Last October, the Sexual Assault Support Centre (SASC) was intending to make operational changes by extending their hours as well as forming a relationship with UBC Hospital. However, as SASC manager Shilo St. Cyr explained, “it took a few months to hire and train all the support workers to provide our services. Since most of the staff would be working alone, we wanted to ensure everyone was trained fully to respond to the needs of survivors.”
The SASC has now changed their hours from what was previously Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., to their current availability which is every day from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
“Classes are often during the day, so we’re trying to make ourselves more flexible for students so they can come in the evening,” said St. Cyr. She explained that most incidences of sexual assault occur on weekends, which helped inform their decision to be open during those days as well.
The SASC has also formed a relationship with UBC Hospital in order to allow survivors to have their forensic exams done on campus. St. Cyr stated that this relationship was formed so the SASC could provide accompaniment to the hospital and additional support for survivors in whatever form they might need.
“We’re still seeing students accessing Vancouver General Hospital, so it is important to get it out there that you can access [these services] between the hours of 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. here at UBC,” said St. Cyr.
The SASC will be maintaining these hours throughout the summer while also working on what will “hopefully be an app that will allow people to [receive] support from us.”