What Canadian Colleges and Universities are doing to prevent sexual abuse/harassment By: Shayla Kelly

Bill 132, is a new law that all of Ontario Colleges and Universities have to follow. It is about preventing sexual danger in colleges and universities, making people understand that consent comes first and they are to provide a place to talk about sexual assault

how the bill was made:

FIRST READING (October 27, 2015) Any idea for a new law or a change to current law is written down.

SECOND READING (December 2, 3, 8, 9, 2015) The bill is given a Second Reading in the House it is starting from, where the parliament debates the idea of the bill

THIRD READING (March 7, 8, 2016) The parliament will debate it again. Sometimes they can change their minds about a bill.

ROYAL ASSENT (March 8th, 2016) Once everyone agrees with it, it is given to the Governor General for Royal Assent (final approval), and it can become a law.

What different colleges are doing to help educate students about sexual abuse and harassment and also PROMOTING awareness

Laurier adopts new policy on sexual violence

Wilfrid Laurier University has implemented a new policy on gendered and sexual violence

“It covers our commitment to survivors, our commitment to education” says Lynn Kane who is the manager of gendered and sexual violence.

Their focus is on survivors

The University's main goal is to provide their students with options and letting everyone know that they have supports on campus

The policy also outlines Lauriers commitment to education, prevention, support and accountability which is including promoting good bystander behaviour.

There was a safety survey done over eight months, it included nearly 3,000 students from Waterloo and Brantford whom helped guide the policy

11% of students said that they have experienced unwanted sexual contact, the higher rates were the females, LGBTQ+ and ones whom with a self-identified physical or mental health condition.

Also the study showed that 7 of 323 students who have identified that they have been through sexual abuse while they were in university

50% of on campus people knew about services

The other 50% of people did not know of the services that were provided

The reason why they are starting a policy now is that a group of Laurier students went to administration and requested a specific policy for sexual violence since the college did not have one.

Ryerson University

The Office of Sexual Violence Support and Education launched in this past summer and it is also a website for people to access the phone numbers of the Ryerson Security

They are making it clear that consent comes first

According to them that there are five things to remember: It’s okay to not be okay, I’m writing a new story, My voice matters, I trust myself, I have the right to be safe

They also have five things to say: I believe you, It’s not your fault, Consent comes first, You are not alone, You choose what to do next

There are also activities based on the learning of sexual violence.

Ryerson believes that survivors should guide the process to healing

But they are there to provide options or the students

They got Farrah Khan whom is their offices co-ordinator, she is there to support the survivors and she also promotes awareness and education, she also promotes for them to use the resources in the college for support

Ms. Khan launched a community education campaign called “Be BRAVE” and it is a model for if spoken to about sexual violence, students, faculty, and staff can respond in the right way and do something about it

The model is giving ideas of a number of things to say to survivors through posters, postcards, and the ‘We Believe You’ coloring (book.http://www.ryerson.ca/content/dam/sexual-violence/images/WeBelieve_RU_ColouringBook.pdf )

University of Toronto

The university of Toronto released its draft policy on sexual violence on the date of September 7 2016

The commitments included: All members of the University of Toronto community should have the ability to study, work and live in a campus environment free from Sexual Violence.

Toronto University is committed to making available programs and resources to educate its community, on the prevention of and response to Sexual Violence. ECT.

The result was: an 18-month consultation and research period. The final policy needs to be approved by the end of the fall semester before the government’s January 2017 deadline

In addition to the policy, the school has created another policy on education and prevention of sexual abuse

A key element of the school’s new policy is the development of a new Sexual Violence Prevention and Support Centre that will be in all three campuses, this will be the first point of contact to disclose or report an incident

They are in the process of hiring an Executive Director. This person will oversee the school’s prevention and response initiatives when it comes to sexual violence on campus

Until then, students are incouraged to go to safety.utoronto.ca

At the start of the semester of 2016, the university delivered mandatory skills training to orientation leaders and residence life staff.

