Disclosing to others

Whether the disclosure of sexual violence is spontaneous or planned, it is a courageous step to take. Indeed, people who have suffered from sexual violence may have to overcome several fears before talking about what happened. To name a few, the myths and biases that contribute to stigma and guilt felt by victims, the reactions of people around them, the collapse of their family or conjugal system, or the fear of diving right back into their painful and traumatic memories. Still today, these concerns are legitimate because many people continue to blame victims for the sexual violence they have endured.

This said, the benefits of disclosure can be significant. For example, certain people may find that it helps to break the silence and obtain support from their surroundings. Moreover, if people join in together to disclose sexual violence, it can help create a societal network of solidarity. At CPIVAS, we remain available for every resident of Laval wishing to start or continue their disclosure process.

Receiving a disclosure

Receiving a disclosure is just as precious as the disclosure itself. People around the victims may feel confused or wonder about the best methods of intervention in order to provide helpful support to those who broke the silence with a heavy secret. Here are a few tips:

  • Remain calm and use a reassuring tone of voice;
  • Check whether the person is in danger and contact authorities if so;
  • Believe the person;
  • Listen without interrupting or trying to obtain non-essential details;
  • Do not judge, people react the way they can during a sexual assault;
  • Do not minimize or dramatize;
  • Turn the responsibility of the sexual violence over to the perpetrator;
  • Do not try to convince the victim to press charges, respect the person’s pace;
  • Report the sexual assault to the Director of Youth Protection (DYP) without promising to keep it a secret when the victim is a minor

Contact Information

Phone: 450-669-9053

Fax: (450) 669-1658


Mon - Fri from 8am to 5pm

+1 888-933-9007

Postal Address

Post office box 27543
Pont Viau franchise
Laval, Québec, H7G 4Y2