From January 23 to 27, the University of Guelph marks Consent Action Week. The week is an opportunity to create a collaborative dialogue about consent, pleasure, relationships and advocacy. It’s also an opportunity to raise awareness of services centered around support, healing and prevention.

“Consent Action Week is a celebration of survivorship, healing, pleasure and joy,” says Melissa Conte, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Support Coordinator. “It is a time to demonstrate love and support for survivors – we want them to know they are believed, seen and cared for.”

The University of Guelph’s Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Support and Education centre provides leadership in prevention and intervention programs to support survivors and those impacted by sexual and gender-based violence. 

The centre:

  • helps ensure appropriate coordination of care and support for student survivors
  • provides consultation services to faculty and staff in responding to disclosures
  • develops and delivers educational initiatives, resources and training for students, faculty and staff

“This week is important because it invites the campus community to join us in our work to collectively prevent sexual and gender-based violence and to support survivors,” says Jensen Williams, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Education Coordinator. “We hope this week’s events build our campus’s capacity for transformation and actionable change and grows our ability to facilitate healing and mitigate harm.”

Consent Action Week Events

Monday, Jan. 23

Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Resource Fair
10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
UC Courtyard
Open to all U of G students, staff, faculty and community members

This resource fair helps build awareness of the range of resources and support available to help survivors.

Tuesday, Jan. 24

Trauma-Informed Yoga with Charlene Dinger
10:30 a.m. to noon
Open to U of G students. Register online.
Guelph Gryphons Athletics Centre, Studio 300

This class is open to everybody and anyone that wishes to connect with their mind, body and breath in a safe space. A care room will be available during the session for anyone seeking supports and resources.

Weekly Discussion with OUTLine: Consent in Daily Life & Consent for the LGBTQ2IA+ Community
5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Open to all LGBTQ2IA+ students.
Raithby House

This week’s LGBTQ2IA+ discussion will centre on how to apply the rules of consent to daily life and how topics of consent are applicable to the LGBTQ2IA+ community. Those interested may colour in an affirmations book and write love letters to survivors of sexual violence. There will be resources available for students, including the Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Support Centre.

Wednesday, Jan. 25

Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Prevention and Response Training for Students
2:30 to 4:30 p.m.
University Centre, Rm 430
Open to all U of G students. Register online.

This free skills-development opportunity helps students to learn more about the root causes of sexual and gender-based violence. It will explore ways to promote and practice consent, the skills needed to respond to disclosures, and the supports and resources available.

Navigating Pleasure After Trauma Workshop
7 to 8:30 p.m.
Open to students, staff and faculty and members of the external community

Sexologist and relationship coach Alisha Fisher examines how our minds process trauma, why triggers and dissociations occur, and [re]discovering pleasure within our body and the numerous ways we can access it. Self-pleasure can be recognized as a form of resistance by one being able to explore and decide what is pleasurable and what is not pleasurable after experiencing sexual trauma.

Thursday, Jan. 26

Responding to Disclosures and Supporting Survivors Lunch & Learn Workshop for Staff and Faculty
Noon to 1:30 p.m.
Online. Register online. 
Open to staff, faculty and student staff.

Survivors are most likely to disclose their experiences with someone they know and trust. In this workshop, staff and faculty will learn about the importance of a supportive response to a disclosure, ways to provide survivor-centric and trauma-informed support and referral pathways to on-campus resources.

Stories Spark Change: In Conversation With adrienne marie brown
6 to 7:30 p.m.
Online. Register online.
Open to students, staff and faculty

Join internationally renowned writer, activist, musician and facilitator adrienne maree brown for an in-depth conversation on joy, pleasure and healing. This virtual event will feature student poetry and artwork, and the conversation will be moderated by Keneisha Charles

Friday, Jan. 27

Sex on Screen: Fantasy or Reality? Understanding How Erotic Media Shapes Our Relationships
2 to 3:30 p.m.
University Centre, Brass Taps 74 Lounge
Open to all students, staff, faculty and external community members

Is porn really everywhere – ruining relationships, and transforming our understanding of sex? Join PhD sexologists Alisha Fisher and Tasha Falconer as they discuss pornography, who watched pornography, why types of pornography are popular, and how world events can impact people’s viewing habits of pornography.

About Consent Action Week

Consent Action Week is an educational initiative created by the Ontario University Sexual Violence Network held during the last week of January at universities across Ontario. At U of G, Consent Action Week is hosted by the Sexual and Gender-Based Violence Support and Education Centre, the SAFE (Sexual Assault Free Environment) Peer Team and on and off-campus partners.

Learn more about Consent Action Week events, programming times and more.