|Title:||Sexual Violence Policy|
|Effective Date:||July, 2016|
|Approved By:||Administrator, March 2015|
|Last Revision:||August 15, 2019|
|Next Review:||December 2020|
All members of the MacMillian Institute of Applied Health Sciences (‘the College”) community have a right to work, study and live in an environment that is free from any form of sexual violence. This Policy and its related Sexual Violence Procedures set out the way in which the College addresses sexual violence. It encourages due diligence in the prevention of sexual violence, ensures that those affected by sexual violence are believed when they seek support from the College and are appropriately accommodated. This Policy ensures that the College has a fair and reasonable investigation process that protects the rights of all individuals and holds individuals who have committed an act of sexual violence accountable. It is this Policy’s intention to make individuals feel comfortable about making a report and/or filing a formal complaint in good faith about sexual violence that they have experienced or witnessed.
This Policy applies to incidents of sexual violence that occur on College property that involve a member of the College community.
This Policy also applies to incidents of sexual violence involving a member of the College community that occur off College property:
at any College-sanctioned program or event that may or may not pose a subsequent risk to the safety of College community members; or
at any time (i.e., non-sanctioned program/event or general course of life) and that pose a subsequent risk to the safety of College community members while on College property or which are sufficiently linked to and affect the College community.
This Policy relates to acts of sexual violence. Issues of sexual harassment or discrimination and other related misconduct shall also be reviewed/managed under this policy, and cross referenced when required with the College’s Harassment and Discrimination Prevention Policy and Procedures, Violence Prevention Policy and Violent and Criminal Incident Response Procedures.
3.1 Sexual assault: Any type or form of unwanted sexual contact without mutual consent done by one person to another that violates the sexual integrity of the survivor and involves any form of unwanted sexual activity, including but not limited to, kissing, touching, groping, fondling, oral sex and vaginal or anal intercourse. Sexual assault is characterized by a broad range of behaviours that may include, but are not limited to, the use of force, threats, or control towards a person which makes that person feel uncomfortable, distressed, frightened, threatened, or that is carried out in circumstances in which the person has not freely agreed, consented, or is incapable of consenting.
3.2 Sexual harassment: One or a series of comments, behaviours, communications, or conduct of a gender-related or sexual nature that is/are known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome, offensive, intimidating, hostile or inappropriate. This includes behaviour conducted in whole or in part through electronic means, such as email, web postings, text messaging, and other forms of electronic behaviour. Examples include, but are not limited to, gestures, remarks, jokes, slurs, taunting, innuendo, graffiti/songs/chants, non-consensual posting of pictures/videos, aggressive comments and slurs on any form of social media or otherwise, verbal assault, unwanted physical contact, invitations, leering, the display of sexually offensive material, sexual solicitation, advances or demands, unwanted attention, implied or express promise of reward or benefit in return for sexual favours, or an implied or express threat or act of reprisal if sexual favours are not given.
3.3 Sexual violence: Any sexual act or act targeting a person’s sexuality, gender identity or gender expression, whether the act is physical or psychological in nature, that is committed, threatened or attempted against a person without the person’s consent, and includes sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, indecent exposure, voyeurism and sexual exploitation.
3.4 Consent: The voluntary and explicit agreement to engage in the sexual activity in question. It is the act of willingly agreeing to engage in specific sexual behaviour, and requires that a person is able to freely choose between two options: yes and no. This means that there must be an understandable exchange of affirmative words, which indicates a willingness to participate in mutually agreed-upon sexual activity. It is also imperative that everyone understands the following:
Silence or non-communication shall never be interpreted as consent and a person in a state of diminished judgment cannot consent.
A person is incapable of giving consent if they are asleep, unconscious or otherwise unable to communicate.
A person who has been threatened or coerced (i.e., is not agreeing voluntarily) into engaging in the sexual activity is not consenting to it.
A person who is drugged is unable to consent.
A person is unable to give consent when incapacitated by the use of alcohol and/or drugs.
A person may be unable to give consent if they have a mental disability preventing them from fully understanding the sexual act(s).
The fact that consent was given in the past to a sexual or dating relationship does
Page 3 of 11
not mean that consent is deemed to exist for all future sexual activity.
A person can withdraw consent at any time during the course of a sexual encounter.
A person is incapable of giving consent to a person in a position of trust, power or authority, such as, a faculty member initiating a relationship with a student who they teach or an administrator in a relationship with anyone who reports to that position.
