‘Sexual assault is a community issue that requires a community response’
From police officers and community workers to university staff, administrators and students — approximately 150 stakeholders came together on Monday, March 20, to share solutions and talk policy related to sexual assault on campus.
“It was the fifth and final Journée de réflexion held across the province with the goal of consulting and informing new legislation relating to sexual assault for colleges and universities,” says Jennifer Drummond, coordinator for Concordia’s Sexual Assault Resource Centre (SARC).
Drummond attended along with Lisa Ostiguy, Concordia’s deputy provost, and Melodie Sullivan, senior legal counsel with the university’s Legal Services.
Concordia was one of many institutions that submitted a preliminary document to the ministry in December. It outlined the university’s official policies on handling sexual assault and described the prevention work and support to survivors provided by SARC.
“They're looking at best practices across the province and then using those to inform the legislation,” Drummond explains.
Participants workshopped three main themes: prevention and raising awareness, how to best support survivors making reports and personal security issues.
‘Concordia is following recommendations
In hearing about the work being done on other campuses, Drummond, Ostiguy and Sullivan say they felt proud of Concordia’s survivor focused policy on sexual violence.
We have made great progress, in terms of our policy, our way of handling complaints, our prevention work and awareness raising,” Drummond says.
For Drummond, the meeting was a gratifying and informative experience.
“It reminded me that this is a community issue that requires a community response.”
Attend the Journée de réflexion post-consultation summary, hosted by Concordia’s Sexual Assault Resource Centre (SARC), on Thursday, April 13, from 12 to 1 p.m. in the Health Services conference room (GM 200).