From training and providing awareness and prevention education to students, faculty and staff, to safety initiatives such as WalkSafe programs, all of Ontario’s universities offer a wide range of support services to ensure students affected by sexual violence get the help they need.
Sexual Violence Online Hubs
Each Ontario university also has a dedicated sexual violence online hub that lists the supports and resources available on and off campus.
Below are direct links to the online sexual violence resources hubs at each Ontario university:
Sexual Violence Policies
Every Ontario university has an official sexual violence policy.
Sexual Violence Support Centres
Most universities also have dedicated sexual violence support centres on campus where full-time staff provide prevention information, advice and support to anyone on campus who has been affected by sexual violence.
Support and Counselling Available 24/7
Support for students who need to report an incident or receive counselling is available 24/7.
- For example, after-hours support is available through residence staff, campus security, helplines or off-campus services that can be accessed through the university’s online support hub.
- Additionally, Good2Talk is a free, confidential helpline providing professional counselling and information and referrals for mental health, addictions and well-being to postsecondary students 24/7, 365 days a year.
Education and Prevention Programs
All of Ontario’s universities have a wide and expanding range of initiatives that train and provide awareness and prevention education to students, faculty and staff, as well as safety initiatives such as WalkSafe programs.
Education and prevention programs play a large role during orientation and continue throughout the academic year.
Below are just a few examples of initiatives on university campuses across Ontario:
- Algoma University has a training program, Our Community: Our Responsibility, for athletics and residence advisors, a campus safety presentation for international students, and has extended hours and added teams to boost its student-run WalkSafe
- Brock University recently created the post of Sexual Violence Response and Education Coordinator, offers training for students and staff on sexual violence prevention and bystander training, and works with students on awareness campaigns.
- Carleton University holds regular training workshops, including Responding to Disclosures of Sexual Violence and Bringing in the Bystander intervention training, and is embarking on a three-year prevention and education strategy.
- Lakehead University
- Offers staff and students sexual violence prevention and education workshops and online training.
- Established Sexual and Gender-based Violence Task Force to review current SGBV policy and education programs and recommend revisions to the University’s Board of Governors.
- Is participating on the National Communities of Practice to End Sexual Violence focused on the impact of SGBV on international students.
- Is partnering with the Northwest Women’s Centre (Thunder Bay) on a multi-year project to analyze SGBV supports in the community and to develop new SGBV initiatives in Thunder Bay.
- Is looking at bringing women’s self-defense to Lakehead, known as Empowering Self-Defense Now, in partnership with the Northwest Women’s Centre.
- Conducted first all-staff/management SGBV training for Lakehead’s Thunder Bay campus pub.
- Is hosting it’s first symposium to highlight the voices of sexual and gender minorities (February 2020).
- Laurentian University offers an e-learning module on responding to disclosures of sexual violence, and has safety measures such as Safe Walk and Work Alone program for staff and students working alone after hours.
- McMaster University
- Makes sexual violence awareness a central theme of its orientation programming, provides mandatory training for student residence leaders, and created the BeAHuman awareness and empathy campaign.
- Reviewed and approved Sexual Violence policy in December 2019.
- Is establishing new Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Office in 2020, along with the hiring of a new Director for the office
- Nipissing University
- All staff working in residences must attend bystander and disclosure training, and Consent Crews provide outreach and information to students at events year-round, including orientation.
- Launched a new Nipissing Safe app which includes embedded information on Sexual Violence Policy and response opportunities as well as direct links to campus and community resources.
- Expanded offerings of educational programming to now incorporate five different Sexual Violence programs offered across the institution to various student, staff and faculty groupings.
- Rebranded NU Listens campaign and expanded outreach to faculty and staff and is launching a new CONSENT WEEK in the winter semester.
- Health and wellness and security staff take ‘train-the-trainer’ workshops at Western University’s Upstander training program, and students produced a Create Consent ‘zine which is distributed at orientation and other events.
- Introduced a consent workshop for all new students through the Draw the Line initiative as part of Orientation 2019.
- Queen’s University
- Provides Bystander Intervention training sessions for staff and students, issues staff and faculty with a guide on responding to student disclosures of sexual violence, and has awareness programming such as Consent Week at the start of the academic year.
- Updated Sexual Violence policy, procedures and appeal system in May 2019
- Created Sexual Violence Task Force (restructured from our preexisting working group)
- Revised programming based on an analysis of NCHA (National College Health Assessment) data as it relates to issues of sexual violence
- Created survivor centric meeting space for students who wish to file a complaint of sexual violence.
- Created additional position in development for sexual violence education and training; there are two full-time positions in this area
- Released Board report on Sexual Violence publicly
- Developed sexual violence competencies documents for investigators to ensure internal or external investigators all demonstrate established competencies
- Had 4 staff participated in Osgoode intensive training course on responding to sexual violence on campus course
- Conducting an analysis of our education and prevention efforts and our response efforts against the Federal Government’s Courage to Act Report
- Ryerson University holds prevention and education initiatives such as Consent on Tap to training campus bar and restaurant staff, and Take Care RU, a training program on bystander invention.
- Trent University provides workshops and other sexual violence training through its Consent At Trent initiative and partners with Fleming College and community organizations on an education and awareness campaign, #DoYouTalkConsent.
- The University of Guelph
- Created the SAFEGryphon personal safety smartphone app for students, provides response and prevention training for staff and residence advisors, and runs various consent education programs, including at high profile events such as St. Patrick’s Day.
- Established the Sexual Violence Support and Education Office as part of the integrated Student Wellness Services.
- Is developing a mandatory Sexual Violence and Harassment online learning module for all students who will live in Residence, all athletes, all students engaged in peer-to-peer support programs, and all Student Affairs student employees. The mandatory learning module will come into effect for Fall 2020.
- Ontario Tech
- Provides two training modules on sexual violence for all faculty and staff, and offers RISE, a series of prevention and education workshops for students.
- Launched a #WeGetConsent campaign this year.
- The University of Ottawa has Sexual Violence Prevention Mobile Teams of students to foster consent and prevention awareness, and offers training programs such as bystander education.
- The University of Toronto launched a sexual violence action plan in 2017 creating Sexual Violence Prevention Support Centres on each campus, and has introduced a new suite of online Sexual Violence Education and Prevention training modules for staff and students, as well as in-person training and workshops.
- The University of Waterloo provides online training on sexual violence awareness and response to staff and students, holds an annual campus Consent Week campaign, and is expanding its ‘train the trainer’ programs on responding to sexual violence reports.
- Western University has pioneered a new Responding to Disclosures of Sexual Violence training program that it plans to roll out on its own campuses and offer to other universities. It also developed the Upstander training program on bystander education and holds consent education events at orientation and throughout the year.
- At Wilfrid Laurier University, a student task force has been created to consult on the university’s sexual violence policy development and the university offers training and workshops through its Sexual Violence Education Action Committee. The university’s Consent is Golden initiative spreads information on prevention to students through social media and programming.
- The University of Windsor
- Offers Flip the Script, a 12-hour sexual violence resistance training program for women three times per semester, and its Bystander Initiative has delivered training workshops on preventing sexual violence to more than 1,200 students.
- Offers Bystander Initiative, a training workshop on preventing sexual violence, is available to all first-year students.
- For the past two years, UWindsor has offered a 3-hour disclosure training for interested faculty and staff.
- York University provides awareness training programs for staff and students, is adopting the new Responding to Disclosures of Sexual Violence staff training module created by Western University, and has teams of students who are Active Bystander Facilitators to promote intervention and consent awareness.