Anova, along with Ending Violence Association of Canada and the Sexual Assault Centre of Kingston, has developed a resource for sexual violence counsellors that summarizes promising practices from the academic research field on delivering distance counselling to survivors*. Please see the report here or the highlights in the infographic below.
For many, if not most, sexual violence counsellors, the pandemic required a shift in practice to distance counselling options. Within the span of weeks, we as a sector had to learn new ways of supporting survivors through the use of videoconferencing (eg Zoom), telephone calls, and texting.
We wanted to understand the impact of this shift to distance counselling for sexual violence counselling. Was it better, worse or different? Did it have specific impacts on different equity-seeking groups? What lessons have been learned that are specific to the sector, such as navigating safety planning and ensuring rapport-building?
A partnership emerged between Sexual Assault Centre Kingston (SACK), Ending Violence Association of Canada, and Anova, building upon the work done through the Going-The-Distance project undertaken by SACK funded by Women and Gender Equality. In the summer of 2021, we launched a national survey of sexual violence counsellors.
* This study was supported by a larger project, “Going the Distance,” which seeks to examine and improve health equity with trauma-informed distance counselling. Going the Distance is a 5 year project developed and run by Sexual Assault Centre Kingston(SACK) and is funded by Women and Gender Equity Canada (WAGE).