Developing a peer support network
Create an inter-university and college roster of peer supporters and educators that includes international and domestic student leaders across genders.
Peer support network members should receive bystander prevention training, such as Waves of Change, and training on trauma-informed approaches to receiving sexual violence disclosures, such as Supporting Survivors of Sexual Violence: A Nova Scotia Resource (online). Network members should receive stipends and co-curricular credits for their participation in training. They could organize conversations or other events with small groups of students. The peer network could extend across multiple postsecondary institutions in the province. It should be overseen by mental health professionals.
Delving Deeper Resources
Arizona State University has an active peer support network that could serve as an example for this kind of program.
- According to this webpage, "The Waves of Change Bystander Intervention (Waves of Change) Program is a peer-facilitated, violence prevention program offered in partnership with universities and colleges across Nova Scotia." It's modules include 1) Basic bystander, 2) Alcohol and sex, 3) Advanced bystander intervention, 4) Creating communities of accountability, and 5) Creating social change.
- According to its homepage, "This training is designed to help you learn more about sexual violence and how to support someone who has survived it. It is for service providers, friends, family members, neighbours, teachers, first responders, counselors, and anyone who is acting as a support person, or is concerned about sexual violence." The modules you will find in this free training include 1) Sexual Violence: An Introduction, 2) Responding to a disclosure, 3) Choices following sexual violence, 4) Exploring sexual consent, 5) Enhancing the wellbeing of support people, 6) Indigenous perspectives, 7) African Nova Scotian perspectives, 8) Understanding the sexual exploitation of youth: An introduction.