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At Ontario Tech we are committed to:

  • Assisting and supporting students of all genders and identities impacted by sexual violence.
  • Connecting all university members to the tools they need to provide effective support to students who may disclose an incident of sexual violence.
  • Building a culture of consent, and empowering individuals to intervene in situations where sexual violence has or may take place.

If you are a student who has experienced sexual violence, the Human Rights office is here to assist you. We encourage all students who have experienced sexual violence to disclose to the Human Rights office to receive information about available resources and supports.

What is student sexual violence?

Sexual violence is defined in the University’s Student Sexual Violence Policy as “any sexual act or act targeting a person’s sexuality, gender identity or gender expression, whether the act is physical or psychological in nature, that is committed, threatened or attempted against a person without the person’s consent, and includes sexual assault, sexual harassment, stalking, indecent exposure, voyeurism and sexual exploitation”.

The scope of this definition is very broad and includes a range of behaviours. For example, it can be physical in nature, such as forced kissing or forced physical contact; it can be verbal, such as hurling insults and slurs to someone because of their gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or gender expression; or visual, including sending intimate images of an individual without their consent or to a receiver who has not consented to receiving your intimate image.

A defining feature of sexual violence is the absence of consent. This means that the behaviour has not been discussed or agreed to by all parties, and that there is at least one person in the situation who has not said yes, either verbally or through physical gestures and behaviour.

Connecting you with the services and support you need

Individuals affected by sexual violence deserve a welcoming, safe and confidential space where they can talk to caring professionals and learn about their options.

We recognize that the process of responding to sexual violence can be overwhelming and confusing. The university has a Gender-Based Violence Specialist located in the Human Rights office who can meet with you confidentially to ensure you are informed of your rights, and who will help you navigate the various internal and external resources designed to support students who experience sexual violence.

The Human Rights office’s Gender-based Violence Specialist receives your disclosure and ensures you have the necessary information to make informed decisions about how you want to proceed. Through confidential, non-judgmental consultations, we help students decide which services and reporting options (if any) they want to pursue.

You will be in charge of deciding how you want to address your concerns, which resources to access and/or whether you want to report the matter. You will not be pressured into any particular course of action.

The Human Rights office offers:

  • Confidential, non-judgmental, non-directional and student-led services and support to students of all genders who have been impacted by sexual violence.
  • Co-ordination and navigation of university supports and services.
  • Assistance with immediate measures to limit further harm, such as assessing housing and safety needs, adjustments to class schedules, etc.
  • Information about off-campus services.
  • Assistance with reporting (if requested).

 Book a confidential meeting with the Human Rights Specialist.

How is confidentiality protected?

The Human Rights office and any other University offices involved will treat all Disclosures and Reports of Sexual Violence in accordance with the confidentiality provisions of the Policy, with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA), or as required by law.

The University will limit the sharing of information on a “need-to-know” basis. For example, faculty members do not “need to know” the details of the circumstances unless they are involved in the report, so they would not be provided with information about an incident when implementing academic accommodations.

What are limits to confidentiality?

In some instances, the law requires the University to share the details of a case. These include situations:

  • in which an investigation has been initiated and information needs to be shared in order to meet Administrative Fairness obligations;
  • in which individuals may be at risk of imminent or significant harm to themselves or others;
  • involving Sexual Violence against a minor (i.e. someone under the age of 16);
  • in which the University is obligated to share details due to legal obligations such as occupational health and safety or human rights obligations;
  • when information is subpoenaed by a court of law.