A new sexualized violence policy will be implemented at the University of Victoria just as the fall semester begins.
The university said the policy will be implemented to include a central resource office and “widespread education,” according to a statement released earlier this weeek.
The final policy follows a year of consultations on campus, and a year and a half since Bill 23 – the Sexual Violence and Misconduct Policy Act – was passed in March of 2016.
Universities across the province were required to have a stand-alone policy implemented by May 18.
After more than a year of extensive consultations, research and deliberations over the Sexualized Violence Prevention and Response Policy, the university approved the policy and its related procedures this spring.
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“The university is working hard to realize the expectations set out in the policy,” said UVic president Jamie Cassels Cassels. “We want every member of our community to be informed about the policy and the values it upholds, and to consider what each of us can do to contribute to an environment where consent and respect are fundamental principles and practices at UVic.”
A newly hired sexualized violence education and prevention co-ordinator, Leah Shumka, will be working across campus to coordinate education, prevention and response. Shumka is producing an overview of the policy, as well as a protocol for what a person should do if an incident on sexualized violence is disclosed to the university.
“As an initial piece, we are providing people with information about how to receive a disclosure, which is the process when someone tells someone else about an incidence of sexualized violence, very often as a means of accessing support,” said Shumka.