensure that decision-makers in complaint processes are able to appropriately interpret the evidence before them.

Policy-mandated Training 

Section 3.a.ix of the Sexual and Gender Based Policy mandates “all individuals involved in administering, advising on, investigating or adjudicating SGBV complaints in any University complaint process have appropriate training” as outlined below. Role-specific training is currently under development. This page will be updated regularly as training becomes available.

Foundational Training e-class (all)

Required for all staff involved in SGBV complaints, including investigators, decision-makers, and anyone who advises them. Also required for participating Options Navigation Network staff.

Foundations of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence E-Class, including the following topics:

  • The Basics of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence.
  • Survivor-Supportive Practices.
  • Unpacking the UofA Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Policy.

Role-Specific Training

The Foundations of SGBV e-Class is the prerequisite for additional courses based on an individual’s role within the institution’s SGBV response. Training is currently under development and will be released as it becomes available, for the following roles:

  • Options Navigation Network (ONN) participating staff.
  • Decision-makers applying interim measures (and anyone advising them).
  • Investigators of SGBV and other interpersonal harm complaints.
  • Decision-makers in SGBV and other interpersonal harm complaints (and anyone advising them).
  • Appeal Panel members (and anyone advising them)

Other Staff Training

Residence Life

All Resident Life student staff receive training from the University of Alberta Sexual Assault Centre before beginning their role on creating a culture of consent in their community, identifying sexual violence, receiving sexual violence disclosures, and connecting survivors to campus and community supports they may choose to access. Student staff also receive Supportive Conversation training and Mental Health Awareness training from a Community Social Worker on campus, which they apply to support students in residence in navigating the university support system.

In addition, all student residents must complete an online module before picking up their keys. It contains information they need to know about being a member of the UAlberta residence community.

University of Alberta Sexual Assault Centre (UASAC)

To be prepared to provide quality services to U of A students, staff, and Faculty, UASAC volunteers must participate in an in-depth Crisis Intervention (CI) or Anti-Sexual Violence Advocacy (ED) Training Programme. These training programmes consist of approximately 15 hours of asynchronous, self-directed learning via eClass and 60 hours of synchronous, in-person and virtual training sessions throughout the month of August. The topics covered in Volunteer Training vary between the CI and ED programme but generally cover the foundations of understanding various forms of sexual violence, why they occur, and their impacts; trauma and recovery; options and risk assessment; practicing accountability; and facilitation training. All Volunteer Training is designed and delivered from an anti-oppressive, intersectional, trauma-informed lens.

Voluntary Education + Prevention Opportunities

Section 8 of the Sexual and Gender-based Violence Disclosures procedure encourages all members of the University to take advantage of essential learning opportunities related to SGBV. The SVRC will update information below as new opportunities arise.

Understanding Sexual Assault

Policy awareness + application

Consent education

Gender-inclusion + Anti-oppression 

Responding to Disclosures

Bystander intervention

Custom workshops on human rights + discrimination