Western University has updated their Sexual Violence Policy to take action in preventing sexual violence and providing better support to victims.
One in four women in Canada will experience sexual violence in their lifetime and university-aged women are five times more likely to experience sexual violence than others. Western is committed to creating a safe and respectful environment so that all members have the right to study, learn, work, and research in an atmosphere free of sexual violence.
Initiatives of the new policy include:
– Establishment of a sexual violence policy: the foundation of Western’s commitment to providing and maintaining an environment in which sexual violence is not tolerated
– Revamped website with more information and support: to victims, campus, and the community
– Procedures set in place for responding to sexual violence: to support members of campus community, regardless of where an incident of sexual violence occurred
– The establishment of a Sexual Violence Prevention Education Committee: responsible for training initiatives, response protocols, and an awareness campaign that is expected to launch this fall
– The “See Something. Do Something” video: featuring male leaders from across Western’s campus speaking out against sexual violence
Angie Mandich is the Acting Associate VP Student Experience at Western University and says this is another effort Western University provides to enhance the student experience.
“We’re all in this together” she says, “if we see something, we need to do something. It’s really key for us at Western to make sure that our students are supported, and that they feel welcome.”
The website states, “any and all acts of sexual violence will be addressed and individuals who have committed an act of sexual violence will be held accountable. Simply put, sexual violence is not tolerated at Western.”
Mandich says it’s important for a University to have this type of support.
“We’re going to really try and create an awareness on campus to reduce stigma, and for students to feel comfortable if they’ve been sexually assaulted or they know a victim of sexual violence. We want them to feel comfortable coming forward and getting support.”
More information on the updated policy can be found on Western’s website.