Sexual Assault and Sexual Violence PolicyPolicy Type: Governance Process
|Date Approved||December 8, 2016|
|Effective Date||December 8, 2016|
- This Policy applies to all members of the College community including all employees, governors, students, contractors, and suppliers of services, individuals who are directly connected to any College initiatives, volunteers, and visitors.
- This Policy supersedes all other policies in relation to sexual assault and sexual violence. The Board recognizes that lobbying on specific issues may involve joint action with the College administration, Colleges Ontario, Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan), or other interested parties. The Board also may lobby on its own.
All members of the Cambrian College community have a right to a work and study in an environment that is free from any form of sexual violence. This policy and its related protocol sets out the way in which we address sexual violence. It ensures that those who experience sexual violence are believed, and appropriately accommodated and ensures the College has a process of investigation that protects the rights of individuals and holds individuals who have committed an act of sexual violence accountable.
|Acquaintance sexual assault|
|Age of consent for sexual activity|
|Drug-facilitated sexual assault|
Sexual assault and sexual violence are unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Cambrian College is committed to challenging and preventing sexual violence and creating a safe space for anyone in our College community who has experienced or been affected by sexual violence. The College is expected to be a safe and positive space where members of the College community feel able to work, learn and express themselves in an environment free from sexual violence.
All reported incidents of sexual violence will be investigated to the best of the administration’s ability and in a manner that ensures due process. It is this policy’s intention to make individuals feel comfortable about making a report in good faith about sexual violence that they have experienced or witnessed.
We recognize that sexual violence can occur between individuals regardless of sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression or relationship status as articulated in the Ontario Human Rights Code. We also recognize that individuals who have experienced sexual violence may experience emotional, academic or other difficulties.
We are committed to:
assisting those who have experienced or been affected by sexual violence by providing choices, including detailed information and support, such as provision of and/or referral to counselling and medical care, information about legal options, and appropriate academic and other accommodation;
ensuring that those who disclose that they have been sexually assaulted are believed, and that their right to dignity and respect is protected throughout the process of disclosure, investigation and institutional response;
addressing harmful attitudes and behaviours (e.g. adhering to myths of sexual violence) that reinforce that the person who experienced sexual violence is somehow to blame for what happened;
treating individuals who disclose sexual violence with compassion, recognizing that they are the final decision-makers about their own best interests;
ensuring that on-campus (internal) investigation procedures are available in the case of sexual violence, even when the individual chooses not to make a report to the police;
engaging in appropriate procedures for investigation and adjudication of a complaint which are in accordance with College policies, standards and applicable collective agreements, and that ensure fairness and due process;
ensuring coordination and communication among the various departments who are most likely to be involved in the response to sexual violence on campus;
engaging in public education and prevention activities;
providing information to the College community about our sexual violence policies and protocols;
providing appropriate education and training to the College community about responding to the disclosure of sexual violence;
contributing to the creation of a campus atmosphere in which sexual violence is not tolerated; and,
monitoring and updating our policies and protocols to ensure that they remain effective and in line with other existing policies and best practices.
REPORTING AND RESPONDING TO SEXUAL VIOLENCE
Members of the College community should immediately report sexual violence incidents they witness or have knowledge of, or where they have reason to believe that sexual violence has occurred or may occur. Members who have experienced sexual violence are encouraged to come forward to report as soon as they are able to do so.
Persons in a position of authority, including persons directing the activities of others, shall take immediate action to respond to or to prevent sexual violence from occurring.
Where the College becomes aware of incidents of sexual violence by a member of the College community or against a member of the College community, which occur on or off College property and that pose a risk to the safety of members of the College community, the College shall take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of the College community.
COMPLAINT PROCESS AND INVESTIGATIONS
A complaint of sexual assault or any other kind of sexual violence can be filed under this Policy by any member of the College community.
The College will seek to achieve procedural fairness in dealing with all complaints. As such, no sanction and/or disciplinary action will be taken against persons or groups without their knowledge where there is an alleged breach of this Policy. Respondents will be given reasonable notice, with full detail of the allegations, and provided with an opportunity to answer to the allegations made against them.
Right to Withdraw a Complaint
A complainant has the right to withdraw a complaint at any stage of the process. However, the College may continue to act on the issue identified in the complaint in order to comply with its obligation under this Policy and/or its legal obligations.
Protection from Reprisals, Retaliation or Threats
It is contrary to this Policy for anyone to retaliate, engage in reprisals, or threaten to retaliate against a complainant or other individual for:
having pursued rights under this Policy or the Ontario Human Rights Code;
having participated or co-operated in an investigation under this Policy or the Ontario Human Rights Code; or
having been associated with someone who has pursued rights under this Policy or the Ontario Human Rights Code.
The College takes reasonable steps to protect persons from reprisals, retaliation and threats. This may entail, for example, advising individuals in writing of their duty to refrain from committing a reprisal and sanctioning individuals for a breach of this duty. The College may also address the potential for reprisals by providing an accommodation appropriate in the circumstances. Unsubstantiated or Vexatious Complaints
If a person, in good faith, discloses or files a sexual violence complaint that is not supported by evidence gathered during an investigation, that complaint will be dismissed. Colleges may wish to reference their own policies regarding recordkeeping.
Disclosures or complaints that are found following an investigation to be frivolous, vexatious or bad faith complaints, that is made to purposely annoy, embarrass or harm the respondent, may result in sanctions and/or discipline against the complainant.
Confidentiality is particularly important to those who have disclosed sexual violence. The confidentiality of all persons involved in a report of sexual violence must be strictly observed, and the College does its best to respect the confidentiality of all persons, including the complainant, respondent, and witnesses, by restricting routine access to information to individuals with a need for such access and by providing education and training to those who are regularly involved in the administration of reports and complaints
However, confidentiality cannot be assured in the following circumstances:
- an individual is at imminent risk of self-harm;
- an individual is at imminent risk of harming another; and/or
- there are reasonable grounds to believe that others in the College or wider community may be at risk of harm.
In such circumstances, information would only be shared with necessary services to prevent harm, and the name of the survivor would not be released to the public.
Where the College becomes aware of an allegation of sexual violence by a member of the College community against another member of the College community, the College may also have an obligation to take steps to ensure that the matter is dealt with in order to comply with the College’s legal obligation and/or its policies to investigate such allegations. In such cases, certain College administrators will be informed about the reported incident on a “need to know” and confidential basis, but not necessarily of the identities of the persons involved.
Related Policies / Directives / Regulations
- Workplace Violence Policy
- Campus Living Centres Residence Sexual Assault Policy and Procedures