Board of Trustees receives 2018-19 internal sexual violence report

133 students contacted the Sexual Violence and Prevention office, 19 formal complaints made

Of the 133 students who accessed the Sexual Violence Prevention and Response office from 2018-19, 19 made formal complaints.
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Queen’s Board of Trustees received its second-ever internal sexual violence report at its Sept. 27 meeting, outlining data from the Sexual Violence Prevention and Response office for the 2018-19 year.

During the reporting period from Sept. 1, 2018 to Aug. 31, 2019, the report found that 133 students made contact with the Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Coordinator (SVPRC) to access support services, compared to 82 students in the 2017-18 year.

The internal report was first introduced in the 2017-18 year and outlines Queen’s-specific data on formal sexual violence complaints, as well as the number of students who contact the SVPRC to access support services.  

Of the students who sought support from the SVPRC, there were 19 formal complaints of sexual violence to the University, creating a total of 22 violations reported through the student non-academic misconduct system. This was a decrease from 31 formal complaints of sexual violence made in the 2017-18 year.

Barb Lotan, Queen’s sexual violence prevention and response coordinator, declined a request for comment. At the Board of Trustees meeting on Sept. 27, no questions were raised about the report for Tom Harris, interim provost and vice-principal (academic), who was responsible for presenting it to the Board.

According to the report, the 19 formal complaints made to the SVPRC included nine incidents of sexual assault, 11 incidents of sexual harassment, one incident of indecent exposure, and one incident of voyeurism. There were no complaints of stalking or sexual exploitation.

Students are not required to submit a formal complaint to access support or accommodations from the University. According to the report, 31 of the 133 students who contacted the SVPRC requested and were assisted with accommodation support, including exam deferrals, alternative class schedules, academic consideration, counselling, and alternative housing arrangements.

“It appears as though the communications strategy related to the complaint process and access to accommodations has been effective,” the report stated, although it acknowledged that effectiveness is difficult to measure and there is further work to be done to combat sexual violence.

These services may include filing a police report, safety planning, and accessing off-campus resources.

The report is complying with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and University Act (MTCU Act) Section 17 under Bill 132, which requires every university to have a sexual violence policy that addresses incidents of sexual violence.

While the MTCU Act only requires a policy review every three years, Queen’s updates the University’s report yearly for the Board.

According to the report, the Queen’s Implementation Team on Prevention and Response to Sexual Violence met three times during the 2018-19 reporting period. The report also stated the Sexual Violence Prevention and Response Task Force, formerly the Sexual Violence Prevention and Working Response Group, met a total of six times throughout the year. 

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