Promising Practices for Distance Counselling with Survivors of Sexual Violence

In the summer of 2021, the Ending Violence Association of Canada, Sexual Assault Centre Kingston (SACK), and Anova partnered to work on an initiative aimed at better understanding the impact of the shift to distance counselling due to the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the clear outcomes of the national survey on Promising Practices for Distance Counselling with Survivors of Sexual Violence was that participants wanted a professional development learning session focused on how to effectively “do” distance counselling. As such, we brought together a set of distance-specific, survivor-centred, trauma-informed, anti-oppressive, anti-racist therapeutic practices that promote: survivor safety, strong therapeutic alliance, technology applications, and improved access and inclusion. The free two-hour learning event was held on March 1, 2022 from 1-3pm EST.

Below are the recordings of the event (in both French and English) as well as the bios of the panelists. If you attended the event, and would like to provide feedback please do so here. If there are any resources that you have and would like included in a resource list we are compiling, please contact




Nicole Franklin
Nicole Franklin is a Registered Social Worker & Therapist and the Founder of Live Free Counselling Services. Live Free Counselling Services provides Professional Therapy Services to Black & BIPOC folks in Ontario, Mental Health & Wellness Speaking Engagements and Workshops, and Clinical Supervision and Mentorship. Nicole has over twelve years of experience working with diverse individuals and families from a trauma-informed, anti-oppressive lens. Nicole is committed to redefining self-care and increasing access to therapy & supports through our Black Mental Health Fund.
Contact: | | | | (647) 812-0845

Kim Allen
With over 25 years of experience working in the GBV sector, Kim Allen offers guidance and support to organizations who are seeking ways to build their capacity to use digital tools in frontline settings and interagency operations. Since 2016, Kim and her consulting team at PRIMANL GLOW Communications have been working with the Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres to test new and innovative strategies connected to technology to increase support to survivors of sexual violence and harassment. This work has included tech-related policy and procedure development, digital tool skills building, Understanding the Dynamics of Support on Digital Platforms training, and the creation of Safe Support Chat – an anonymous and secure online crisis support service developed specifically for the OCRCC member centres.
Contact: | | 343 305-1087 (text)

Trina Martin
Trina Martin is the Director of Counselling Services with the Sexual Assault Centre Kingston. She has been working with survivors of gender-based violence for nearly a decade, provided distance counselling to rural and youth survivors throughout the pandemic, and has been instrumental in the implementation of the distance counselling program at the Centre.
Contact: (613) 545-0762 ext. 3X114

Tanya Smith
Tanya Smith is the Director of Intervention Services at Sexual Violence New Brunswick and teaches part-time with the Schools of Social Work at St. Thomas University and Dalhousie University. At SVNB, Tanya coordinates the intervention services – sexual assault counselling, systems and victim advocacy, and the support line program. Tanya provides workshops, training, and consultation to service providers and organizations in the areas of sexual violence, intervention services, sexual violence trauma counselling, trauma-informed practices, and the impacts of trauma-exposed work.
Contact: | (506) 454-0460

Stephanie Montesanti
Dr. Stephanie Montesanti is an Associate Professor and Scientist wit the Centre for Healthy Communities at the University of Alberta’s School of Public Health. Her research advances critical actions to reorient health systems towards health equity through engaged scholarship. Her research applies a systems approach to the design, implementation, and evaluation of multi-level interventions that strengthen connections between health systems and communities, support healthy, resilient communities, and promote person-and-family-centred approaches to health services. She collaborates with health system leaders, decision-makers, front-line service providers, patients, and communities on tri-council funded projects in the areas of primary health care improvement, mental health and trauma-and-violence informed service delivery, patient-and-family centred care, and health system responses to family violence. During the COVID-19 pandemic she led rapid research to support the anti-violence sector in Alberta with the adoption and implementation of virtual and remote-based delivery of domestic and sexual violence interventions. This research informed the development of a handbook to support domestic violence specialists and sexual assault service providers to safely deliver their services and interventions virtually.

Chantal Gray
Chantal Gray is a Registered Social Worker and the co-founder of Winrose Oasis Counselling Services. Winrose provides distance psychotherapy services with a focus on supporting women and families. Chantal has earned a Master of Social Work degree from Ryerson University and has had years of experience providing crisis, intervention and support services to survivors and their families. Chantal believes in the importance of community care and aims to provide a space for each person she works alongside to be seen, heard, and supported on their journey.
Contact: | |

Promising Practices for Distance Counselling with Survivors of Sexual Violence
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