The UBC AMS has decided to defund the AMS Sexual Assault Support Centre without the input or consent of the SASC or survivors. We're calling on the AMS to immediately reverse their decision.
Statement from the SASC Regarding AMS Decision to End SASC Support Services:
"It is with deep sadness in our hearts that we share with you that, without our input, consent or agreement, the AMS has decided to cut support services at the Sexual Assault Support Centre (SASC). Alongside UBC, the decision was made to transfer all support services to UBC’s Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office (SVPRO). We disagree, and strongly oppose this decision. We believe that the SASC is an integral part of campus community, providing support to survivors of sexualized violence as well as their friends and family. We believe that this decision will not only be harmful to the survivors we currently support, have supported in the past and who we would support in the future.
For 16 years, the SASC has existed as a grassroots, low-barrier, survivor-centred organization, operating independently from the UBC institution. This history allows us the unique position of truly supporting and advocating for what is best for survivors, as our sole purpose is to ensure the safety and well-being of survivors. At the SASC, we believe it is important to not only recognize that intersecting systems of oppression work to further marginalize survivors of sexualized violence., but also work to mitigate the effects of these intersecting systems At the SASC, we center the importance of lived experience by allowing survivors to lead us through their unique and individualized healing paths. We recognize the importance of trauma-informed practice, and also move towards self determined healing. To shut down support work at the SASC is to take away choice from survivors and to close a pathway for disclosure.
We call on the AMS and UBC to reinstate the SASC’s ability to support survivors of sexualized violence, as well as their friends and family, to the fullest extent including but not limited to: crisis- and short-term emotional support; legal, medical and campus-related advocacy (including housing and academic concessions); accompaniment to court, appointments, and the Sexual Assault Service at UBC Urgent Care Centre; and all gender support groups for UBC students. We call on the UBC Board of Governors to update Policy 131 in order to add the SASC as an additional point of contact for survivors of sexualized violence to receive information, advice, and assistance from in relation to point 2.2 of said policy.
Due to the recent news, we want to ensure that the survivors we are supporting are taken care of, which means we have limited capacity to respond to media requests. For media inquiry, please email ubc.sasc[at]gmail.com. We also encourage you to share this story and reach out to other members of the university community for their perspective on the story. You are also welcome to reach out to Lucia Lorenzi, Sarah Hunt, Ashley Bentley, Noni Nabors, and Natalie Clark who would be happy to speak with you."
Additional calls to action:
"1. Please share this article and get the word out about UBC and the AMS making these unilateral decisions without centring the needs of survivors.
2. Tell the Ubc Board of Governors and the UBC Alma Mater Society - AMS Council you stand with the SASC and support choices for survivors.Tweet them at @AMS_UBC and @UBC using the hashtags #SaveTheSASC and #ChoicesforSurvivors, email, phone, and show up to their meetings to voice your concerns.
3. We call on the UBC Board of Governors to update Policy 131 in order to add the SASC as a key partner to collaborate with, to meet the needs of survivors, in relation to point 2.2 of said policy.
4. Show up to the SVPRO Implementation Consultation Workshops next week and voice your concerns around SASC support services closing. The SASC has not been formally invited to these closed consultations by UBC. If you are a student, we encourage you to attend/sit-in on the Monday, June 25th workshop from 9:30am - 3:30pm at the Ponderosa Commons Ballroom - Oak House. If you are faculty and/or staff, sessions will be held Tuesday - Thursday (June 26th-28th) at the same time and location.
5. We recognize the precarity of some faculty and/or staff's position within the institution, and how that impacts your ability to speak out. But we ask you to write letters of support from your departments to reinstate support services at the SASC.
6. Share your stories of healing, stories of support, stories of institutional failures and violence. We want to hear your experiences in your own words. Direct Message twitter account @SaveTheSASC and we can tweet your story anonymously or tweet @SaveTheSASC to share the impact the SASC has had on your life or the lives of those you know. Stories can be shared anonymously by emailing ubc.sasc[at]gmail.com."