Student Voices on Sexual Violence release data results

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Waterloo Undergraduate Student Association
Sat, 02/29/2020 - 13:00

Content warning: References to sexual violence, including sexual violence perpetrated at the University of Waterloo 

On February 27, the Council of Ontario Universities released in-depth data from the Student Voices on Sexual Violence survey. The results are troubling and highlight the ongoing need for improvement at the University of Waterloo, and increased supports from the provincial government.  

In partnership with OUSA, WUSA advocated for additional provincial funding through the Women’s Campus Safety Grant as one of its four priorities at Student Advocacy Week in November.  

The report found that 59% of Waterloo students had experienced sexual harassment in the 12 months before the survey, and that 18% of Waterloo students had experienced some form of sexual assault. These numbers are disturbing, and are only some of the problematic statistics from the survey. Across Ontario the story is the same, with a systemic problem with sexual violence on our campuses. Whenever the health, safety or rights of students are threatened by an issue, we are dedicated to standing up.  

The culture needs to change, and we need better supports. WUSA’s Students’ Council is soon renewing its Sexual Violence Prevention and Response policy to affirm our commitment to this. We are also committed to helping the University of Waterloo’s Sexual Violence Response Coordinator’s office wherever we can.

We also take pride in having advocated to the University to increase mental health capacity on campus and continue to explore additional opportunities. If any student has ideas on how we can support survivors, or prevent sexual violence and harassment from occurring, please email our President. 

WUSA is ready to advocate to our partners in higher education, and collaborate with them to fight sexual violence and sexual harassment. We are willing to work hard to protect the rights of students, and we look forward to the day where sexual harassment and sexual violence numbers are zero. 

Support 

If you have been personally impacted by sexual violence, please know the following resources are available to you: 

Crisis Support: 

For any form of support relating to sexual violence, you can call the Sexual Assault Support Centre’s 24/7 crisis line at 519-741-8633.

For health support relating to sexual violence, Waterloo Region’s Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Treatment Centre at St. Mary’s hospital can be reached at 519-749-6994.

If in crisis outside of normal business hours and require police support on campus, campus police can be reached by calling 519-888-4911. 

Visit Counselling Services and Health Services between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., throughout the week. Health Services is located in the Health Services building between the Student Life Centre and St. Jerome’s University. Counselling Services in on the 2nd floor of Needles Hall North.  

Non-Crisis Incident Reporting, Peer and Other Support: 

The Waterloo Sexual Violence Response Coordinator is a great first point of contact for non-emergency resources in the university, and will advise you on your rights to privacy under University Policy 42 before entering discussions. You can email the Coordinator, Meaghan Ross, to set up a meeting or reach her diretly at 519-888-4567 ext. 40025. 

WUSA’s Equity Seeking Services can provide peer support. MATES provides general peer support and can be reached by making an appointment through their easy-to-use form. The Women’s Centre may provide support for gendered violence, the Glow Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity can provide support for sexual violence or harassment linked to sexuality or gender, and RAISE can help provide support racialized victims of sexual violence or harassment.  

If you have had negative experiences or wish to report an incident about anyone or anything on campus, including resources that were not helpful, please make use of our confidential (optionally anonymous) Incident Reporting Form.

More resources can also be found on the Sexual Violence Response Coordinator’s website