Fanshawe offering new healing program for sexual violence survivors

Header image for Interrobang article CREDIT: LEAH MARSHALL
Fanshawe's Passport to Wellness program is offering a new service for sexual violence survivors and their support team. The Healing Forward, Self-care for Survivors of Sexual Violence sessions begin on Sept. 13

Fanshawe welcomes a new initiative aimed to help students who may have experienced sexual violence along with their support group.

This new initiative, titled Healing Forward, Self-care for Survivors of Sexual Violence [and their supporter], is part of Fanshawe's Counselling and Accessibility Services' Passport to Wellness program and was created for a number of reasons.

“This came about, because we know [that] here, at Fanshawe, not only are we working on prevention initiatives and helping to make campus a safer space, but we need to provide services and support to those on our campus that have already experience sexual violence in their lives,” Fanshawe's sexual violence prevention advisor, Leah Marshall said. “Part of what our plan looks like moving forward in terms of providing services to survivors is providing a space where survivors or victims on campus can come to connect with other survivors.”

According to Marshall, there tends to be a common thread among those who've experienced sexual violence that they are alone.

“We're trying to break those barriers down and create a space where people can connect with others and learn self-care skills and tools, as well as get information about the impact of trauma and having an understanding of that healing looks different for each person, and so developing an individualized self-care kit for yourself to care for yourself throughout the school year,” Marshall said.

According to Marshall, although the Passport to Wellness program has been around the College before, run by a number of people in the Counselling and Accessibility Services department, the Healing Forward program came about this year as simply an idea that would be “beneficial” for sexual violence survivors and supporters around campus.

Marshall said the number of students experiencing sexual violence is quite high across Canada, but the program will hopefully open up a “different way to provide a space for students to seek support and service”.

The program is centered to help survivors and their support group connect with others, understand and learn in an open environment without any judgment, nor feeling like they are the only ones dealing with sexual violence.

“Healing is individual to each person, we're all unique and our experiences all look different and so we're always looking for different ways to connect with people on our campus that may need support and so this is a way, just another avenue to offer that support,” Marshall said.

Though there are individual support sessions through the sexual violence prevention advisor position as well as the prevention initiatives and educational initiatives throughout the school year, Marshall said this new program is “adding on another piece, another space on campus where survivors can come and talk about mindfulness and creativity and play, sleep hygiene, connection with other survivors, self-compassion, just help create their own individualized self-care tool kit that can help support them throughout the year”.

Marshall said the hour long sessions will include different topics each time, and will run once each month starting for the first semester, and could potentially extend to the second semester if all things go well.

The first session will begin on Sept. 13 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. To learn more information about the program and what it has offer please visit and search Counselling and Accessibility Services, Passport to Wellness, or

To get in touch with Leah Marshall, please contact at