Consent cannot be given on behalf of another person.
It is the responsibility of the initiator of sexual activity to ensure clear and affirmative responses are communicated at all stages of sexual engagement. It is also the initiator’s responsibility to know if the person they are engaging with sexually is a minor.
3.5 Disclosure: When someone affected by sexual violence informs a College community member about an incident of sexual violence on or off campus. A disclosure is distinct from a report or formal complaint.
3.6 Employees: Persons who are on the College’s payroll and work for or provide services to the College on a permanent, contract, full-time or part-time basis, whether unionized (belonging to a bargaining unit) or not, including administration, faculty and staff.
3.7 Formal complaint: When a survivor of sexual violence requests Campus Security to formally investigate and resolve a complaint of sexual violence.
3.8 Member of the College community: Any employee, member of the Board of Governors, member of the MacMillian Institute of Applied Health Sciences Student Association Inc. (CCSAI), student, contractor, supplier of service, individual directly connected to any College initiative, volunteer, and visitor.
3.9 Report: When someone affected by sexual violence, or a witness or a community member that has received a disclosure, reports the incident to Campus Security.
3.10 Reprisal: Any harassment, intimidation, discipline, demotion, or termination or threat to do so with the intent to compel a College community member to abstain from filing a complaint, disclosing, or reporting an incident of sexual violence or to retaliate against a College community member who has filed a complaint, disclosed, or reported such an incident or who is suspected of doing so.
3.11 Student: An individual who has been issued a student number from the College. They may be in the application stage or admitted, formerly enrolled, or registered in either a full-time or part-time course, either credit or non-credit, at the College, including when on a work placement that is part of their academic program, or when active in a program but not currently enrolled in classes.
This also includes an individual who was enrolled in a course or program when an alleged incident occurred. In this case the individual is deemed a student for the purpose of the investigation until the complaint and appeal processes have been completed.
3.12 Survivor: Someone who has experienced sexual violence may choose to identify as a survivor. Individuals might be more familiar with the term “victim”. We use the term “survivor” throughout this policy where relevant because someone who has experienced sexual violence may believe they have overcome the violent experience and do not wish to identify with victimization. It is the prerogative of the person who has experienced these circumstances to determine how they wish to identify.
Other Relevant Terms
3.13 Acquaintance sexual assault: Sexual contact that is forced, manipulated, or coerced by a partner, friend or acquaintance. See main definition of sexual assault.
3.14 Age of consent for sexual activity: The age at which a person can legally consent to sexual activity. In Canada, children under 12 can never legally consent to sexual acts. Sixteen is the legal age of consent for sexual acts. There are variations on the age of consent for adolescents who are close in age between the ages of 12 and 16. Twelve and 13 years-old can consent to have sex with other youth who are less than 2 years older than themselves. Youth who are 14 and 15 years old may consent to sexual involvement that is mutual with a person who is less than 5 years older. Youths 16 and 17 years old may legally consent to sexual acts with someone who is not in a position of trust or authority.
3.15 Coercion: In the context of sexual violence, coercion is unreasonable and persistent pressure for sexual activity. Coercion is the use of emotional manipulation, blackmail, threats to family or friends, or the promise of rewards or special treatment, to persuade someone to do something they do not wish to do, such as being sexual or performing particular sexual acts.
3.16 Cyber sexual violence: Any act that includes but is not limited to knowingly publishing, distributing, transmitting, selling, making available or advertising an intimate image of a person, without obtaining that person’s express consent to that conduct. An intimate image includes but is not limited to a visual recording of a person made by any means, including a photographic, digital or video recording in which the person is nude, exposing their genital organs, anal region or breasts, or is engaged in sexual activity. For the purpose of this Policy, sexual violence includes cyber sexual violence.
3.17 Drug-facilitated sexual assault: The use of alcohol and/or drugs (prescription or non-prescription) by a perpetrator to control, overpower or subdue a person for purposes of sexual assault. See main definition of sexual assault.
3.18 Rape culture: A culture in which dominant ideas, social practices, media images, and societal institutions implicitly or explicitly condone sexual assault by normalizing or trivializing sexual violence and by blaming survivors for their own abuse.
