Supporting Survivors of Sexual Violence

A Nova Scotia Resource


Ending sexual violence, and making this world a better place for those who have survived sexual violence, is a collective effort. In taking this training you are demonstrating your commitment to these goals. Thank you!

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.


Statement for People Who Have Survived Sexual Violence

If you are a victim/survivor of sexual violence, aspects of this training may also be useful to you. Feel free to use them however you need.  Some of the material may also be triggering.  Do what you need to do to take care of yourself. Remember to breathe, take breaks, connect with friends or other support people, and engage in grounding techniques. For other self-care strategies, see the Enhancing the Well Being of Support People section of this training.

A Note on Language

The language used to talk about sexual violence is ever evolving.  The term “victim/survivor” is used throughout this training, to refer to someone who has been subjected to sexual violence. We understand that not everyone who has been sexually violated identifies as a victim or a survivor. We chose to use “victim/survivor” due to its common usage by people who have survived sexual violence, activists and service providers, and the general public. We also use “victim/survivor” because it is succinct and clear.

We know that people who have been sexually violated are not solely defined by that experience. We alternate between “victim/survivor”, “person who has survived sexual violence”, “person who has been sexually violated” and “person who has been subjected to sexual violence” to reflect this fact.

Additionally, we acknowledge that in some instances the word “survivor” can have a broader meaning. For example, in Indigenous communities someone who has survived a Residential School may be referred to as a survivor (many of these people also survived sexual violence in the schools).  Visit the glossary page for more information on language.

We all have a role in making this world a better place for those who have survived sexual violence.

“This training was created through the commitment, compassion, expertise and care of a broad range of Nova Scotians. It is our hope that we can come together as a community to support those who have been impacted by sexual violence and ultimately prevent it from happening in the first place.”

- Provincial Committee on Training-