York U, Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic announce partnership to provide enhanced counselling services


York University’s Sexual Violence Response Office is now partnering with the Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic to provide enhanced access to personal counselling services for community members who disclose or report sexual violence experienced while they have been registered and/or employed at York.

“When it comes to supporting community members who have experienced sexual violence, we work from a survivor-centric model,” said Debbie Hansen, Executive Director of York U’s Centre for Sexual Violence Response, Support & Education. “York University has made a commitment to strengthen community supports and resources and today’s announcement represents very important progress.”

The Barbra Schlifer Clinic will provide prompt access to personal counselling for up to 10 one-hour sessions to each community member referred for services through the Sexual Violence Response Office.  The community member and clinic counsellor will be able to choose to conduct counselling sessions at the Clinic’s location or on campus.

“We are very pleased to be partnering with York. The Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic is a unique multidisciplinary agency. We provide counselling, housing support, interim legal advice and interpreter services to survivors of sexual violence. Our skilled and compassionate staff work from a client-centred strength-based model that is trauma informed,” said Lynne Jenkins, Director of Counselling, Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic.

Prior to this partnership, York students already had and continue to have access to personal counselling by experienced professionals on campus, through York’s Personal Counselling Services.

York also continues to provide other supports and services for community members who have experienced sexual violence, including academic and employment-related accommodations, student financial support, student housing options and employee assistance program options.

The partnership has resulted in part from York’s commitment to expanded support for sexual violence survivors which also included the University’s Sexual Violence Policy released in December 2016. York University is committed to creating an environment where all people feel welcome, valued, and safe and to providing the services, programs and resources that will ensure our entire community is supported and empowered.

York University is known for championing new ways of thinking that drive teaching and research excellence. Our students receive the education they need to create big ideas that make an impact on the world. Meaningful and sometimes unexpected careers result from cross-discipline programming, innovative course design and diverse experiential learning opportunities. York students and graduates push limits, achieve goals and find solutions to the world’s most pressing social challenges, empowered by a strong community that opens minds. York U is an internationally recognized research university – our 11 faculties and 26 research centres have partnerships with 200+ leading universities worldwide. Located in Toronto, York is the third largest university in Canada, with a strong community of 53,000 students, 7,000 faculty and administrative staff, and more than 295,000 alumni. York U's fully bilingual Glendon campus is home to Southern Ontario's Centre of Excellence for French Language and Bilingual Postsecondary Education.

The Barbra Schlifer Commemorative Clinic is a specialized clinic for women experiencing violence, established in the memory of Barbra Schlifer – an idealistic young lawyer whose life was cut short by violence on the night of her call to the bar of Ontario on April 11, 1980.  In her memory, the Clinic assists approximately 4,000 women a year to build lives free from violence through counselling, legal representation, and language interpretation. Since opening in 1985, the Clinic has assisted more than 60,000 women.

Media contact: Barbara Joy, Director, Media Relations, barbjoy@yorku.ca, 416-736-5593