Feedback sought on drafted sexual assault policy

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Following the release of the updated draft of Queen’s sexual assault policy, the University is seeking feedback on its planned course of action regarding sexual violence, prevention and response.

An interim sexual assault response policy was first drafted in January 2015 following a front-page feature story by The Toronto Star released the previous November. The story stated that universities were “failing sex assault victims” and included an account from a former Queen’s student, who said the University’s lack of support after she was assaulted damaged her mental health severely.

Since then, the drafted permanent policy has been in the works. The first draft was released in June 2015 by the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Working Group (SAPRWG).

This year, SAPRWG has been working on a new draft, which was released last week. The latest draft has been modified to align with new provincial legislation and policies announced in October

The University says their policy addresses the issue of sexual violence on campus and outlines the support offered to survivors along with steps for awareness, education, training and reporting of sexual assault on campus.

By aligning itself with Ontario legislation, the updated draft now uses the same set of criteria as other educational institutions across Ontario.

Queen’s also announced the creation of a Queen’s Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Coordinator position in December.

The position will be another step in a string of smaller improvements that include sexual violence education programming during Orientation Week and updated educational resources.

Any individual wishing to comment upon the draft of the policy, available here, is asked to contact policies@queensu.ca, with feedback being accepted until Feb. 2, 2016.

 To see the timeline in full screen click here.

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