Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Working Group
The Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Working Group was established in 2013. It 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, to contribute to a safer campus environment for Queen’s students.
In March 2016, a sexual violence policy was approved by the university's Board of Trustees. It aligns with provincial legislation and its development was an iterative process, involving extensive consultation with campus stakeholders.
It was based on a draft policy developed by the working group and released in June 2015 as part of a detailed report that included recommendations to guide the university in addressing sexual violence. The working group's report represented the culmination of months of research, planning, and consultation with the Queen’s community, and an examination of best practices across the sector.
An implementation group that includes student representatives and members of the working group has prioritized the recommendations and set timelines for next steps, in consultation with the working group and its policy sub-committee.
In Fall 2015, new sexual violence prevention and education initiatives and resources were put in place for Orientation Week: New first-responder and bystander training was provided to all orientation leaders and student volunteers, dons and residence student leaders, counsellors and other first responders, including security staff; Queen's hosted Dr. Rachel Griffin, an American gender violence scholar who gave a talk to first-year students and staff; and consent and resource information was delivered to all first-year undergraduate students and incoming graduate students.
The university has also created a Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Coordinator position, based on the working group's recommendations. Barb Lotan is the central point of contact for students, staff and faculty, and leads campus-wide education, response, support, training and advocacy activities. Barb can be contacted at 613 533 6330 or Bjl7@queensu.ca or B502 Mackintosh-Corry Hall (in the Human Rights Office).
Should you experience any emotional or psychological discomfort or distress, please contact the Kingston Sexual Assault Centre's 24/7 crisis line at 613 544 6424 or call Counselling Services at 613 533 6000 ext. 78264 to make an appointment.
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.
Barbara Lotan (Co-Chair), Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Coordinator
Meredith Chivers, Associate Professor and Director of Sexuality and Gender Laboratory, Department of Psychology
Jennifer Dods, Director, Student Wellness Centre
Nadia Sawaya Fehr, Outreach Counsellor, Residence Life
Claire Gummo, Student-at-Large
Rachel Hayton, Director, Sexual Health Resource Centre
Kate Humphrys, Manager, Health Promotion, Student Wellness Services
Lea Keren, Social Issues Commissioner, Alma Mater Society
Nadia Mahdi, Levana Gender Advocacy Centre
Kate Murray, Director, Residence Life
Lisa Newton, University Counsel
Harry Smith, University Ombudsman
Carolyn Thompson, Vice-President University Affairs, Alma Mater Society
Jenny Williams, Society of Graduate and Professional Students
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 violence 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;
- Created a forum for faculty, staff, and students with mandates to educate on/respond to sexual violence to share, discuss and collaborate on interventions and initiatives;
- Developed an interim sexual violence support and response protocol for the university (December 2014);
- Completed a broad cross-campus consultation process that resulted in a report that includes recommendations to guide the university in addressing sexual violence, as well as a draft sexual misconduct policy (April 2015);
- Contributed to the development and implementation of new first-responder and bystander intervention training (Fall 2015);
- Supported new sexual violence prevention and education initiatives in Orientation Week 2015, including a visit and talk by the American gender violence scholar Dr. Rachel Griffin, who spoke to all first-year students;
- Provided input in the development of the university's sexual violence policy, approved by the Board of Trustees in March 2016.
Crisis Response Resources
Steps to take if you are sexually assaulted, March 2016- Best printed on 11x14 (PDF, 77KB)
Ontario Women's Directorate, Government of Ontario
Report on policies, procedures and support programs in place to address incidents of sexual assault at Queen's, University Counsel, August 2014 (PDF, 948 KB)
Report and Recommendations to guide the university in addressing sexual violence, April 2015 (PDF, 2.4 MB)
Queen's Sexual Violence Policy, March 2016