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Report includes recommendations to make U of A campus safer, prevent sexual assaults
Published Monday, February 8, 2016 4:02PM MST
A group created to review what the University of Alberta was doing to prevent and respond to sexual assault, and educate students and faculty members has released the findings in a new report – including dozens of recommendations.
In November, 2014 The Sexual Violence Review Group was tasked with looking at activities, supports and services provided by the U of A to prevent and respond to sexual assault, and to educate people on campus.
A report was released by the group Monday, called Review of the University of Alberta’s Response to Sexual Assault – and it included a total of 46 recommendations covering six categories: education and prevention, support, formal complaints, policy, communications, and tracking and statistical reporting.
The recommendations included: the appointment of a “sexual assault prevention and response coordinator”, that would be situated in a high-profile area on campus, increasing education around sexual assault and consent, creating a stand-alone policy outlining expected behaviour and standards for the community, and training various staff and students on campus about these issues, for others to go to for guidance.
Officials at the U of A told CTV News ten of the recommendations would be enacted immediately, including:
- The creation of a one-page document on what to do when a sexual assault is disclosed
- Ensure mediation is not used to handle reported cases of sexual assault – saying conflict resolution isn’t appropriate when dealing with such cases
- A website should be created with information about consent, options for disclosure and information for people trying to decide if they should make a formal complaint
The remaining 36 recommendations have a one-year target.
Officials said about 2 to 3 percent of all sexual assaults reported to police are false allegations, and only about 9 percent of sexual assaults are reported to police.
According to Dr. Steve Dew, Provost and VP Academic, it’s hoped education will help ensure the safety of the community.
“Absolutely, education will be a big part of this, an education campaign,” Dew said. “It is our hope that, if the general student population understands what processes and mechanisms are in place that it won’t be intimidating and that they understand how easy it is to get help.”
With files from Nicole Weisberg