Sexual assault and Violence Policy | APLUS Institute

APLUS Institute Sexual Assault and Sexual Violence Policy

This Policy applies to all APLUS Institute employees, students, contractors, suppliers of services, individuals who are directly connected to any College initiatives, volunteers, and visitors.

Definitions

Sexual assault: A criminal offence under the Criminal Code of Canada. Sexual assault is any type of unwanted sexual act done by one person to another that violates the sexual integrity of the victim and involves a range of behaviours from any unwanted touching to penetration. Sexual assault is characterized by a broad range of behaviours that involve the use of force, threats, or control towards a person, which makes that person feel uncomfortable, distressed, frightened, threatened, or that is carried out in circumstances in which the person has not freely agreed, consented to, or is incapable of consenting to.

Sexual violence: A broad term that describes any violence, physical or psychological, carried out through sexual means or by targeting sexuality. This violence takes different forms including sexual abuse and sexual assault.

Consent: The voluntary and explicit agreement to engage in the sexual activity in question. It is the act of willingly agreeing to engage in specific sexual behaviour, and requires that a person is able to freely choose between two options: yes and no. This means that there must be an understandable exchange of affirmative words, which indicates a willingness to participate in mutually agreed upon sexual activity. It is also imperative that everyone understands the following:

  • Silence or non-communication must never be interpreted as consent and a person in a state of diminished judgment cannot consent.
  • A person is incapable of giving consent if they are asleep, unconscious or otherwise unable to communicate.
  • A person who has been threatened or coerced (i.e. is not agreeing voluntarily) into engaging in the sexual activity is not consenting to it.
  • A person who is drugged is unable to consent.
  • A person is usually unable to give consent when under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
  • A person may be unable to give consent if they have a mental disability preventing them from fully understanding the sexual acts.
  • A person can withdraw consent at any time during the course of a sexual encounter.
  • A person is incapable of giving consent to a person in a position of trust, power or authority, such as, a faculty member initiating a relationship with a student who they teach, an administrator in a relationship with anyone who reports to that position.
  • Consent cannot be given on behalf of another person.

It is the responsibility of the initiator of sexual activity to ensure clear and affirmative responses are communicated at all stages of sexual engagement. It is also the initiator’s responsibility to know if the person they are engaging with sexually is a minor.

Note: For information purposes only, the Criminal Code defines “consent” as follows:

Consent: The voluntary agreement to engage in the sexual activity in question. No consent is obtained, where

a) the agreement is expressed by the words or conduct of a person other than the complainant;

b) the complainant is incapable of consenting to the activity;

c) the accused induces the complainant to engage in the activity by abusing a position of trust, power or authority;

d) the complainant expresses, by words or conduct, a lack of agreement to engage in the activity; or

e) the complainant, having consented to engage in sexual activity, expresses, by words or conduct, a lack of agreement to continue to engage in the activity.

Other Relevant Terms

Acquaintance sexual assault: Sexual contact that is forced, manipulated, or coerced by a partner, friend or acquaintance.

Age of consent for sexual activity: The age at which a person can legally consent to sexual activity. In Canada, children under 12 can never legally consent to sexual acts. Sixteen is the legal age of consent for sexual acts. There are variations on the age of consent for adolescents who are close in age between the ages of 12 and 16. Twelve and 13 year-olds can consent to have sex with other youth who are less than 2 years older than themselves. Youth who are 14 and 15 years old may consent to sexual involvement that is mutual with a person who is less than 5 years older. Youths 16 and 17 years old may legally consent to sexual acts with someone who is not in a position of trust or authority.

Coercion: In the context of sexual violence, coercion is unreasonable and persistent pressure for sexual activity. Coercion is the use of emotional manipulation, blackmail, threats to family or friends, or the promise of rewards or special treatment, to persuade someone to do something they do not wish to do, such as being sexual or performing particular sexual acts.