Learn how to respond to sexual assault disclosure

How to engage students in the prevention of sexual violence

And are given a list of campus resources

And the university is undergoing a campaign called Understand Consent

York University

Currently in the process of developing a new sexual violence policy

The university has established a Sexual Violence Policy Working Group, but they are to develop a draft policy

The draft policy will undergo a series of consultations before it is passed

“The voices of survivors are critical to the policy development process,” says Samina Sami, executive director of community safety

The university currently offers resources and services through its Sexual Assault Survivor’s Support Line & Leadership:

Students can find a 24-hour support line at anytime during the semester

As well as walk-in support year round at the university’s student centre office

The university centre provides educational outreach programs and information sessions

Humber College

Humber’s sexual assault and sexual violence policy started in March of 2015

The school has since been focusing on a multi-pronged approach:

Response protocols

Student counselling

and efforts to keep conversations about prevention of sexual assault happening

The college has launched a program called Consent is Sexy and it is run by a group of students supported by staff members of the college

The Consent is Sexy crew promote the definition of consent in a:

Respectful

Optimistic

And appropriate manner with students

As well as provide them with the appropriate resources

Another initiative is the Bystander Intervention programs, the goal is to educate individuals to intervene in an incident in order to stop it before it could get worse

Can I Kiss You presentation is a mandatory session for all first year students of Humber College

“It’s all about how you ask for consent and how do you engage in that activity,” says Jen McMillen, the dean of students of Humber College

The school is also asking its students to sign a pledge to help end sexual violence on campus

The Pledge is up to 1,488 signatures, the last time I checked

George Brown College

The colleges current sexual assault and sexual violence policy came into effect in March of 2015 and will be reviewed in 2018

The website is where students and faculty can find the school’s official policy statement

Important definitions about consent

And resources on how to report and respond to sexual violence.

They also launched a peer-to-peer program where there is training in various programs at the school

They undertook a consent campaign during its fall orientation:

where students were given card holders with “yes” or “no” written on them

To place on the back of their phones

Condoms and stickers were also given to students during orientation, on the importance of consent on them

The college really wants to ensure everyone in the building knows what to do if someone discloses to them that they’ve been sexually assaulted

The human rights advisor hopes the program will continue to expand and gain awareness on the various campuses

Seneca College

Was the right thing to do in terms of supporting students

With also giving the students the resources they need to cope

Students can better understand their rights and responsibilities

Learn where to file a report if they choose to do so

They also provide myths versus facts students may have when it comes to sexual violence.

Additional prevention initiatives were launched including:

Peer-to-peer student consent training

Also active bystander training

They launched a social media campaign using the hashtag #ShatterTheSilence

The goal is to get people talking about sexual violence and prevention within the school community

Currently in the process of hiring a counsellor who will deal specifically with sexual assault response and prevention on campus

INTERVIEW questions:

1. What has your school done to prevent sexual abuse/rape?

2. Do you feel like it is enough? Explain your reason

3. Has your College/University made students aware that it is okay to talk about abuse?

4. What could your College/University promote that it is okay to come forward and talk about it?

5. What do you feel like you could do to promote awareness to get people talking about sexual abuse?

6. What do you define as sexual abuse?

7. What would you do or say if someone came out to you and said ‘I have been abused’?

8. How do you feel like most sexually abused children/teenagers end up?

9. What has your College/University done to educate you and your fellow students on abuse in general?

10. If you had the chance to do anything to help out with abused teenagers, would you?

INTERVIEW answers:

Alyssa Baldwyn

Conestoga College

What has your school done to prevent sexual abuse/rape?

We have improved security such as security guards and cameras

Do you feel like it is enough? Explain your reason

I personally feel like there it is not enough as students still get verbally sexually harassed

Has your College/University made students aware that it is okay to talk about abuse?

My college has made it aware to talk about abuse, we have counselors available everyday from 9am to 6pm, there is also group therapy sessions in the school.

