RRRA ANNOUNCES SEXUAL VIOLENCE AND HARRASMENT TASK FORCE
OTTAWA, March 11th , 2015 –The Rideau River Residence Association (RRRA) is announcing steps to reduce sexual violence and harassment at Carleton University, Ottawa in response to new legislation from the Government of Ontario.
“RRRA is announcing today new training for all staff at all RRRA entities and the creation of a sexual violence and harassment taskforce,” said President William Verschuren.
All RRRA staff will now undergo Carleton University’s ‘Safe Space’ training to ensure the association office is a resource for victims of sexual violence and harassment. All executives are already ‘Safe Space’ trained.
Additionally, RRRA’s sexual violence and harassment taskforce, to be led by Vice-President Programming Arpita Dar, will address and report on ways to make residence, and campus as a whole, safer for Carleton students and contribute to key objectives outlined by the Government of Ontario.
The Ontario Government has announced commitments to;
- Introduce legislation to require colleges and universities to adopt a sexual assault policy, developed with significant input from students, and renewed — with student involvement — every four years.
- Ensure each campus has clearly stated complaint procedures and response protocols; effective training and prevention programs; and services and supports for survivors available 24/7
- Require universities and colleges to report publicly on incidence of sexual violence, as well as initiatives underway to address sexual violence and harassment, and their effectiveness.
- Support initiatives by colleges and universities to reduce sexual violence and harassment, and ensure safe campuses.
- Make sure all students have information about preventing sexual violence and harassment and are informed of resources and supports, starting with their first week of orientation and continuing throughout the year, for students in all years of study.
A recent investigation by CBC found 19 sexual assaults were reported at Carleton University from 2009-2013.
“We are going to make sure students, in particular those who live on campus, are heard in the new processes outlined by the government of Ontario and we will immediately begin work to shape upcoming university policies”, said Dar.
“Sexual violence and harassment is never OK. As student leaders we have a responsibility to combat sexual assault and these new measures we are announcing today will strengthen the resources we already have in place. Consent is not just sexy – it’s necessary. The message needs to be loud and clear from day one”, she finished.
RRRA held a successful ‘sex week’ in the fall semester to encourage a dialogue on consent, safe sexual practices and sexuality.
For more information:
Vice President Programming
Graham A. Pedregosa
Vice President Administration