McMaster Welcome Week Training

In the last eight days, SACHA and Equity and Inclusion Office at McMaster University trained nearly 400 Residence Life staff and reps on taking action to end rape culture and nearly 1300 Welcome Week Faculty reps on McMaster’s Sexual Violence Response Protocol.
We hope that this week is a kick off to year-round action to prevent sexual violence on campus.
infog update O2

In the hour long workshop with staff and reps from Residence Life we talked about:


Spectrum of Sexual Violence - MAC WW 2016

  • The myths and lies that we are taught about sexual violence and strategies for unlearning them.

Causes of Sexual Assault

  • We used Draw the Line scenarios to talk about specific strategies that we can use to interrupt situations that might be violent.

DLT Drinking

  • Although most staff and students had seen it before, we watched the consent tea video and talked about how we need to get repeated info about consent in many different ways.

  • Lots of folks have questions about consent and alcohol. Our favourite response is by Everyday Feminism:

If both or all of you are drinking, it’s really important to understand that whoever initiates sex or tries to introduce a new sex act needs to check in about getting consent. And if you’re the person or people moving things forward, it’s really important that you aren’t so drunk that you can’t do the needed checking in.

Ask yourself: Did I find out if my partner wanted to do xyz before starting to do that?

If you can’t remember or you aren’t sure, ask again and make sure that they can answer clearly before proceeding.

  • We talked about rape culture and how violence is normalized in our culture.


  • Workshop participants thought of examples of rape culture at McMaster and what they would do if folks were chanting ‘No means try harder’ at Welcome Week.

DTL Frosh

  • ‘The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.’ — Australia’s Chief of Army Lieutenant General David Morrison on bystander intervention to prevent sexual violence.
  • We talked about ways to take action: education, participate in consent events during Welcome Week, come to Take Back the Night, learn more about the resources for survivors on and off campus.
  • And finally how to take care of ourselves as we work to end sexual violence on McMaster’s campus.


At the half hour training on McMaster’s Sexual Violence Response Protocol with Welcome Week Faculty Reps, we talked about:

  • How and why the protocol was created as well as the scope of the protocol.
  • What we mean by sexual violence.
  • How it is normal to feel scared when someone discloses sexual violence to you, but we can still help out.

scared cat

  • What are some immediate safety needs that a survivor might have?
  • It’s important to keep a survivor’s story confidential, ask permission before sharing, and the times that we need to break confidentiality.

confidentiality raccoon

  • We asked reps to think of a time that they were in crisis and what helped and what didn’t help.

lions and tigers and bears

How to support

  • Asking the survivor if they are OK to leave.
  • We talked about ways to get confidential support for ourselves after listening to a disclosure, including phoning SACHA’s 24 Support Line.

think of otters

  • Participants shared resources available for survivors on and off campus.
  • And finally:

force upsetting rape culture infographci

Thank you to all the cool folks that we met in the last eight days. We are excited to created a consent culture with you!




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