Prevention and Education at UWinnipeg

Student Wellness - Sexual Misconduct

The University of Winnipeg believes in the importance of raising awareness surrounding sexual misconduct and will endeavor to promote safety and empowerment on campus. The Advisory Committee on Sexual Misconduct will work collaboratively with the campus community to provide education on sexual misconduct and its prevention.

The campus wide education and communication strategy include raising awareness of sexual misconduct, informing people of the options for support and reporting after a disclosure, and bystander intervention training. The education will be communicated based on these principles:

  1. Sexualized violence profoundly affects individuals, their support network, and the university community. Each situation is different but people who experience sexual misconduct may feel a sense of violation and can experience emotional, psychological and physical reactions to the experience.
  2. Individuals who disclose that they have experienced sexual misconduct are to be believed and supported; the response received immediately upon disclosure can impact how people move forward from the experience.
  3. People who experience sexual misconduct are the decision makers regarding what is best for them. They have the right to choose what to disclose and what course of action to take including what services they will access and whether to formally report the incident to the police. The individual is discussing an extremely personal and traumatic experience so a very high degree of sensitivity is needed along with a respectful attitude, information provision, kindness and empowerment.

Education programming will be informed by the following information on sexual misconduct/sexual assault:

  1. Women are twice as likely to be assaulted by a man they know, than by a stranger (Statistics Canada, 1993). This can include friends, acquaintances, boyfriends, co-workers or relatives (The Peel Committee on Sexual Assault) and this can make reporting more difficult.
  2. In the vast majority of cases, the person who was sexually assaulted is female and the accused is male although sexual assault can happen to both males and females, and the accused may be a male or a female. It can also occur when both people are the same sex or gender. Females were over 10 times more likely than males to be victims of a police-reported sexual assault. (Statistics Canada, 2008)
  3. The General Social Survey (GSS) on Victimization showed that sexual victimization rates were dramatically higher among those aged 15 to 24. (Statistics Canada, 2004)
  4. In 30 years, survey after survey suggests that the rate of rape or attempted rape on North American campuses has held steady at between 18 per cent and 24 per cent. Add in harassment, groping and sexual coercion, and the percentage of female students who say in surveys that they experience this behaviour during their college years rises to 60 per cent. (Charlene Senn, reported in the Globe and Mail, 2013)
  5. Those who experience sexual assault are often reluctant to go to the police.
  6. Similar to victims of other forms of violent crime, sexual assault victims commonly experienced anger, confusion and frustration as a result of their victimization. (Statistics Canada, Sexual Assault in Canada)

Awareness campaigns will be selected and/or developed and user-friendly web pages will be created to allow for people to obtain the information they need quickly and easily. Educational materials including a series of workshops, a website, posters, and handbills will be created and distributed. Workshops focused on education and prevention of sexual misconduct, as well as bystander intervention training will be offered. Bystander training and empowerment encourages bystanders to speak up and prevent or reduce sexual misconduct, and have a positive impact on campus culture.