Drug-facilitated sexual assault: The use of alcohol and/or drugs (prescription or non-prescription) by a perpetrator to control, overpower or subdue a victim for purposes of sexual assault.

Stalking: A form of criminal harassment prohibited by the Criminal Code of Canada. It involves behaviours that occur on more than one occasion and which collectively instill fear in the victim or threaten the victim/target’s safety or mental health. Stalking can also include threats of harm to the target’s friends and/or family. These behaviours include, but are not limited to non-consensual communications (face to face, phone, email, social media); threatening or obscene gestures; surveillance; sending unsolicited gifts; “creeping” via social media/cyber-stalking; and uttering threats. Survivor: Some who have experienced sexual violence may choose to identify as a survivor. Individuals might be more familiar with the term “victim”. We use the term survivor throughout this policy where relevant because some who have experienced sexual assault believe they have overcome the violent experience and do not wish to identify with the victimization. It is the prerogative of the person who has experienced these circumstances to determine how they wish to identify.

1. Purpose and Intent of the Policy

All members of APLUS Institute community have a right to a work and study in an environment that is free from any form of sexual violence. This document sets out our policy and response protocol to sexual violence and ensures that those who experience sexual violence are believed and their rights respected, that the College has a process of investigation that protects the rights of individuals and holds individuals who have committed an act of sexual violence accountable.

2. Policy Statement

APLUS Institute’s Statement:

Sexual assault and sexual violence are unacceptable and will not be tolerated. We are committed to challenging and preventing sexual violence and creating a safe space for anyone in our College community who has experienced sexual violence. The College is expected to be a safe and positive space where members of the College community feel able to work, learn and express themselves in an environment free from sexual violence.

All reported incidents of sexual violence will be investigated to the best of the administration’s ability and in a manner that ensures due process. It is this policy’s intention to make individuals feel comfortable about making a report in good faith about sexual violence that they have experienced or witnessed.

We recognize that sexual violence can occur between individuals regardless of sexual orientation, gender, and gender identity or relationship status as articulated in the Ontario Human Rights Code. We also recognize that individuals who have experienced sexual violence may experience emotional, academic or other difficulties.

We are committed to:

2.1. assisting those who have experienced sexual violence by providing choices, including detailed information and support, such as provision of and/or referral to counselling and medical care, information about legal options, and appropriate academic and other accommodation;

2.2. ensuring that those who disclose that they have been sexually assaulted are believed, and that their right to dignity and respect is protected throughout the process of disclosure, investigation and institutional response;

2.3. addressing harmful attitudes and behaviours (e.g., adhering to myths of sexual violence) that reinforce that the person who experienced sexual violence is somehow to blame for what happened;

2.4. treating individuals who disclose sexual violence with compassion recognizing that they are the final decision-makers about their own best interests;

2.5. ensuring that on-campus (internal) investigation procedures are available in the case of sexual violence, even when the individual chooses not to make a report to the police; 2.6. engaging in appropriate procedures for investigation and adjudication of a complaint which are in accordance with College policies, standards and applicable collective agreements, and that ensure fairness and due process;

2.7. ensuring coordination and communication among the various departments who are most likely to be involved in the response to sexual violence on campus;

2.8. engaging in public education and prevention activities; 2.9. providing information to the College community about our sexual violence policies and protocols;

2.10. providing appropriate education and training to the College community about responding to the disclosure of sexual violence;

2.11. contributing to the creation of a campus atmosphere in which sexual violence is not tolerated; and

2.12. monitoring and updating our policies and protocols to ensure that they remain effective and in line with other existing policies and best practices.

3. Reporting and Responding to Sexual Violence

3.1. Members of the College community should immediately report sexual violence incidents they witness or have knowledge of, or where they have reason to believe that sexual violence has occurred or may occur. Members who have experienced sexual violence are encouraged to come forward to report as soon as they are able to do so.

