The Anti-Violence Project’s peer support services are entirely free and open to anyone, including UVic students and community members of all genders, ages, and immigration statuses. When you reach out for the support you will speak with one of our trained staff or volunteers who will provide you with the emotional support that you need and deserve, and connect you with appropriate resources and services.
We take confidentiality seriously. We are trained to respect confidentiality and will never ask you for any personal identifying information unless you choose to share it with us. When you first reach out for support we may ask you some initial questions to ensure your immediate safety.
If you just need help accessing professional counselling or other resources and would prefer not to share your entire story with us, feel free to just tell us what you’re looking for so we can point you to the services that are right for you.
What is emotional support?
We provide emotional support that is non-judgemental and focuses on demonstrating compassion and care. We prioritize listening and believe that survivors are the experts on their own stories, experiences, and needs. Above all, we are there to follow the lead of the survivor on how they want to be supported.
Survivors don’t have to access support specifically about experiencing an assault. We support folks who are feeling anxious, stressed out about school, and/or dealing with the long-term impacts of violence.
At AVP, we value and focus on three main parts to support survivors:
- We listen to survivors
- We believe survivors
- We help survivors find resources and refer them to other organizations in the community, if needed
What does “peer” support mean?
Our peer support services centre support that is rooted in similar experiences, care, and connection with the people we support. Many of our staff members and volunteers who provide peer support are or have been students themselves – this helps us understand student experiences and what students may be going through.
We are not professional counsellors and can’t provide ongoing or professional counselling. However, we can help survivors access professional and ongoing counselling. Professional counsellors have specialized training, skills, and experience to help someone process trauma and support their healing.
Who can access support services at AVP?
We serve the UVic community including student, faculty, and staff of all genders and ages. AVP’s support services can also be accessed by everyone in our community needing support regardless of immigration status. We predominantly serve students however, you don’t need to be a student to access support.
How to access support services
During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we are not offering in-person support but you can receive support over the phone, by email and over video call. The best times to access support are during scheduled support hours Monday and Tuesday 11 am to 1 pm and 3 to 5 pm, as well as Thursday 11 am to 1 pm. More information about scheduled hours and what accessing support over the phone and video support looks like can be found here: https://www.antiviolenceproject.org/support/
Please note: The support line can only accommodate one call at a time. If you call the support line and we don’t answer your call please leave us a message with your preferred contact information. We will return your call as soon as possible. If scheduled support hours don’t work for you please let us know and we will do our best to find you a time that works for you.