We want to hear your feedback on what WUSA can do to better support Gender-Based and Sexual Violence Prevention and Response at the University of Waterloo!
“Sexual violence is any sexual act or act targeting a person’s sexuality, … whether the act is physical or psychological in nature, that is committed, threatened or attempted against a person without consent” (University of Waterloo, 2019). “Gender-based violence is any act that is violent in nature committed against someone based on their gender identity, gender expression, or perceived gender” (Dunne, Greene, Hackett, Huang, Porter, & Rehman, 2020). While there is a lot of overlap in the two categories and they are often grouped together, it’s important to recognize the distinction between the two. WUSA currently has a policy on Sexual Violence Prevention and Response (SVPR), and are working on updating the policy to include Gender-Based Violence Prevention and Response (GBVPR) to better reflect the needs of undergraduate students.
The Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance (OUSA) has identified gender inequality and underrepresentation to be a prevalent issue in postsecondary institutions, and are concerned this may lead to Gender-Based Violence. OUSA also found many postsecondary campuses do not have the resources to effectively handle incidents of GBV. According to a 2018 Stats Canada survey, 1 in 3 women (33%) and 1 in 8 men (13%) report experiencing unwanted sexual behaviour in public. WUSA has and will continue to advocate for Gender-Based and Sexual Violence Prevention and Response.
Here are just a few of the ways we’re committed to taking that on:
- Updating the SVPR Policy to include Gender-Based Violence Prevention and Response and recommendations for the University on how to create greater awareness of GBSVPR supports
- Working with the University to review Policy 42: Prevention of and Response to Sexual Violence
- Creating a safer and more welcoming campus that deters Gender-Based and Sexual Violence
- Asking for more effective response options from the University
- Normalizing conversations about Gender- Based and Sexual Violence that are trauma-focused and survivor-centric
- Better supporting our peer support volunteers and student-run services
- Improving WUSA’s ability to respond to disclosures of sexual violence through our organization wide code of conduct
- Requiring all WUSA employees to complete the self-registration Learn module on Sexual Violence Awareness: Referral and Support
- Continuously collecting and implementing feedback from undergraduate students to update and improve the policies and work that we do
Please keep in mind this is still a work in progress! In the meantime, we would love for you to share your feedback with us on WUSA’s SVPR Policy and other supports through this link here. We want to know what you think about current GBSVPR services on campus, as well as any improvements you feel WUSA can help make. Your responses will be kept confidential and no data will be published that can make you identifiable.
Please note that due to the subject, this form may ask questions of a sensitive nature (e.g. have you disclosed or reported an incident of sexual violence before) but you may skip any question or close the form at any time.
We look forward to hearing from you and appreciate your time and support. Check out the links below for the resources we mention on Instagram.
Responding to Disclosure on Campus
UW Sexual Violence Response Coordinator
UW Counselling Services
Sexual Assault Support Centre (SASC) of Waterloo Region
WUSA’s Sexual Violence Policy
OUSA’s GBV and Sexual Violence Policy
University of Waterloo’s Sexual Violence Policy