3.2. Persons in a position of authority, including persons directing the activities of others, shall take immediate action to respond to or to prevent sexual violence from occurring.

3.3. Where the College becomes aware of incidents of sexual violence by a member of the College community or against a member of the College community, which occur on or off College property and that pose a risk to the safety of members of the College community, the College shall take all reasonable steps to ensure the safety of the College community.

4. Complaint Process and Investigations

A complaint of sexual assault or any other kind of sexual violence can be filed under this Policy by any member of the College community.

The College will seek to achieve procedural fairness in dealing with all complaints. As such, no sanction and/or disciplinary action will be taken against a person or group without their knowledge where there is an alleged breach of this Policy. Respondents will be given reasonable notice, with full detail of the allegations and provided with an opportunity to answer to the allegations made against them.

4.1. Right to Withdraw a Complaint A complainant has the right to withdraw a complaint at any stage of the process. However, the College may continue to act on the issue identified in the complaint in order to comply with its obligation under this Policy and/or its legal obligations.

4.2. Protection from Reprisals, Retaliation or Threats It is contrary to this Policy for anyone to retaliate, engage in reprisals or threaten to retaliate against a complainant or other individual for: • having pursued rights under this Policy or the Ontario Human Rights Code; • having participated or co-operated in an investigation under this Policy or the Ontario Human Rights(Code; or • having been associated with someone who has pursued rights under this Policy or the Ontario Human Rights Code.

Anyone engaged in such conduct may be subject to sanctions and/or discipline.

4.3. Unsubstantiated or Vexatious Complaints If a person, in good faith, discloses or files a sexual violence complaint that is not supported by evidence gathered during an investigation, that complaint will be dismissed.

Disclosures or complaints that are found following investigation to be frivolous, vexatious or bad faith complaints, that is, made to purposely annoy, embarrass or harm the respondent, may result in sanctions and/or discipline against the complainant.

5. Confidentiality

Confidentiality is particularly important to those who have disclosed sexual violence. The confidentiality of all persons involved in a report of sexual violence must be strictly observed, and the College does its best to respect the confidentiality of all persons, including the complainant, respondent, and witnesses.

However, confidentiality cannot be assured in the following circumstances:

  • an individual is at imminent risk of self-harm;
  • an individual is at imminent risk of harming another; and/or • there are reasonable grounds to believe that others in the College or wider community may be at risk of harm.

In such circumstances, information would only be shared with necessary services to prevent harm, and the name of the survivor would not be released to the public.

Where the College becomes aware of an allegation of sexual violence by a member of the College community against another member of the College community, the College may also have an obligation to take steps to ensure that the matter is dealt with in order to comply with the College’s legal obligation and/or its policies to investigate such allegations. In such cases, certain College administrators will be informed about the reported incident on a “need to know” and confidential basis, but not necessarily of the identities of the persons involved.

6. References

  • Colleges Ontario, Sexual Assault and Sexual Violence Policy and Protocol Template  Criminal Code of Canada
  • Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, 1990
  • Personal Health and Information Protection Act, 2004
  • The Ontario Coalition of Rape Crisis Centres’  The Ontario Human Rights Cod

IF YOU HAVE EXPERIENCED OR HAVE BEEN AFFECTED BY SEXUAL VIOLENCE

  • Go to a Safe Place
  • Find a trusted friend or colleague or speak with the Sexual Violence Response Advisor.
  • Call the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre/ Multicultural Women Against Rape 416-597-8800.
  • Go to or call the Sexual Assault/ Domestic Violence Care Centre Women’s College Hospital- 416-323-6040.
  • 0

  • Call the Toronto Police Services Division closest to you.

If You Have Experienced Sexual Violence

(a) If you have experienced sexual violence, please call Vice-president Tatiana Bramnik at 416-222-0085 (direct) and we will assist you by providing the resources and support you need.

