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Tackling sexual assault on campus

Tackling sexual assault on campus

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In response to a call for increased awareness ­regarding resources available to survivors of ­sexual assault, Queen’s has developed an interim sexual assault support and response protocol that is now in place while a permanent sexual ­assault policy is developed.

The protocol was developed by a subcommittee of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Working Group (SAPRWG). The document also acts as a compilation of the available resources at Queen’s for survivors of sexual assault.The interim protocol was released on Jan. 16, 2015.

“This protocol is an important step in the development of a comprehensive sexual assault policy for Queen’s,” says Arig al Shaibah, Chair of the SAPRWG and Assistant Dean of Student Affairs ­(Student Life and Learning). “We recognize the ­urgency surrounding the matter of a centralized policy and plan to have a full set of policy recommendations this spring.”

Throughout 2015, meetings of the full SAPWRG and the subcommittee will continue with consultation with community members and stakeholders to help in the development of the policy recommendations as well as additional recommendations ­related to prevention and support.

“Queen’s is committed to providing support for survivors of sexual assault and fostering a campus environment that is free from harassment, discrimination and violence. As principal I would like Queen’s to be an active participant in discussions concerning the prevention and response to sexual assault on Canadian campuses,” says Daniel Woolf, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Queen’s, who met with SAPWRG in late November to discuss the group’s work and priorities for the next several months.

It was at this meeting that SAPWRG members ­decided to establish the subcommittee that would include policy and legal experts to aid in the creation of a sexual assault policy for Queen’s.The meeting was a result of Principal Woolf’s ­direction to SAPWRG to expedite its specific ­recommendations for the university on enhancing and creating programs and initiatives that address sexual assault.

“Media reports published during the fall semester highlighted a need for the increased visibility of resources for survivors of sexual assault, not just at Queen’s but at a number of Canadian universities,” says Principal Woolf. “I’ve been impressed by the dedication shown by members of SAPWRG concerning their past work and future plans to tackle the ­issue of sexual assault on campus, and all of the members of our community who work tirelessly to support survivors and provide education and training related to sexual assault.”

Updates to the Queen’s community on the progress of policy development and consultation will be provided regularly and will be available on the Queen’s Gazette website.

SAPWRG is a network of students, faculty, and staff who convene to mobilize efforts to prevent and respond to sexual assault on campus. The membership of the policy development subcommittee includes:

  • the University Secretary
  • University Legal Counsel
  • University Ombudsperson ­
  • Human Rights and Equity Director
  • Sexual Harassment Prevention Coordinator and the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs

In drafting the interim protocol, the subcommittee consulted with ­Human Resources, Faculty Relations, Health Counselling and Disability Services, Residence Life and Campus Security and Emergency.

Find more information on the Sexual Assault ­Prevention and Response Working Group. This page also contains a link to the interim sexual assault protocol.

[cover of Queen's Review 2015-1]