New sexual violence and harassment initiative makes Ontario campuses a priority

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On March 6, 2015, representatives of OCUFA were pleased to attend the launch of the Government of Ontario’s It’s Never OK: An Action Plan to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment. The plan is a wide-ranging and comprehensive document, and demonstrates Premier Kathleen Wynne’s commitment to fighting sexual violence and harassment in Ontario. The plan makes the reduction of sexual violence on university and college campuses a particular priority.

According to the plan, the Government of Ontario will:

  • Introduce legislation to require colleges and universities to adopt a sexual assault policy, developed with significant input from students, and renewed — with student involvement — every four years.
  • Ensure each campus has clearly stated complaint procedures and response protocols; effective training and prevention programs; and services and supports for survivors available 24/7.
  • Require universities and colleges to report publicly on incidence of sexual violence, as well as initiatives underway to address sexual violence and harassment, and their effectiveness.
  • Support initiatives by colleges and universities to reduce sexual violence and harassment, and ensure safe campuses.
  • Make sure all students have information about preventing sexual violence and harassment and are informed of resources and supports, starting with their first week of orientation and continuing throughout the year, for students in all years of study.

OCUFA commends the Premier and the Government of Ontario for making this issues a priority, and for outlining a multi-year, collaborative commitment to reducing sexual violence and harassment. We would also like to recognize the leadership of the Canadian Federation of Students – Ontario, who were instrumental in placing this issue on the public agenda and in shaping the provisions outlined in the Action Plan.

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