(b)It is often difficult to disclose and report incidents of sexual violence. It is entirely up to you if you choose to report the incident; however, we strongly encourage you to do so. A number of other resources are available to you, including:

  • Call the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre/ Multicultural Women Against Rape 416-597-8800.
  • Go to or call the Sexual Assault/ Domestic Violence Care Centre Women’s College Hospital- 416-323-6040.
  • Call the Toronto Police Services Division closest to you.

Anyone who has experienced sexual violence has the right to:

  • be treated with dignity and respect, be believed,
  • be informed about on- and off-campus services and resources,
  • decide whether or not to access available services and to choose those services they feel will be most beneficial,
  • decide whether to report to campus security and/or local police,
  • have an on-campus investigation with the institution’s full cooperation,
  • have a safety plan, and have reasonable and necessary actions taken to prevent further unwanted contact with the alleged perpetrator(s).

(c) If You Would like to File a Formal Complaint

Tatiana Bramnik can also assist you with filing a complaint. If the alleged perpetrator is another member of the College community, you may file a complaint under this Policy.

Individuals who have experienced sexual violence may also wish to press charges under the Criminal Code. Tatiana Bramnik can also assist you with contacting the local Police.

More information on filing a complaint can be found at the Office of vice-president.

(d) What to Do if You Witnessed Sexual Violence

If you witness sexual violence, please call Vice-president Tatiana Bramnik at 416-222-0085 (direct) and we will assist you by providing all the resources and necessary support.

A number of other resources are available to you, including:

  • Call the Toronto Rape Crisis Centre/ Multicultural Women Against Rape 416-597-8800.
  • Go to or call the Sexual Assault/ Domestic Violence Care Centre Women’s College Hospital- 416-323-6040.
  • Call the Toronto Police Services Division closest to you.

If a member of faculty or staff of the College becomes aware of an allegation of sexual violence against another member of the College community, the faculty or staff is required to report the alleged incident to Vice-president Tatiana Bramnik at 416-222-0085 (direct) immediately.

(e)What to Do if Someone Discloses Allegations of Sexual Violence

A person may choose to confide in someone about an act of sexual violence, such as a student, instructor, teaching assistant, coach, or staff from housing, health, counselling or security. An individual who has experienced sexual violence may also disclose to staff or faculty members when seeking support and/or academic accommodation. A supportive response involves:

  • listening without judgement and accepting the disclosure as true
  • communicating that sexual violence is never the responsibility of the survivor • helping the individual identify and/or access available on- or off-campus services, including emergency medical care and counselling;
  • respecting the individual’s right to choose the services they feel are most appropriate and to decide whether to report to the police
  • recognizing that disclosing can be traumatic and an individual’s ability to recall the events may be limited;
  • respecting the individual’s choices as to what and how much they disclose about their experience; and
  • making every effort to respect confidentiality and anonymity. If disclosure is made to faculty or staff by a student seeking support or academic accommodation, the faculty or staff should refer the student to the, and work with the Vice-president to ensure that the student receives all necessary academic and other accommodations.

As indicated above, if faculty or staff of the College becomes aware of an allegation of sexual violence against another member of the College community, the faculty or staff is required to report the alleged incident to Vice-president immediately.

(f)Communicating with Individuals who have Experienced Sexual Violence

Sensitive and timely communication with individuals who have experienced sexual violence and their family members (when an individual consents to this communication) is a central part of the College’s first response to sexual violence. To facilitate communication the College will:

  • Ensure that designated employees who are knowledgeable about sexual violence, are responsible for advocacy on campus on behalf of employees, students or any other member of the College community who have experienced sexual violence;
  • Ensure designated employees respond in a prompt, compassionate, and personalized fashion; and
  • Ensure that the person who has experienced sexual violence and the respondent are provided with reasonable updates about the status of the College’s investigation of the incident when such investigations are undertaken.
  • . Roles and Responsibilities of the College Community While everyone on campus has a role to play in responding to incidents of sexual violence, some campus members will have specific responsibilities which might include:
  • On-campus health supports to provide psychological and emotional support, assist with safety planning and make referrals to other services, including medical services;
  • Faculty, staff and administrators to facilitate academic accommodations and other academic needs of those who have experienced sexual violence, e.g., extensions on assignments, continuing studies from home, and dropping courses;
  • Student operated sexual violence services to provide peer supports;
  • Human Resources to assist with any incidents relating to employees; and
  • Security to assist with investigations and gathering evidence, to implement measures to reduce sexual violence on campus, and to collaborate with local police where appropriate.