What could your College/University promote that it is okay to come forward and talk about it?

Our school could improve on promoting their counselling and therapy more

What do you feel like you could do to promote awareness to get people talking about sexual abuse?

To promote people to be aware that they can talk about sexual harassment, I would suggest counselling and not being scared to seek help , hopefully the help will not make the victim re victimized

What do you define as sexual abuse?

Sexual abuse is having sexual relation with someone, but one of the people are not willing to which becomes forced

Julie Philip

George Brown Culinary Teacher

I asked her the 10 questions and this is what she said to me:

The college has a sexual harassment policy in place… With links and resources available for anyone who feels they need help or assistance The link is http://www.georgebrown.ca/publicsafety/aprilmay_message/

Our counselling services and human rights are available for anyone at any time and they take reports VERY seriously. There is even a hotline that can be called and an extension number that can be accessed from any classroom phone in the college.

We as instructors are also trained to spot potential problems, we all complete mandatory training, however we can only encourage the student to explore counseling or report abuse.

One of the things that I do personally is to talk openly about my own experiences working in professional kitchens but not in detail, but just to let them know that things are different now a days and how frustrating it was years ago to find a balance and feel safe. And I have had students come to me afterwards asking advice. I feel great that I can help them by guiding them to the help that is available.

Things are different now with regards to getting help for abused people/children and how they deal, it does depend on the abused though and just how much help they will even accept and the resources that are available to them.

Not all schools are as vigilant as George Brown to support the wellbeing of their students. I am very proud of where I work and how they keep with training and support for our staff and students.

And of course I would help out with abused teenagers even if it was just making them some cupcakes

Katie Gansevles

Sheridan College (Trafalgar Campus)

What has your school done to prevent sexual abuse/rape?

I do know however that they offer security guard walks. Whenever you need to walk anywhere around campus you can contact the security office and they will walk you.

Do you feel like it is enough? Explain your reason

No. I believe that my college should go the next step and prevent sexual abuse/ rape by having public speakers come in and have cameras in more parking lots on campus.

Has your College/University made students aware that it is okay to talk about abuse?

My college sends out frequent emails regarding free counselling through the school. They also have posters throughout the school promoting counselling.

What could your College/University promote that it is okay to come forward and talk about it?

My college could promote that it’s okay to come forward and talk about it by having club meet or public speaker.

What do you feel like you could do to promote awareness to get people talking about sexual abuse?

Although sexual abuse can be a touchy subject, I could promote getting people talking about it more by creating a Facebook page or blog where people can anonymously write about their past experiences and what they have done to help cope.

What do you define as sexual abuse?

To me, sexual abuse is when one forces sexual actions upon another who is unwilling.

What would you do or say if someone came out to you and said ‘I have been abused’?

I would appreciate them coming forward and telling me. I would open up to them about my own personal experiences and support them by looking into counselling, or take further action by contacting the police (if person agrees)

How do you feel like most sexually abused children/teenagers end up? What has your College/University done to educate you and your fellow students on abuse in general?

I feel like a lot of sexually abused children and teenagers end up scarred for the rest of their lives. Without seeking help they are more likely to be hurting for many years and not be able to heal properly.

If you had the chance to do anything to help out with abused teenagers, would you?

I most defiantly would help any teenager’s who have been abused. I and many teenager friends who are close to me, have been in abusive relationships (emotionally/mentally) and I don’t think it’s talked about as much as it should be! From my own personal experiences therapy, has helped me tremendously.

WORKS CITED

"Laurier Adopts New Policy on Sexual Violence - TheRecord.com." N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Nov. 2016.

@torontoist. "What Toronto Colleges and Universities Are Doing to Address Sexual Violence | Culture | Torontoist." Torontoist. N.p., 2016. Web. 05 Dec. 2016.

"Research Guides: Government Information: Canada: How a Federal Bill Becomes a Law." How a Federal Bill Becomes a Law - Government Information: Canada - Research Guides at Queen's University. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Dec. 2016.

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