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A Sneak Peak Into Courage to Act’s Response and Support Working Group Toolkits

Written by: Courage to Act’s Response and Support Working Group

We are excited to provide an introduction to 14 Response and Support Working Group tools, which will be launched on the Courage to Act Knowledge Centre between January – May 2022 . Read on for a description of each tool.

Creating a Bill of Rights for Complainants and Respondents during an Adjudication Process 

Description: This community-based and values-driven tool is focused on assisting you with step-by-step instructions for developing bills of rights for all parties to a PSI’s GBV policy, or a bill of responsibilities for the PSI itself.

Audit Checklist for Campus Security to Provide a Trauma-Informed Response with People Affected by Gender-Based Violence

Description: This audit checklist is a chance for PSIs to uncover practices and operations that might cause further harm, or identify gaps in policy with respect to their GBV response. It is a tool that promotes accountability from each PSI in their responsibility to keep the campus community safe and secure (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015; McNamara, 2006; Seoane, 2001).

Promising Practice Guidelines when Working with Respondents in Post-Secondary Complaints Processes 

Description: This tool provides an opportunity to reflect on and clarify the considerations and values needed to properly support respondents who are navigating a student judicial affairs process.

Promising Practice Principles and Self-Audit Tool when Working with People Who Have Caused Harm

Description: This self-audit tool and guiding principles document provides you assistance with navigating the tension and resistance that may arise when working with people who have caused harm. It can also help guide your professional development and deepen your knowledge and skill when working with this group.

Guidelines on Confidentiality and Reporting: Checklist Tool for Campus Gender-Based Violence Service and Support Agreements

Description: This checklist tool sets the tone and expectations for keeping disclosures of GBV private and confidential before reaching a threshold where they must be reported. Its major purpose is to provide clarity to those receiving disclosures of GBV, outlining the common core principles on what can and cannot be disclosed.

Record-Keeping Guidelines and Reflection Tool for Campus Gender-Based Violence Offices

Description: This review tool provides guidance and reflection on what, why, and how records are to be kept at a PSI with respect to GBV. Its purpose is to create clarity on who is responsible for keeping such records; who (and under which conditions) should have access; and how to provide an accurate accounting of GBV cases at PSIs.

Creating Information-Sharing Agreements Among Stakeholders Responding to Campus Gender-Based Violence

Description: This toolkit provides a framework and instructions for how to collaborate with other stakeholders, both on and off-campus, and why information needs to be shared amongst them to properly respond to reports of GBV. Its major purpose is to provide an approach for all stakeholders involved on how to create such an agreement.

Trauma and Violence Informed Care Guidelines for Campus Medical Professionals Supporting Individuals Affected by Gender-Based Violence

Description: This toolkit provides specific TVIC practices and procedures for medical professionals to use when working with individuals affected by GBV. Guidelines are divided into action steps that professionals can put into practice when interacting with patients before, during, and after appointments. It also contains a workbook designed for patients to use before arriving, which outlines strategies that may help them feel more empowered, prepared, and grounded during appointments.

Developing Comprehensive Academic Considerations for Students Affected by Gender-Based Violence in Canadian Post-Secondary Institutions

Description: This tool is designed for faculty, staff, and administrators looking to develop practical, trauma-informed academic considerations for students affected by GBV. Its many strategies and interventions include: retroactive withdrawal and tuition reimbursement; finding a new supervisor; exam scheduling and accommodations; extensions for assignments; taking a leave of absence, deferring academic responsibilities, or taking on a reduced course load; transferring to another program, department, institution or class section; addressing concerns related to citizenship status; and ensuring freedom from reprisal.

A Guide to Assembling Gender-Based Violence Coordinated Response Teams on Campus

Description: This tool provides expert advice on assembling coordinated response teams (CRT) on GBV at Canadian PSIs. It discusses factors for consideration prior to assembling the CRT; suggested criteria for membership; communication strategies; and coordinating action with the CRT. This comprehensive guide will support you and your PSI in developing a strong CRT to optimize your organizational response to GBV on campus.

A Framework for Implementing Gender-Based Violence Community Risk Assessment Policies, Procedures & Protocols on Campus

Description: This tool serves as a guide for frontline GBV support staff at PSIs on conducting intakes with community members affected by GBV. It includes guiding principles for conducting intakes, along with an adaptable intake package that is designed to support frontline workers in uniquely developing their own.

Every Door is an Open Door: Procedures & Protocols to Address Disclosures of Gender-Based Violence at Post-Secondary Institutions

Description: This resource provides PSI community members with basic information needed to respond to disclosures of sexual and gender-based violence at their institution. Using the ARC model – Acknowledge, Respond and Connect with Supports – this guide is designed to cultivate a campus environment where people seeking support are treated with compassion, warmth, and dignity, and are referred to appropriate supports to meet their needs. This is an interactive document that can be filled in to tailor the ARC model based on different community members’ roles and responsibilities in responding to disclosures.

Promising Practices for Addressing Trauma Exposure in the Post-Secondary Workplace

Description: This tool outlines 8 themes for addressing trauma exposure in the post-secondary workplace: permanent unionized positions, institutional understanding of trauma exposure, equitable work environment, clinical supervision, sustainable workload, time off and flexible work hours, network of frontline workers, and cultivating opportunities and professional development. These 8 themes were researched and developed through conducting a survey with frontline GBV workers in the community.

Use The Right Words: Language Guidelines for Communicating about Gender-Based Violence on Campus

Description: Mainstream media has the power to shape conversations about gender-based violence in our communities, specifically our campus community. The Use the Right Words toolkit is a series of tip sheets and resources for journalists, communications professionals and the general public on reporting on various forms of gender-based violence i.e. stalking, partner abuse, sexual assault. The tools were created in collaboration with survivors, student researchers, gender-based violence experts, journalists and communications professionals.


The Response and Support Working Group creates trauma-informed, healing-centred, equity-driven skill-building tools and resources for campus community members working with people affected by gender-based violence. The Response and Support Working Group is one of three Working Groups with the Courage to Act project. Each Working Group is composed of experts in their respective fields from across Canada. The Response and Support Working Group’s membership includes Farrah Khan, Jesmen Mendoza, Zanab Jafry, and Hilary Swan.

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Suggested Citation: Response and Support Working Group. (2021, September). A Sneak Peak Into Courage to Act’s Response and Support Working Group Toolkits. Courage to Act. www.couragetoact.ca/blog/response-and-support-toolkit

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