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Subcommittee develops interim sexual assault protocol

The subcommittee of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Working Group (SAPRWG), tasked with developing a comprehensive sexual assault policy and procedures for Queen’s, has finalized an interim sexual assault protocol that will be put in place while the permanent policy is developed.

The interim protocol will provide a succinct and coherent compilation of Queen’s current position, processes, practices and approaches used in relation to sexual assault support and response.

“After research and consultation, we’re able to release an interim Sexual Assault Support and Response Protocol that will provide critical information for campus community members,” says Arig al Shaibah, Chair of SAPRWG and Assistant Dean of Student Affairs (Student Life and Learning).

Included in the interim protocol is information on existing processes and options for reporting complaints or disclosures, current campus and community support systems and resources, as well as statements affirming the university’s commitment to the survivor and its obligations to foster a campus environment that is free from harassment, discrimination and violence.

“The interim protocol is an important step to establishing a comprehensive sexual assault policy with associated procedures. The subcommittee will embark on campus and community consultations through the winter term and plans to present a draft policy and progress report with recommendations for the final policy and procedures by the end of April,” says Dr. al Shaibah.

Also included in the interim protocol are recommended steps to follow immediately after a sexual assault which includes information on safe places, where to get medical assistance, contact information for reporting an assault and counsellor contact information.

Commitments to survivors include treating the survivor with dignity and respect, providing non-judgmental and empathetic support and providing academic and work accommodations as appropriate.

The SAPRWG and the policy sub-committee will resume regular meetings this month and work collaboratively to accomplish their remaining tasks. While the sub-committee works on the policy recommendations, the larger working group will begin campus and community consultations to inform the development of a full set of policy recommendations, as part of a broader sexual assault prevention and response framework and strategy. The full set of recommendations is expected to be completed by April 30, 2015.

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 & Disability Services, Residence Life, and Campus Security & Emergency.

For more information on the steps to take after a sexual assault, follow this link.

Follow this link to read the interim sexual assault protocol.

More information on the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Working Group