Campus violence has become increasingly common on post-secondary campuses across North America. Sexual violence is a serious problem in our communities and Ottawa campuses are not immune. The devastating impact of rape on survivors has been well documented, including negative outcomes on physical, mental and emotional health, academic performance, and interpersonal relationships. There are many more intangible effects of oppression and gender-based violence that are harder to measure, and the following data from the Canadian Federation of Students only provides a snapshot.
- Although the majority of sexual assaults go unreported, women account for nine out of ten police reported sexual assaults in Canada.
- Campus sexual assaults are most prevalent during the first 8 weeks of classes.
- More than 80% of sexual assaults happen by someone known to the victim.
- At least 50% of campus-related sexual assaults occur during dates.
- In Canada, young women aged 16-24 are at highest risk for experiencing sexual assault.
- 4 out of 5 female undergraduate students said they had experienced gender-based violence in a dating relationship or intimate partnership.
The Ottawa Coalition to End Violence Against Women (OCTEVAW) received funding from Status of Women Canada for a project targeting students at four post-secondary institutions in Ottawa: The University of Ottawa, Carleton University, La Cité and Algonquin College. In partnership with the Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre (ORCC), this project sought to identify and respond to the issues of sexual and gendered violence affecting young women and other marginalized people on Ottawa campuses.
What’s happening on campuses in Ottawa? As part of this process, a needs assessment and gender-based analysis was conducted in 2013, where stakeholders and community partners collaborated to highlight assets and promising strategies in their communities, as well as gaps and barriers to prevent sexual violence on Ottawa campuses. Read the needs assessment report.
How can students learn more about this? A social media campaign was designed to help roll out the app, and promote greater education and awareness of sexual violence, and to let people know about our awesome R.I.S.E. app. Check out justgotweird.com to learn more and download the app here:
Android / Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.favequest.mea.rise
Mobile Optimized Website: https://mea.favequest.net/rise/mobile/
How can students develop skills to respond? A social media app was created to support students to recognize, intervene, educate and support. The R.I.S.E. app helps students prevent violence before it starts and provides resources so that if you know someone who has experienced sexual violence, you can help direct them to appropriate support.
What can student groups, faculty and administrations do to respond? Drawing on fantastic resources in Ontario and beyond, we compiled a list of promising practices and frameworks for campuses to take into consideration when trying to prevent and respond to sexual violence on campus. Read the report.