Queen's Gazette | Queen's University

Search form

Board of Trustees receives first sexual violence report

Queen’s Board of Trustees received at its March meeting, the university’s first Sexual Violence Report that includes information about prevention, education and response services and programs, annual statistics reported to government, and information about the implementation and effectiveness of the Policy on Sexual Violence Involving Queen’s University Students, approved by the Board in 2016. 

The report covers the period Sept. 1, 2017 through Aug. 31, 2018, when 82 students sought support from the Office of the Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Coordinator, and 31 formal complaints of sexual violence were made. The data serves as a baseline, reflecting the first full year the policy was in place.

“These numbers suggest there is awareness of our policy, as well as campus response and support options, and that students are choosing to access the systems the university has put in place,” says Ann Tierney, Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs, who serves on the Council of Ontario Universities’ Reference Group on Sexual Violence. “No one should have to experience sexual violence of any kind. We know that sexual violence is generally underreported, and we hope those who feel they have experienced some form of sexual violence feel they are able to access the supports and processes that are available.”

Ontario’s Sexual Violence and Harassment Action Plan Act became law in March 2016. The Act requires each college or university have a policy on sexual violence, and to annually report to the provincial government using a common set of metrics. Annual reports to Boards of Trustees are also part of the legislation.  

“Sexual violence is a serious issue on post-secondary campuses,” says Barb Lotan, the Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Coordinator for Queen’s.  “It is important that campus community members know how to support and respond to individuals who experience sexual violence. Students are coming to me to access supports and services, and we are seeing increasing requests for education and training programs from faculty, staff and students.”

A variety of educational activities and initiatives are undertaken each year by many units on campus further to the university’s Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Framework. Ms. Lotan and the Division of Student Affairs collaborate with campus partners, including student groups, to implement an annual education strategy designed to promote a culture of consent, address issues of sexual violence, and facilitate access to support mechanisms for students affected by sexual violence. Programs and services are adjusted based on feedback and student needs, and the university is currently engaged in a consultative review of its policy, which it expects will be complete later this year.

Any student in need of support is encouraged to contact Queen’s Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Coordinator, Barb Lotan, at 613-533-6330, Student Wellness Services at 613-533-6000 ext. 78264, the Interfaith Chaplaincy at 613-533-2186, or Good2Talk – a 24/7 confidential and anonymous post-secondary student helpline at 1-866-925-5454. Faculty and staff members may contact the Employee and Family Assistance Program, at 1-800-663-1142.