UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Student experiences of sexual violence at the University of British Columbia through a trauma and violence informed framework Gill, Ashni


This study explores the experiences of students who have been impacted by sexual violence at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. Students identified their awareness, satisfaction and recommendations for support services on campus. To recruit participants, posters were hung and advertisements were made on social media platforms such as Facebook. The Graduate Student Society and Alma Mater Society advertised this study. Eight students who were impacted by sexualized violence during their time at UBC participated in this study. Several key themes were identified which included: levels of awareness of resources, mental health support, victim-blaming and rape culture on campus, impact of marginalized identities on experiences with support, and recommendations for support services. It was found that students had limited awareness of resources regardless if the student was an undergraduate or graduate student; thus students suggested that more educational programs be made available in orientation and resources be outlined on course syllabi. If the service(s) were accessed, experiences varied such that some students believed that their experience was positively impacted by their sex but negatively impacted by racism. Some students experienced institutionalized harm due to the existence of white supremacist and patriarchal frameworks that are embedded in the University. Overall, the students’ experiences with support services were positive, except for the Investigations Office and Counselling Services.

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