3.19 Stalking: A form of harassment that involves behaviours that occur on more than one occasion and which collectively instill fear in the victim or threaten the victim/target’s safety or mental health. Stalking can also include threats of harm to the target’s friends and/or family. These behaviours include, but are not limited to, non-consensual communications (face to face, phone, email, social media); threatening or obscene gestures; surveillance; sending unsolicited gifts; “creeping” via social media/cyber-stalking; and uttering threats.
4.1 Sexual violence is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. We are committed to challenging and preventing sexual violence and creating a safe space for anyone in our College community who has been affected by sexual violence. The College is expected to be a safe and positive space where members of the College community feel able to work, study and live, and express themselves in an environment free from sexual violence.
4.2 Anyone who has been affected by sexual violence has the right to:
be treated with dignity and respect,
be believed when they seek support,
be informed about on- and off-campus services and resources,
decide whether or not to access available services and to choose those services they feel will be most beneficial,
decide whether to report to campus security and/or local police,
have an on-campus investigation with the College’s institution’s full cooperation,
have a safety plan and
have reasonable and necessary actions taken to prevent further unwanted contact with the respondent(s)alleged perpetrator(s).
4.3 All reported incidents of sexual violence will be investigated and in a manner that ensures due process as per the Sexual Violence Procedures and the Harassment and Discrimination Prevention Procedures. The College does not have the jurisdiction to address allegations made against a person who is not a member of the College community. However, in the event of such allegations, the College will provide support to complainants who are members of the College community and may be able to take measures such as restricting access to campus by the person against whom allegations are made.
4.4 We recognize that sexual violence can occur between individuals regardless of sexual orientation, gender and gender identity, relationship status, class or culture as articulated in the Ontario Human Rights Code. We also recognize that individuals who have been affected by sexual violence may experience emotional, academic or other difficulties.
4.5 We are committed to
assisting those who have been affected by sexual violence by providing choices, including detailed information and support, such as provision of and/or referral to counselling and medical care, information about legal options, and appropriate academic and other accommodation, as per the Sexual Violence Procedures;
ensuring that those who disclose that they have experienced or have been affected by sexual violence are believed when they seek support, and that their right to dignity and respect is protected throughout the process of disclosure, investigation and institutional response;
addressing harmful attitudes and behaviours (e.g., adhering to myths of sexual violence and sexual assault) that reinforce that the person who has been affected by sexual violence is somehow to blame for what happened;
treating individuals who disclose sexual violence with compassion recognizing that they are the final decision-makers about their own best interests;
ensuring that on-campus (internal) investigation procedures are available in the case of sexual violence, even when the individual chooses not to make a report to the police;
engaging in appropriate procedures for investigation and adjudication of a complaint which are in accordance with College policies, standards and applicable collective agreements, and that ensure fairness and due process;
ensuring coordination and communication among the various departments who are most likely to be involved in the response to sexual violence on campus;
engaging in public education and prevention activities;
providing information to the College community about the Policy and the Sexual Violence Procedures;
providing appropriate education and training to the College community about responding to the disclosure of sexual violence;
contributing to the creation of a campus atmosphere in which sexual violence is not tolerated; and
monitoring and updating our policies and procedures to ensure that they remain effective and in line with other existing policies and best practices.
5. Reporting and Responding to Sexual Violence and Sexual Assault
This Policy must be read in conjunction with the Sexual Violence Procedures. Only a summary is provided below.
5.1 Any member of the College community may report a sexual violence complaint. An allegation of sexual violence may be reported anonymously or by someone other than the complainant.
5.2 All College employees (who are not employed by the College as health care providers) have a duty to and must immediately report incidents of sexual violence involving a member of the College community they witness or have knowledge of, or when they have reason to believe that sexual violence has occurred or may occur.
5.3 Members of the College community who have experienced sexual violence are encouraged to come forward to report as soon as they are able to do so as per the College’s Sexual Violence Procedures.
5.4 A disclosure is not the same as a report and may not initiate an investigation process. An individual affected by sexual violence may make a disclosure and choose not to report or may report at a later date.
5.5 All employees of the College in a position of authority, including teaching and support staff, administrators, and other employees directing the activities of others, shall take immediate action to respond to or to prevent sexual violence from occurring.
5.6 Where the College becomes aware of incidents of sexual violence that pose a risk to the safety of members of the College community, the College shall take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of the College community.
6. Complaints and Investigations
6.1 A complaint of sexual violence can be filed under this Policy by any member of the College community. The Sexual Violence Procedures set out further details respecting the complaint/report process and the handling of investigations.
