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Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Working Group

The Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Working Group is a network of students, faculty and staff convened to mobilize efforts to prevent and respond to sexual assault on campus. The working group is advisory to the Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs and works collaboratively to effect change at the individual, institutional and cultural levels, thereby contributing to a safer campus environment for Queen’s students.   

April 2015: Invitation to complete Campus Climate Study

Queen's students are encourage to participate in a study through a 15 minute on-line survey that will examine student perceptions and experiences with incidences of certain types of sexual and physical experiences in relationships on campus. The results will provide important information about our campus climate and help us enhance our sexual assault prevention and response efforts.

This survey has been granted clearance according to the recommended principles of Canadian ethics guidelines and Queen's policies. Responses are confidential and completely voluntary. You are free to withdraw at any time for whatever reason without penalty by just exiting the survey before the end. You are not obliged to answer any questions that you find objectionable. 

If you are 18 years of age or older, and agree to participate in this survey, please click here to begin

Should you experience any emotional or psychological discomfort or distress while answering the survey, please contact Queen's Outreach Counsellor, specializing in sexual assault counselling, Hagar Akua Prah, at hagar.prah@queensu.ca or call her at 613 633 6000 x 78441, or you can contact the Kingston Sexual Assault Centre's 24/7 crisis line at 613 544 6424.

Winter Term 2015: Consultation Process on Interim Protocol

Since February 2015, the Working Group has been seeking campus feedback on the interim Sexual Assault Support and Response Protocol in the following five areas:

  • Support and Response, including best practices in support systems and resources as well  as response teams and protocols;
  • Prevention, including best practices in awareness-raising campaigns as well as bystander intervention training and skill-building;
  • Environment, including suggestions to address social, cultural, and institutional factors to minimize systemic barriers to effectively preventing and responding to sexual assault;
  • Policy, including a comprehensive policy with associated procedures and guidelines; and
  • Assessment and Evaluation, including mechanisms to continue to research best practices, assess program impacts, and evaluate progress on and efficacy of various recommendations and initiatives.

Students, faculty and staff were invited to participate by completing an on-line survey (now closed), attending four open meetings held on campus in late February and early March, and/or by attending a confidential meeting or focus group discussion. These meetings and small focus groups were held to obtain feedback from key campus and community informants and constituents, including Residence Dons, AMS Peer Support Centre volunteers, the Director of the Sexual Assault Centre Kingston, Gender Studies faculty members, etc. Thank you to everyone who participated! 

Next steps 

The working group's ad hoc policy committee, that developed the interim Sexual Assault Support and Response Protocolhas been consulting best practices and stakeholders, including faculty, staff, students and community groups, to develop a permanent Sexual Assault Policy and associated procedures for the university. 

The working group, as a whole, has been focusing on developing a comprehensive set of recommendations to address and enhance the prevention of and response to sexual assault, through the broad consultation process detailed above.

Both the policy committee and the working group are expected to complete their progress reports and recommendations by April 30, 2015. 

Working Group Objectives

  • Provide a forum to discuss emerging issues and initiatives related to sexual assault;
  • Collect local and nation-wide information to understand campus context and develop practices;
  • Improve communication and information-sharing among campus partners and allies;
  • Inventory and suggest enhancements to policies, programs, services and resources; and
  • Develop and implement campus-wide initiatives to support prevention and response.

Membership 2014-2015

Arig al Shaibah, Assistant Dean Student Affairs, Student Life and Learning & Assistant Professor Gender Studies & Geography Departments (Chair)
Erica Baker, Equity Commissioner, Society of Graduate and Professional Students
Meredith Chivers, Associate Professor and Director of Sexuality and Gender Laboratory, Department of Psychology 
Margot Coulter, Sexual Harassment Prevention Coordinator, Human Rights Office 
Fatima Couto,  Clinic Manager, Student Health Services, HCDS
Christine Grossutti, Graduate Student-at-large
Kate Humphrys, Health Promotion Coordinator, Health, Counselling and Disability Services (HCDS)
Chauncey Kennedy, Director, Residence Life   
Ashley Ratcliffe, Levana Gender Advocacy Centre representative 
Nadia Sawaya Fehr, Outreach Counsellor,  Residence Life 
Doulton Wiltshire, Director, Sexual Health Resource Centre
Emily Wong,  Social Issues Commissioner, Alma Mater Society 

Policy Subcommittee Membership

Arig al Shaibah, Assistant Dean Student Affairs (Student Life and Learning) & Assistant Professor Gender Studies and Geography Departments
Irène Bujara, University Equity Advisor 7 Director of the Human Rights and Equity Office
Margot Coulter, Sexual Harassment Prevention Coordinator, Human Rights Office 
Lon Knox, University Secretary
Lisa Newton, University Consel
Stephanie Simpson, Associate Director, Human Rights Office
Harry Smith, University Ombudsman
Doulton Wiltshire, Director, Sexual Health Resource Centre
Emily Wong, Social issues Commissioner, Alma Mater Society 


Since its establishment in July 2013, the working group has met regularly and:

  • Developed a mandate and terms of references, and established a core membership of faculty, staff, and students. Membership has grown in response to identified needs;
  • Recognized the need to approach sexual assault using a socio-ecological framework, i.e., an institutional wide effort from administration, faculty/staff, students and a multi-level focus on programs that aim to raise awareness, prevent incidents of assault, educate, provide support services and resources for survivors, develop and implement policies and protocols to respond to incidents/allegations, and undertake ongoing assessment and evaluation;
  • Developed a draft inventory of existing resources, programs, protocols and policies, identifying gaps that would inform recommendations for new and/or enhanced interventions and initiatives;
  • Applied for and secured funding from the Women’s Campus Safety Fund to pilot a joint Student Affairs and Sexual Health Resource Centre peer-led co-curricular educational program using the Bringing in the Bystander curriculum designed by the University of New Hampshire;
  • Endorsed a successful proposal to the Student Affairs Balkwill Fund to support a pilot Psycho-Educational Group for Survivors of Sexual Assault (PEGaSUS), which launched in Fall 2014 and is co-facilitated by the Outreach Counsellor/Student Life Advisor (JDUC) and a Residence Outreach Counsellor;
  • Created a forum for faculty, staff, and students with mandates to educate on/respond to sexual assault to share, discuss and collaborate on interventions and initiatives;
  • Developed an interim Sexual Assault Support and Response Protocol for the university (December 2014); and
  • Completed a broad cross-campus consultation process to seek input on the protocol and on recommendations for the university.


Crisis Response Resources 

Steps to take after a Sexual Assault - Queen's Poster, January 2015 - Best printed on 11x14 (PDF, 78KB)

What to do if you are sexually assaulted, HCDS Brochure, Queen's University, 2014 (PDF, 500KB)

Other Resources

Report on policies, procedures and support programs in place to address incidents of sexual assault at Queen's, University Counsel, August 2014 (PDF, 948KB) 

Interim Sexual Assault Support and Response Protocol, December 2014 (PDF, 931KB)