Our support services are totally non-judgmental and confidential, and available to anyone who has experienced violence, anyone who has caused harm, and anyone who has supported someone who has experienced violence or caused harm.
We can provide you with emotional support, information about services on and off campus, and help in connecting with the services that might be right for you. We have a team of trained volunteers who provide support as well as staff members.
Get in touch with us by dropping in, scheduling an appointment, or sending us an email.
Current support hours
Support is also available by appointment during and outside these drop-in hours.
To book an appointment:
If you are in need of immediate assistance, please contact the Vancouver Island Crisis Line at 1-888-494-3888 or visit our list of crisis contacts.
We support everyone
Our services are available for:
- All genders and identities, including trans, genderqueer, 2spirit, and gender non-conforming people
- All members of the campus community and surrounding areas, including students, staff, and faculty
You can access services regardless of your immigration status. We believe in access, not fear, and so will never ask your immigration or documentation status.
We also realize that the campus can be inaccessible so please let us know how we can better support you if coming to the campus is a barrier. We don’t require student identification or your personal information and you can access services anonymously if you wish.
Location & Accessibility
UVSS Student Union Building (basement)
Office: room B027
Support space: room B024
Elevator: The elevator to the Student Union Building basement is located down the hall from the Cinecenta entrance (by the bus loop). From the basement elevator doors, our office and support space are a short walk down the hall, marked by signs.
Washrooms: There are 2 accessible multi-stall gender inclusive washrooms down the hall from AVP. There is also a single-stall washroom in the UVic Pride space further down the hall.
Scents: We do our best to maintain AVP as a scent-free space. Please support us in this by not wearing scented products while accessing our services.
Please let us know if you have any accessibility concerns. We are happy to arrange the support space to accommodate all bodies and needs.
We support people who have experienced any kind of violence. You don’t have to identify or use labels like “survivor,” “victim,” or “witness” to use our services.
We believe you. You didn’t do anything to ask for or deserve this and it was not your fault. However you reacted, resisted, responded, nobody deserves to be treated violently or to be subjected to witnessing violence.
We support people who are dealing with violence at any time in their life–including violence in a current relationship, violence that happened in a past relationship, or violence that happened a long time ago.
If violence is happening to you now, we will explore ways that you can protect yourself and get immediate help if you need it. Whenever the violence happened, we are here to support you to deal with what it is bringing up for you right now. You deserve and have the right to seek healing, when you want it and in ways that feel right to you. All support should be led by you and respect your wants and needs.
If you are supporting a loved one who has experienced violence, we’re here for you too! It can be hard to see a loved one suffering as a result of violence, and also listening to someone share their story can bring up a lot of feelings and be overwhelming (sometimes this is called secondary trauma).
You can access our services if you need support yourself, if you are struggling with boundaries, if you want to learn more about providing support, or to help find information and resources to share with your loved one.
Have you caused harm to someone else? Has someone told you that you violated their boundaries or hurt them? Have you reflected on your actions and realized that you may have been violent towards someone?
It can be very difficult to confront the truth about hurting someone, or to begin to do the work of looking within oneself at the ways in which we’ve caused harm. But this is very important work, for if violence is going to end, we need to find ways to look at the harm that we’ve done and support this kind of work to happen.
At AVP we often say that “everyone is capable of causing harm”, and this includes ourselves. We’ve all caused harm in the past by not engaging in consent practices or listening to people’s boundaries, and we’ll probably do it again because humans are imperfect, messy creatures that make a lot of assumptions. Interacting with each other, especially in vulnerable ways, comes with risk. Although usually unintentional, we hurt each other often. And we have been trained to do this.
In this current society we are taught entitlement to bodies from a very young age. For example, a relative can pick you up, hug you, or pinch your cheeks – even if that’s not what you want. Colonization is premised on settlers feeling entitled to take Indigenous bodies, lands, resources, and culture without consent. Every “ism” or form of oppression is based on non-consensual hierarchies where one group is devalued and exploited for the benefit of another. Many people go their whole lives without learning about consent.
We believe that everyone gets a chance to learn, unlearn, and be accountable. So we work with people who have caused harm, to unlearn violent behaviours and thoughts. In doing this work we focus on learning about consent and improving consent practices. This doesn’t mean excusing your behaviours or actions, but finding out where you are at in your learning journey, exploring if you are willing to look at your actions, and if so, helping you to (un)learn more. Causing harm doesn’t make us (or you) “bad”, but does mean we need to do unlearning, work on repairing our relationships, and figure out some accountability for the harm we have caused. If that’s work you are willing to do too, we’re here to support you in that work.
Please see our Resources for more information and links about online, local and on- and off-campus resources for support, healing, information, advocacy and action.