6.2 The College will seek to provide procedural fairness to both complainants and respondents in dealing with all complaints as outlined in the Sexual Violence Procedures, Harassment and Discrimination Prevention Procedures, and Violent and Criminal Incident Response Procedures.
6.3 A complainant has the right to withdraw a complaint or choose not to participate in an investigation at any stage of the process. However, the College may continue to act on the issue identified in the complaint in order to comply with its obligation under this Policy and/or its legal obligations.
6.4 All members of the College community who have witnessed or have knowledge of sexual violence have a duty to cooperate with a College investigation.
6.5 Protection from Reprisals, Retaliation or Threats
It is contrary to this Policy for anyone to retaliate, engage in reprisals or threaten to retaliate against a complainant or other individual(s) for
having pursued rights under this Policy or other related College policy or procedures and regulations/laws;
having participated or co-operated in an investigation under this Policy or other related College policy or procedures and regulations/laws; or
having been associated with someone who has pursued rights under this Policy or other related College policy or procedures and regulations/laws.
The College takes reasonable steps to protect persons from reprisal, retaliation and threats. This may entail, for example, directing individuals in writing to refrain from engaging in reprisal, retaliation, or threatening retaliation and sanctioning individuals for a breach of this duty. The College may also address the potential for reprisal by providing an accommodation appropriate in the circumstance.
6.6 Unsubstantiated or Vexatious Complaints
If a person, in good faith, discloses or files a sexual violence or sexual assault complaint that is not supported by evidence gathered during an investigation, that complaint will be dismissed.
Disclosures or complaints that are found, following investigation to be frivolous, vexatious or bad faith complaints, that is, made to purposely annoy, embarrass or harm the respondent, may result in sanctions and/or discipline against the complainant.
7.1 Confidentiality is particularly important to those who have disclosed sexual violence. The confidentiality of all persons involved in a report of sexual violence must be strictly observed, and the College does its best to respect the confidentiality of all persons, including the complainant, respondent, and witnesses by restricting routine access to information to individuals with a need for such access and by providing education and training to those who are regularly involved in the administration of reports and complaints.
7.2 However, confidentiality cannot be assured in the following circumstances:
an individual is at imminent risk of self-harm;
an individual is at imminent risk of harming another; and/or
there are reasonable grounds to believe that others in the College or wider community may be at risk of harm.
In such circumstances, information would only be shared with necessary services to prevent harm, and the name of the survivor would not be released to the public.
7.3 Where the College becomes aware of an allegation of sexual violence by a member of the College community against another member of the College community, the College may also have an obligation to take steps to ensure that the matter is dealt with in order to comply with the College’s legal obligation and/or its policies to investigate such allegations. In such cases, certain College administrators will be informed about the reported incident on a “need to know” and confidential basis, but not necessarily of the identities of the persons involved.
8.1 An annual report shall be provided to the MacMillian Institute of Applied Health Sciences Board of Governors and sent to the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU). The report shall contain the following information:
The number of times supports, services and accommodation related to sexual violence are requested and obtained by employees and students enrolled at MacMillian Institute, and information about the supports, services and accommodations.
Any initiatives and programs established by the College to promote awareness of the supports and services available to students.
The number of incidents and complaints of sexual violence reported by students, and information about such incidents and complaints.
The implementation and effectiveness of this Policy.
This report shall not include personal information within the meaning of section 38 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (for example: survivor, respondent and witness information).
8.2 This Policy and the related procedures shall be reviewed and amended as required and at a minimum of every three (3) years.
9. Related Procedures
Sexual Violence Procedures #BG101-03.
10. Cross Reference to Other Existing Policies or Regulations
Academic Collective Agreement
Criminal Code of Canada
Disruptive Student Behaviour in the Classroom and other Learning Environments Policy
Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA)
Free Speech Policy
Harassment and Discrimination Policy and Procedures
Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities Act
Occupational Health and Safety Act
Occupational Health and Safety Policy
Ontario Human Rights Code
Statement of Respect
Student Accommodation Policy – Facilitating Student Success
Student Code of Conduct Policy
Student Code of Conduct Complaint Procedures
Student Code of Conduct Appeal Procedures
Support Staff Collective Agreement
Trespass to Property Act
Violence Prevention Policy
Violent and Criminal Incident Response Procedures
Work Refusal Procedures
11. Policy Ownership