(g) How Will the College Respond to a Report of Sexual Violence?
Where a complaint of sexual violence has been reported to the College, the College will exercise care to protect and respect the rights of both the complainant and the respondent. The College understands that individuals who have experienced sexual violence may wish to control whether and how their experience will be dealt with by the police and/or the College. In most circumstances, the person will retain this control. However, in certain circumstances, the College may be required to initiate an internal investigation and/or inform the police of the need for a criminal investigation, even without the person’s consent, if the College believes that the safety of other members of the College community is at risk. The confidentiality and anonymity of the person(s) affected will be prioritized in these circumstances.

A report of sexual violence may also be referred to the police, or to other community resources at the complainant’s request, where the persons involved are not members of the College community or in circumstances where the College is unable to initiate an internal investigation under this Policy.

8.1. Where the Respondent is a Student

Sexual violence is a violation of APLUS Institute’s policy. It is considered a serious offence and will be addressed in a manner which is consistent with other serious offences. Please see APLUS Institute Student Expulsion Policy Guide for more details on each disciplinary process.

8.2. Where the Respondent is an Employee

Sexual violence is a violation of APLUS Institute’s policy. Allegations against employees will be addressed in accordance with the procedures set out in this Policy, and in any applicable collective agreement, and/or other College policies. If the complaint is sustained following an investigation, the College will decide on the appropriate disciplinary actions consistent with any applicable collective agreement and/or policies regarding discipline.

8.3. Where the Respondent is not a Student or Employee

Contractors, suppliers, volunteers or visitors who attend on campus will be subject to complaints if they engage in prohibited conduct. Where a complaint against the respondent is substantiated, the College will take appropriate action.

All contractual relationships entered into by the College will be governed by a standard contract compliance clause stating that contractors must comply with this Policy and the Ontario Human Rights Code, including co-operating in investigations. Breach of the clause may result in penalties, cancellation, or other sanctions.

8.4. Multiple Proceedings

Where criminal and/or civil proceedings are commenced in respect of the allegations of sexual violence, the College shall conduct its own independent investigation into such allegations, and will make its own determination in accordance with its policies and procedures. Where there is an ongoing criminal investigation, the College will cooperate with the local police.

