Sexual Assault and Sexual Violence Protocol
1. If You Have Experienced Sexual Violence
If you have experienced sexual violence, call the police at 911 or Security at 416.491.5050 ext. 88. If you want to speak to someone directly, please go to the local campus Security Office.
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:
- Employee Assistance Program 1.800.268.5211 (for employees)
- Counseling and Accessibility Services 416.491.5050 ext. 22916 (for students)
- Good2Talk 1.866.925.5454
Information about additional resources is available in Appendix II.
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).
2. If You Would like to File or Initiate a Complaint
Security or Student Conduct can 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. Seneca Security can also assist you with contacting the local Police.
3. What to Do if You Witnessed Sexual Violence
If you witness sexual violence, please call Seneca Security at extension 88 and we will assist you by providing all the resources and necessary support. If you want to speak to someone directly, please go to your local Security office.
A number of other resources are available to you, including:
- Counseling and Accessibility Services
- Human Resources/Employee Assistance Program
- Good2Talk 1.866.925.5454
Information about additional resources is available in Appendix II.
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 Seneca Security Management immediately.
4. 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 and/or Seneca Security at extension 88;
- 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 Manager, Seneca Security, and work with the Counselling Services 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 Seneca Security Management immediately.
5. 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 in the Human Resources and Counseling and Accessibility Services, 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;
- 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.
6. 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;
- Residence staff to facilitate safe living arrangements to the best of our abilities;
- 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.
7. 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.
7.1. Where the Respondent is a Student
Sexual violence is a violation of the Student Code of Conduct, Personal Safety and Security Threat and the Discrimination and Harassment policies It is considered a serious offence and will be addressed in a manner which is consistent with other serious offences. Please see each policy for more details on each disciplinary process.
7.2 Where the Respondent is an Employee
The perpetration of sexual violence is a violation of an employee’s duty to their employer. It is also a violation of Personal Safety and Security Threat Policy. Such misconduct may also violate Seneca’s Discrimination and Harassment Policy, as well as the relevant collective agreement. Allegations against employees will be addressed in accordance with the Sexual Assault Policy and this protocol, as well as any of the other policies mentioned herein, and, where applicable, the relevant collective agreement. If, following an investigation, a complaint is substantiated, the College will decide on an appropriate response, which may include discipline up to and including the perpetrator’s discharge from employment.
7.3 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.
7.4 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.
8. Other Resources and Supports Available to You
To talk to someone:
Call a distress line: 416.408.4357 (HELP) TTY: 416.408.0007
For emergency shelters and the closest free meal:
416.392.3777 or toll free 1.866.392.3777
If you feel suicidal:
Go to your closest hospital emergency department
Call a distress line: 416.408.4357 (HELP), TTY: 416.408.0007
For immediate medical advice:
Call Telehealth: 1.866.797.0000, TTY: 1.866.797.0007
For sexual assault/violence:
Assaulted Women’s Helpline 416.863.0511, 1.866.863.0511, TTY 1.866.863.7868
Yellow Brick House Toll Free: 1.800.263.3247 TTY: 905.751.1712
Barbra Schlifer Clinic Safety Planning 416.323.9149 ext. 234
For mental health:
Gerstein Centre: 416.929.5200 (same number for TTY service)
For walk-in counselling:
Catholic Family Services – Peel / Dufferin Region
Brampton: 905.450.1608 ext. 101
Mississauga: 905.897.1644 ext. 101
Bolton: 905.450.1608 ext. 101
For child protection:
Children’s Aid society of Toronto 416.924.4646
Yellow Brick House 905.727.1944
Barbra Schlifer Clinic Transitional Housing Support 416.323.9149 ext. 234
Outreach Services (counselling, legal):
Yellow Brick House 1.877.222.8438
Catholic Family Services 416.921.1163
Barbra Schlifer Clinic Legal Assistance 416.323.9149 ext. 278
Daily Bread Food Bank: 416.203.0050
AIDS & Sexual Health Info Line: 1.800.668.2437
Post-secondary Student Help line
Good2Talk 1.866.925.5454 or connect through 2-1-1