MONTREAL -- The statistics are startling: It's estimated one in four university students experiences some form of sexual assault during their post-secondary education.

That's part of the reason why the Concordia community, including students, has worked together to open up the Sexual Assault Resource Centre on campus, offering free, confidential assistance to students, resource and staff.

“It can be a nice space for survivors to come together and to talk with each other and share their experiences and I think that can be very empowering to them,” said Jennifer Drummond – known as JD – who, armed with a Master’s degree in social work, is now in charge of the new resource centre.

Drummond is there to listen, and to help.

“I respect and unconditionally support what a survivor wants to choose and what they choose is based on the fact that they're the expert on their own lives and what is best for them based on their individual needs at that moment,” she said.

Located on the Sir George Williams Campusand available to all staff and students, the centre has officially been open a week.

While the resource center is focused on survivors, Drummond said it's also about providing outreach and education programs because there are still so many myths out there regarding sexual assault, including that most attacks are by strangers.

The truth is just the opposite, said Drummond.

“A boyfriend, a husband, a colleague, a classmate, a friend,” she said.              

Sometimes the lines of consent are also blurred, she said.

“I think there is a need for education around what is consent and what is sexual assault and sexual assault can be any unwanted act of a sexual nature,” she said.

Students say they appreciate the fact they have somewhere to turn to on campus.

“Knowing that women who have been victimized have somewhere to go and talk to, that's important,” said one student. “It's important for people to have an outlet.”

“I think silence isn't always good. If you keep stuff in… it's good to get stuff out there and make it known. It does happen. I think having this place available to people is a good idea,” said another.

For now, Drummond’s key goals are spreading awareness about the existence of the centre and training a team of volunteers – all in hopes of empowering and protecting the Concordia community.

The Concordia Sexual Assault Resource Centre is open Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is located on the third floor of the Guy-Metro Building (1550 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W.) on the Sir George Williams Campus.