U of T has published the findings of a 15-month, tri-campus review of the university’s dealing with sexual violence on campus.

Released on Tuesday, the report lists five recommendations to be considered by the university, which includes the establishment of an institutional policy against sexual violence, the establishment of a centre for victims of sexual violence, and further education and training for students, faculty, and staff, among other recommendations made by U of T’s Provostial Committee on Prevention and Response to Sexual Violence.

Among recommendations to provide further education on sexual violence, specific recommendations include educating staff, faculty, and students on the topic of consent.

Also included in the report are a set of four principles to guide U of T’s treatment of sexual violence.

Among the principles, the report sets out “to create an environment where staff, students, and faculty are safe to learn, work, and live” and that U of T “recognizes that language must be sensitive to the experiences of the individual who has experienced sexual violence”.

Principles also include the establishment of practices and guidelines to ensure “procedural fairness” for both the accused and the accuser.

Also included in the report were the results of consultations with 298 U of T students and staff.

Results reported 39 percent of students would choose to report an incident of sexual assault to Campus Police, while 29 percent would report an incident to the police.

“The recommendations of the committee seek to impact both immediate and longterm efforts to prevent and respond to sexual violence for the University of Toronto community,” wrote committee co-chairs Angela Hildyard, U of T’s VP human resources and equity, and Sandy Welsh, U of T’s vice-provost, students.

The committee, originally formed in November 2014 by U of T president Meric Gertler and VP and vice-provost Cheryl Regehr, is made up of university administration, students, and staff, including UTSU president Ben Coleman and recent UTM alumna Absiola Olaniyi.

1 comment

  1. If there is going to be a discussion about the ever-burning questions revolving around ‘She said, he said …’ then a reading of the proceedings of the (sexual assault) trial of former CBC host, Jian Ghomeshi, would be an object lesson. Here is an excerpt from a column by Christie Blatchford of the National Post (2016.02.11)

    “TORONTO — Whatever else, the courtroom at Old City Hall, where the sex assault trial of Jian Ghomeshi ended Thursday, was generally a lousy place to be for a woman.

    Everywhere you looked, there were women being caught in lies or omissions on the witness stand and then resorting to justifications for their evasive conduct taken straight from the therapist’s couch or latest self-help book; women being escorted in and out of the courtroom by protectors from the victim-witness office; women being soothed, IRL and online by their supporters, who took to labelling certain blogposts or tweets with “trigger warnings,” lest, God forbid, victims of sexual assault should accidentally wander onto a dangerous opinion or factual situation and be re-traumatized.”


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