(h) Other Resources and Supports Available to You

Region in Ontario Sexual Assault Centre 24-hr Crisis Line Office Phone
Algoma (Sault Ste. Marie) Women In Crisis Algoma 1-877-759-1230 705-759-1230
Belleville-Quinte Sexual Assault Centre for Quinte & District 1-877-544-6424 613-967-6300
Brant Sexual Assault Centre of Brant 519-751-3471 519-751-1164
Bruce County Women’s House Serving Bruce and Grey:Sexual Assault
Services
1-866-578-5566 519-372-1113
Chatham-Kent Chatham-Kent Sexual Assault Crisis Centre 519-354-8688 519-354-8908
Cornwall Sexual Assault Support Services for Women,Cornwall English: 613-932-1603, French: 613-932-1705 613-932-1755
East Algoma (Elliot Lake) Counselling Centre of East Algoma 1-800-721-0077 705-848-2585
Guelph-Wellington Guelph-Wellington Women in Crisis 519-836-5710, 1-800-265-7233 519-836-1110
Halton (Oakville) Sexual Assault & Violence Intervention Services of
Halton
905-875-1555 906-825-3622
Hamilton Sexual Assault Centre Hamilton & Area (SACHA) 905-525-4162 905-525-4573
Kawartha (Peterborough & Area) Kawartha Sexual Assault Centre 705-741-0260 705-748-5901
Kenora Kenora Sexual Assault Centre 807-468-7233, 1-800565-6161 807-468-7958
Kingston Sexual Assault Centre Kingston 613-544-6424, 1-877-544-6424 613-545-0762
Waterloo Sexual Assault Support Centre of Waterloo Region 519-741-8633 519-571-0121
London-Middlesex Sexual Assault Centre London 519-438-2272, 1-877-529-2272 519-439-0844
Muskoka Athena’s Sexual Assault Counselling & Advocacy Centre 705-737-2008, 1-800-987-0799 705-737-2884
Niagara Niagara Region Sexual Assault Centre 905-682-4584 905-682-7258
Nipissing Amelia Rising Sexual Assault Centre of Nipissing 705-476-3355 705-840-2403
Oshawa-Durham Oshawa-Durham Rape Crisis Centre 905-668-9200 905-444-9672
Ottawa SASC Sexual Assault Support Centre of Ottawa 613-234-2266 613-725-2160
Ottawa RCC Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre 613-562-2333 613-562-2334
Sarnia-Lambton Sexual Assault Survivors’ Centre Sarnia-Lambton 519-337-3320 519-337-3154
Sudbury Voices for Women Sudbury 705-523-7100 ext.2647
Thunder Bay Thunder Bay Sexual Abuse & Sexual Assault Counselling &
Crisis Centre
807-344-4502 807-345-0894
Timmins Timmins and Area Women in Crisis 1-877-268-8380 705-268-8381
Toronto Multicultural Women Against Rape/Toronto Rape Crisis
Centre
(416) 597-8808 416-597-1171
Windsor-Essex Sexual Assault Crisis Centre of Essex County 519-253-9667 519-253-3100
York Women’s Support Network of York Region 1-800-263-6734, 905-895-7313 905-895-3646

Pour le support francophone aux femmes victimes d’agression sexuelle:

CALACS (Francophone Sexual Assault Centres) in Ontario

Centre Passerelle pour femmes: CALACS du Nord de I’Ontario
www.centrepasserelle.ca
C.P. 849 Timmins (Ontario) P4N 7G7
705-360-5657

Centre francophone d’aide et de lutte contre les agressions a caractere sexuel d’Ottawa
www.calacs.ca
40, rue Cobourg
Ottawa (Ontario) K1N 8Z6
613-789-8096
calacs@calacs.ca

Centre Novas : Centre francophone d’aide et de lutte contre les agressions a caractere sexuel de Prescott-Russell www.centrenovas.ca C.P. 410
Casselman (ON) K0A 1M0 613-764-5700 1 866-772-9922 poste 221 administration@centrenovas.ca

Carrefour des femmes du Sud-Ouest de l’Ontario: CALACS de la region du Sud-Ouest www.carrefourfemmes.on.ca
Casier Postal 774, London (ON) N6A 4Y8 519-858-0954 1 888-858-0954
bienvenue@carrefourfemmes.on.ca

Centre Victoria pour femmes
www.centrevictoria.ca
C.P. 308 Sudbury (ON) P3E 4P2
705-670-2517
info@centrevictoria.ca

Centr’Elles, centre des Femmes Francophones du Nord-Ouest de l’Ontario
www.centrelles.com
P.O. Box 26058
Thunder Bay (Ontario) P7B 0B2
807-684-1955 1-888-415-4156
admin@centrelles.com

Oasis Centre des femmes www.oasisfemmes.org
465 Yonge Street PO Box 73022 Wood Street PO Toronto ON M4Y 2W5 Toronto
416-591-6565
services@oasisfemmes.org

Colibri – Centre des femmes francophones du comte de Simcoe