Ontario Government Takes Action to Protect Students From Sexual ViolencePublished on March 19, 2019
Ontario Government Takes Action to Protect Students From Sexual Violence
Province Doubles Investment to Help Prevent Sexual Violence on Campus
Ontario's Government is working for the people to support postsecondary institutions to prevent and address sexual violence on campus.
Today Dr. Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, released a summary report of the 2018 Student Voices on Sexual Violence Survey.
The summary report will provide postsecondary institutions with important information, including institution-level summaries, to inform their sexual violence response and prevention efforts.
To protect the privacy of participants, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities is engaging with the Information and Privacy Commissioner on the release of additional results to institutions and the public.
"Our government takes the safety and well-being of our students seriously," said Fullerton. "Our postsecondary institutions have a responsibility to protect students, and must do everything possible to ensure campuses are free from sexual violence. Our government has zero tolerance for sexual assault, harassment, and any other form of violence in our communities."
Minister Fullerton also announced the following immediate actions to protect students and address the serious issue of sexual violence affecting postsecondary students:
- Require every publicly-assisted college and university to report annually to its board of governors on a number of measures related to the experiences of and support for students who have experienced sexual violence.
- Doubling the government's 2018-19 investment in the Women's Campus Safety Grant to assist colleges and universities in supporting the prevention of sexual violence.
- Require every publicly-assisted college and university in Ontario to have a task force devoted to tackling sexual violence on campus. The task force would include diverse student representatives and be required to report its findings to both their respective Board of Governors as well as to the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities.
- Require every publicly-assisted college and university in Ontario to review their sexual violence policies, by September 2019.
"No one should have to worry about their safety on campus," concluded Fullerton. "These measures will help our publicly-assisted colleges and universities to address sexual violence and harassment."
- The Student Voices on Sexual Violence Survey was conducted to gather information about how respondents perceive, understand, and respond to sexual violence, as well their level of satisfaction with their institution’s sexual violence supports and services, if they disclosed their experience to staff or faculty at the institution. The survey did not limit students to reflecting on experiences that occurred on-campus only.
- Over 746,000 full-time students at Ontario’s postsecondary campuses were invited to respond to the survey between February and April, 2018.
- More than 160,000 students across Ontario participated in this voluntary survey.
- 26.5 per cent of university students, 16.3 per cent of college students, and 9.3 per cent of private career college students submitted surveys.
- Postsecondary institutions are required to have and post a standalone sexual violence policy which must be reviewed at least every three years.
- Institutions are currently required to collect information and report to the Minister or Superintendent as required on:
- Number of times supports, services and accommodation relating to sexual violence are requested and obtained by students and information about the supports, services and accommodations
- Number of incidents and complaints of sexual violence reported by students and information about incidents and complaints
- Any initiatives or programs by the college or university to promote awareness of the supports and services available to students
- Implementation and effectiveness of the institution’s policy